According to the Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog, General McPherson was commander of the Army of the Tennessee and took part in General Sherman’s march to the sea during the Civil War. He later lost his life during the battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864.
Confederate cannons captured at Atlanta were used in the casting of the sculpture. This memorial was installed in Scott Square which was then renamed McPherson Square. Smithmeyer & Pelz designed the base. Westham Granite Works was responsible for the stone work. The sculpture was authorized by Congress on March 3, 1875 and was paid for by the Society of the Army of the Tennessee. The dedication took place on the 11th annual reunion of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee.