James McPherson was riding his horse on a road near Decatur, Georgia to his old XVII Corps. McPherson had a theory that the Confederates under John Bell Hood were going to attack the Union right flank. He was well on his way when Confederate skirmishers moved to block his path.
The skirmishers ordered him to halt. He lifted his hand to his hat then suddenly wheeled his horse in trying to escape. The skirmishers fired and he was mortally wounded.
McPherson was temporarily replaced by Maj. Gen. John Logan.
“I will record the death of my classmate and boyhood friend, General James B. McPherson, the announcement of which caused me sincere sorrow. Since we had graduated in 1853, and had each been ordered off on duty in different directions, it has not been our fortune to meet. Neither the years nor the difference of sentiment that had led us to range ourselves on opposite sides in the war had lessened my friendship; indeed the attachment formed in early youth was strengthened by my admiration and gratitude for his conduct toward our people in the vicinity of Vicksburg. His considerate and kind treatment of them stood in bright contrast to the course pursued by many Federal officers.”
~John Bell Hood