War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0169 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, September 14, 1863.

Major General John A. McClernand,

Springfield, ILL.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 5th instant has been submitted to the President, who directs me to say that a court of inquiry embracing any one of the subjects specified in that letter would necessarily withdraw from the field many officers whose presence with their commands is absolutely indispensable to the service, and whose absence might cause irreparable injury to the success of operations now in active progress. For these reasons he declines at present your applications, but if here-after it can be done without prejudice to the service, he will, in view of your anxiety upon the subject, order a court.

Your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., September 28, 1863.


Failing to be restored to my command [now, as I understand, passed from General Grant's control], or to any command, and failing also to obtain a court of inquiry, no other mode of self-vindication is left to me than an official and responsible statement, which I send to you for your perusal as a matter rightfully claiming your attention, and which, in justice to myself, my children, and my friends, I propose to publish.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McClernand,


OCTOBER 9, 1863.

P. S. - Governor [Richard] Yates, having returned from Ohio without visiting Washington and delivering this note and accompanying package, I avail myself of the first opportunity to send both by mail. I also send copies of the statement of my case to the Secretary of War and the General-in-Chief.


SPRINGFIELD, ILL., September 25, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,


This paper is respectfully communicated as an official and responsible protest against portions of Major-General Grant's report of the 6th ultimo, purporting to give an account of the operations of the Army of the Tennessee in the late campaign resulting in the fall of Vicksburg. To allow that report, with its multitude of errors, inaccuracies, and imperfections to pass unnoticed by me would allow the truth of history to be jeopardied and gross injustice done not only to myself but to my comrades in arms of the Thirteenth Army Corps without an effort to prevent it. This I am unwilling should be done.

How far General Grant is indebted to the forbearance of officers under his command for his retention in the public service so long, I will not undertake to state unless he should challenge it. None know better