Further, whether it was alone "by the judicious disposition made of this brigade under the immediate supervision of McPherson and Logan," which by consequence "drove the enemy from that part of the field," is a controverted question; for General Osterhaus' report claims that his suggestions and forces had something, nay, much to do with it, and I presume Colonel [James] Keigwin, Forty-NINTH Indiana, who is reported to have borne himself gallantly in that part of the field, also claims to have had something to do with it. The truth is, in all these battles and their preliminaries I acted, and was left to act, more or less upon my own responsibility. I moved by a forced night march from the vicinity of Bruinsburg to the battle-field of Port Gibson without orders and upon my own responsibility, and fought the battle in considerable part before General Grant came up. My object was to seize the crossings of Bayou Pierre before the enemy could gain intelligence of our approach. I thought the result justified the risk, although I was convinced that if disaster or defeat followed I would be ruined.
The victory of Port Gibson ostensibly indemnified me, although it did not avert from me the censure and injurious implications of General Grant's report, no more than the victory of Arkansas Post averted the written disapprobation of the expedition that led to it; neither did the part borne by me throughout the Mississippi campaign prevent him from removing me from the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps at the moment when the Mississippi River expedition, which I had recommended to the President and Secretary of War near a year before, was about to be crowned with success in the fall of Vicksburg.
With all these facts laid bare, and with a public life of nearly thirty years' duration in civil and military station before the public, I leave my public actions and my character, which is worth more to me than my life, for the impartial judgment of my military superiors and of the country and history.
JOHN A. McClernand,
Numbers 8. Report of Lieutenant Francis Tunica, Engineer Officer NINTH DIVISION, of operations April 17-May 24.
HDQRS. NINTH DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Big Black River Bridge, MISS., June 1, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit a report of the work executed by me since April 17, 1863.
On April 17, I received orders from you to proceed without delay to the headquarters of this DIVISION, and to report in person to Brigadier General P. J. Osterhaus for duty.
I reported to this officer on April 18, at Smith's plantation, and on the morning of the 19th marched to New Carthage, La., and established headquarters at James' plantation, on the Mississippi River.
April 20. -I made reconnaissance up to Negro, Mound, and Brushy Bayous to the so-called basin, and placed pickets about 9 miles in circumference.
April 21. -I conducted Lieutenant P. C. Hains to the basin, with the view of selecting a proper place for bridging Bayou Vidal, to enable General Hovey's command to cross this bayou. In the evening I made sketch of the result of my explorations for General Osterhaus.