War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0332 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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Black [sic], but, reaching him after your order reached him, he understood it to be a revocation by your authority, by your previous order. Taking it for granted that he would be controlled by the order directly emanating from you, I did not deem it necessary to write to him in explanation; even if I had done so, it would not have availed to stop him, as he had come some distance in this direction before I received notice of your order. I think, however, from the general's representation, that no hostile movement threatens our rear; he knew of none; besides, he left two companies behind at the railroad bridge. Cannot his DIVISION, or part of it, be permitted to take part in the assault to-morrow? He awaits your order, an officer being sent back to halt his command until you are hear from. Any communications you may be pleased to send will be forwarded to him.

General Hovey suggests that only one bridge should be preserved at the Big Black, and that the one nearest to the railroad bridge.

I am close up to the enemy's works all along my line. Have lost in killed and wounded a number of men to-day, but have silenced most all the guns in my front. I propose to assault the enemy's works in the morning, and have made arrangements with that view.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McClernand.

HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS.

Near Vicksburg, May 20, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I have the honor to communicate the following, viz: In my front we have met a formidable line of earth works chiefly square redoubts or lunettes, connected together by a line of rifle-pits, and the whole line in a very commanding position. Moreover, I am informed from various sources that they have two lines of defense in the rear of the one I am now attacking. I do not think the position can be carried with our present extended lines. In my opinion a change of the plan of attack and the concentration of our forces on some particular point or points would give better assurance of success. Otherwise, perhaps, a siege becomes the only alternative.

With respect, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McClernand

HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

In the Field, near Vicksburg, MISS., May 20, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I have suffered considerable loss, but am pressing for a sharp engagement up to the enemy's works. I hear nothing on the right or center.

JOHN A. McClernand

HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

In the Field, near Vicksburg, May 20, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT:

GENERAL: General Smith is within some hundred yards of the works. He says McPherson should advance on his right.

Very respectfully,, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McClernand.