Named for Maj. Gen. James Birdseye McPherson, U. S. Vol., the Union Commander of the Army of Tenn. during the Battle of Atlanta, this area was used as a state militia drill ground as early as 1835. It housed several temporary Confederate and Union military encampments.
The U. S. Army established McPherson Barracks at a site appositely three mi1es n. of here in l867, but abandoned it in 1881. In 1885, the army bought 236 a. along the Georgia Central R. R. and began erecting a permanent post under the direction of engineer Capt. Joshua West Jacobs. It was officially named "Fort McPherson" on May 4. 1889, indicating a permanent Army Installation. The original garrison quadrangle of 42 buildings, built between 1889 and 1910, is listed on the National Register.
Fort McPherson has served as a general hospital command, war prison barracks, supply depot, and reception and separation center, and has been the home of major Army combat commands including Third U. S. Army and U. S. Army Forces command.