Neighborhoods and Districts of Atlanta: Fort McPherson
Fort McPherson was an U.S. Army military base located in East Point, Georgia, on the southwest edge of Atlanta, Georgia. It was the headquarters for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Southeast Region; the U.S. Army Forces Command; the U.S. Army Reserve Command; the U.S. Army Central.
Named after Major General James Birdseye McPherson, this fort was founded by the U.S. Army in September 1885. However, this site, had been in use by military units since 1835, and it was used as a Confederate Army base during the American Civil War. During the Reconstruction Era, it was named the “McPherson Barracks”, and it served as a post for the Federal troops who were occupying Atlanta. With the end of Reconstruction, the McPherson Barracks was closed and sold off in 1881, though the site continued to be occupied during the summers by U.S. troops stationed in Florida. In 1885, the land was again purchased by the Army at which to station ten army companies.
During World War I, Fort McPherson was used as a camp for Imperial German Navy prisoners of war and as a training site for the Active Army and Georgia National Guard. A rifle Range was operated along the ridge where current Stanton road now exists. The Deploying officers and NCO’s surveyed the local civil war entrenchments parallel to the Railroad along Utoy Creek to learn about trench warfare.
During the General Textile Workers Strike in 1934, this fort was used as a detention center to hold picketers who had been arrested while striking at a cotton mill in Newnan, Georgia.
Fort McPherson’s nearest Army neighbor, and its sub-post, is Fort Gillem,previously established as the Atlanta Army Depot in 1941, is located in Forest Park, Georgia, approximately 11 miles to the southeast. Fort Gillem was a logistical support base, housing some Army, Department of Defense, and other government agencies. Those units include the First Army, the U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange Distribution Center, the Military Entrance Processing Station, and the U.S. Army Second Recruiting Brigade. Fort Gillem also hosts the only crime lab of the U.S. Army. Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem shared most common services. Fort Gillem is now a military enclave following Fort McPherson’s closing due to the 2005 BRAC commission.
In 2007, there were 2,453 active duty soldiers and 3,784 civilian employees at both forts, with a total active duty and civilian employee payroll of $529,874,972.
With only 102 family quarters and 272 single soldier billets at Fort McPherson, and 10 family quarters at Fort Gillem, the active duty military and Department of the Army civilian employees lived in civilian housing in the surrounding Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Fayette, and Henry Counties.
Other important users of the fort facilities were the 98,700 or more Atlanta area military and naval retirees and their family members. These residents live mostly in Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Clayton, Fayette, Gwinnett, and Henry counties.
In June of 2015 Fort McPherson was purchased by actor/producer Tyler Perry to be the new home of Tyler Perry Studios