On the 22nd, in pursuance of the order from the commander of the department, you assaulted the enemy's defenses in front at 10 a. m., and within thirty minutes had made a lodgment and planted your colors upon two of his bastions. This partial success called into exercise the highest heroism, and was only gained by a bloody and protracted struggle; yet it was gained, and was the first and lahieved anywhere along the whole line of our army. For nearly eight hours, under a scorching sun and destructive fire, you firmly held your footing, and only withdrew when the enemy had largely massed their forces and concentrated their attack upon you. How and why the general assault failed, it would be useless now to explain. The Thirteenth Army Corps, acknowledging the good intentions of all, would scorn indulgence in weak regrets and idle criminations. According justice to all, it would only defend itself. If, while the enemy was massing to crush it, assistance was asked for by a diversion at other points, or by re-enforcement, it only asked what in one case Major-General Grant had specifically and peremptorily ordered, namely, simultaneous and persistent attack all along our lines until the enemy's outer works should be carried, and what, in the other, by massing a strong force in time upon a weakened point, would have probably insured success.
Comrades, you have done much, yet something more remains to be done. The enemy's odious defenses still block your access to Vicksburg. Treason still rules that rebellious city, and closes the Mississippi River against rightful use by the Illinois who inhabit its sources and the great Northwest. Shall not our flag float over Vicksburg? Shall not the great Father of Waters be opened to lawful commerce? Methinks the emphatic response of one and all of you is, "It shall be so. " Then let us rise to the level of a crowning trial. Let our common sufferings and glories, while uniting as a band of brothers, rouse us to new and surpassing efforts. Let us resolve upon success, God helping us.
I join with you, comrades, in your sympathy for the wounded and sorrow for the dead. May we not trust, nay, is it not so, that history will associate the martyrs of this sacred struggle for law and order, liberty and justice, with the honored martyrs of Monmouth and Bunker Hill?
JOHN A. McClernand,
[Inclosure Number 2.]
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, near Vicksburg, MISS., June 13, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Major-General Grant's dispatch to General McClernand in relation to his address to the officers and soldiers of the Thirteenth Army Corps. The major-general commanding was absent at the time of its receipt, and has not yet returned.
I hasten to comply with the order of General Grant by inclosing a correct copy of the address.
Your most obedient servant,
WALTER B. SCATES,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
11 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. I