HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, February 23, 1864.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf:
GENERAL: In obedience to your order of February 20, I have resumed the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps, and propose to publish the accompanying order.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
DEPT. OF THE GULF, HDQRS. 13TH A. C., Numbers 14.
New Orleans, La., February 23, 1864.
I. The undersigned hereby resumes command of the Thirteenth Army Corps, in obedience to the following order:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 46.
New Orleans, La., February 20, 1864.
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14. By direction of the President, Major General John A. McClernand, U. S. Volunteers, will relieve Major General E. O. Ord in the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps.
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By command of Major-General Banks:
RICHARD B. IRWIN,
II. All officers on staff duty at these headquarters, except Major-General Ord's personal staff, will continue inthe discharge of their present duties until otherwise ordered.
III. Comrades, in thus renewing our former relations, I cannot forbear the expression of my gratification at so welcome an event. The memories of our common trials and successes in he service of our beloved country have endeared you to me. I never will cease to admire you heroism and applaud you virtues. Arkansas Post, Richmond, New Carthage, Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, Champion's Hill, and Big Black are so many testimonials of your gallantry and good conduct. These rapid and brilliant victories, together with the triumph of Major-General Banks in reducing the stronghold of Port Hudson, reopened the Mississippi River to the pining commerce of the grateful millions who inhabit its valley. Your assaults of the 19th and 22nd of May on the defenses of Vicksburg will ever justly rank among the prodigies of military daring and constancy. All that I claimed for you in that and other respects in my congratulatory order of the 30th of last May stands unshaken by time and official scrutiny.* Indeed, as the plain and simple truth, the contents of that order have become a part of the authentic history of this war. That I was not permitted to share in the consummation of the Mississippi campaign, by leading you into Vicksburg, is my misfortune rather than my fault. My non-participation in that memorable event was involuntary and constrained, and is deeply deplored on my part.
*See Vol. XXIV. Part I, p. 159.