Battle of Atlanta
McPherson's Last Ride
Walker Park is named for W.H.T. Walker, a Confederate general killed about 12:15 p.m. on 22 July 1864 at the start of the Battle of Atlanta. A monument to Walker and more markers relating to his death are at the intersection of Glenwood Ave and Wilkinson Drive, just east of the Glenwood Avenue exit from I-20, about a mile southeast of Walker Park.
The park is actually much closer to the site where Union Major General James McPherson was killed, but naming an Atlanta park after a federal general was probably not acceptable decades ago. McPherson’s monument is at the intersection of McPherson Avenue and Monument Avenue, about a quarter of a mile due south of the park but separated by the construction of I-20 in the late 1950s. By some accounts, McPherson stopped at the site of what is now Walker Park when he first rode southward towards the sound of firing. From there, he issued orders for deployment of his subordinate units, then he rode eastward and subsequently southwestward to the point where he was killed.
Many books have accounts of the Battle of Atlanta: The Day Dixie Died, War Like the Thunderbolt, Decision in the West and many more.
Atlanta History Center has the Wilbur Kurtz papers. Kurtz wrote an article about McPherson’s death for Atlanta Constitution Magazine in the 1930s. In the article is a map of McPherson’s route.
We are looking for photographs, maps, news articles, flyers related to the Park. If you have any items or know someone you think might have these objects of interest, please contact us. We also welcome any person interested in the research of these materials. Your contribution to our efforts will be greatly appreciated.