War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0167 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

Search Civil War Official Records

and my attention and best efforts were due to what was transpiring in the field; besides, sent or unsent, outside of the purpose mentioned, the order effected nothing.

The real motive for so unwarranted an act was hostility - personal hostility-growing out of the early connection of my name with the Mississippi River expedition and your assignment of me to the command of it. This feeling subsequently became intensified by the contrast made by my success at Arkansas Post with General Grant's retreat from Oxford and his repulse at Chickasaw Bayou, and, later still, more intensified by the leadership and success of my corps during the advance from Milliken's Bend to Port Gibson, to Champion's Hill, and to Big Black. In all these battles my corps led the advance and bore the brunt; indeed, I made the dispositions for the battles of Port Gibson and Champion's Hill, also for the battle of Big Black, which was fought on our part alone by me own corps.

During May 19, 20, 21, and 22, I lost 1,487 men killed and wounded before Vicksburg in fruitless attempts to carry the enemy's works, in obedience to General Grant's orders-orders which, under the circumstances, were incapable of execution.

On the 22nd, I was the first to attack. I made the only lodgments; held them all day under a scorching sun and wasting fire, while the corps on my right, sustaining repulse, left the enemy to mass upon me. Yet, so far as I have seen, the only dispatch from General Grant noticing me or the Thirteenth Army Corps placed me in the position of bringing up the rear.

The fact that McPherson and Sherman gained the lead for a day or two by reason of the temporary substitution of Jackson for Edwards Station as the objective point of the army's movements, was the occasion for a statement calculated to induce the belief that I was uniformly in the rear. All this, however, is but consistent with the motive that censured me for the Arkansas expedition, which, fortunately for me and the country, terminated in the fall of Post Arkansas, and the attempt to charge me with the failure at Chickasaw Bayou, which occurred before I took command of the Mississippi River expedition.

I ask, in justice, for an investigation of General Grant's and my conduct as officers from the battle of Belmont to the assault of the 22nd upon Vicksburg, inclusive; and meantime, until the public service will allow the investigation, that I be restored to my command, at least until the fall of Vicksburg. General Grant cannot consistently object to the latter, because only two days before my discussion he made my command larger than the Fifteenth and SEVENTEENTH Army Corps combined by the addition of one DIVISION certainly and two others contingently,, thus in an emergency, notwithstanding his personal feelings, testifying his confidence in my fidelity and capability. Please early advise me of the determination of the Government in the premises.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McClernand,


SPRINGFIELD, ILL., June 30, 1863.


President of the United States:

Major-General McClernand arrived here on the 26th instant. He has been received by the people here with the greatest demonstrations of