HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
June 18, 1863.
I have just returned. The newspaper slip is a correct copy of my congratulatory order Number 72. I am prepared to maintain its statements. I regret that my adjutant did not send you a copy promptly as he ought, and I thought he had.
JOHN A. McClernand
SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE
Number 164. near Vicksburg, MISS., June 18, 1863.
IV. Major-General McClernand is hereby relieved from the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps. He will proceed to any point he may select in the State of Illinois, and report by letter to Headquarters of the Army for orders. Major General E. O. C. Ord is hereby appointed to the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps, subject to the approval of the President, and will immediately assume charge of the same. By order of Major-General Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLING,
BATTLE-FIELD near Vicksburg, June 18, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Tennessee:
Your order relieving me and assigning Major-General Ord to the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps is received. Having been appointed by the President to the command of the corps under a definite act of Congress, I might justly challenge your authority in the premises, but forbear to do so at present. I am quite willing that any statement of facts is my congratulatory order to the Thirteenth Army Corps to which you think just exception may be taken should be made the subject of investigation, not doubting the result.
Your obedient servant,
JOHN A. McClernand,
Though the congratulatory address in question is the occasion of McClernand's removal, it is nos its cause, as McClernand intimates when he says incorrectly that General Grant has taken exceptions to this address. That cause, as I understand it, is his repeated disobedience of important orders, his general insubordinate disposition, and his palpable incompetence for the duties of the position. As I learned by private conversation, it was, in General Grant's judgment, also necessary that he should be commanders rendered it impossible that the chief command of this army should devolve upon him, as it would have done were General Grant disabled, without most pernicious consequences to the cause.
Lauman's decision, having for some days past been temporarily attached to the Thirteenth Corps, will remain under Ord's command. Herron will continue to report directly do department headquarters. Captain Comstock takes general charge of the siege works on the lines of both Lauman and Herron. The siege works here are steadily progressing on the right and center, rather in the way of enlargement of covered ways and strengthening of the lines than of direct advances. On the front of the Thirteenth Corps and the extreme left, our works constantly approach those of the enemy. On the right of our center, however, an important advantage was this morning gained by General Ransom, who during the night pushed his trenches so that at daylight his sharpshooters were able to take in reverse the whole right flank of the main rebel fort in his front, called Fort Hill. He soon drove out the enemy, killing and wounding many, and will be able to crown the rebel parapet with his artillery whenever the order is given. The rebels