with the means at my command, without interference with the assignments to command which the President alone was authorized to make, made me tolerate General McClernand long after I thought the good of the service demanded his removal. It was only when almost the entire army under my command seemed to demand it that he was relieved.
The inclosed letters show the feelings of the army corps serving in the field with the Thirteenth Corps. The removal of General McClernand from the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps has given general satisfaction, the Thirteenth Army Corps sharing, perhaps, equally in that feeling with the other corps of the army. My action in the relieving of Major General John A. McClernand from the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps and the assignment of Major General E. O. C. Ord to that command I trust will meet the approval of the President. *
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
[Inclosure Number 1.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, near Vicksburg, MISS., June 17, 1863.
Major General John A. McClernand,
Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Inclosed I send you what purports to be your congratulatory address to the Thirteenth Army Corps. I would respectfully ask if it is a true copy. If it is not a correct copy, furnish me one by bearer, as required both by regulations and existing orders of the Department.
U. S. GRANT,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Number 72
Battle-field, in rear of Vicksburg, May 30, 1863.
COMRADES: As your commander, I am proud to congratulate you upon your constancy, valor, and successes. History affords no more brilliant example of soldierly qualities. Your victories have followed in such rapid succession that their echoes have not yet reached the country. They will challenge its grateful and enthusiastic applause. Yourselves striking out a new path, your comrades of the Army of the Tennessee followed, and a way was thus opened for them to redeem previous disappointments. Your march through Louisiana, from Milliken's Bend to New Cartage and Perkins' plantation, on the Mississippi River, is one of the most remarkable on record. Bayous and miry roads, threatened with momentary inundation, obstructed your progress. All these were overcome by unceasing labor and unflagging energy. The 2,000 feet of bridging which was hastily improvised out of materials created on the spot, and over which you passed, must long be remembered as a marvel. Descending the Mississippi still lower, you were the first to cross the river at Bruin's Landing and to plant our colors in the State of Mississippi below Warrenton. Resuming the advance the same day, you pushed on until you came up to the enemy near Port Gibson. Only restrained by the darkness of night, you hastened to attack him on the
*See also McClernand to Halleck, June 27, p. 165.