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IN THE LEGISLATURE. 477
work he was soon after elected commissioner and treasurer. In 1838 the office of Lieutenant-Governor was tendered him, which he declined, as he was not yet of the constitutional age—thirty years.
In 1840 he was elected the second time to the Legislature from the county of Gallatin. During the session, Mr. McClernand, in a debate, made a statement, on the authority of Mr. Douglas, impugning the conduct of the Supreme Court, to which Judge Theophilus W. Smith took exception, and sent a challenge, which was promptly accepted. He repaired to the appointed spot but the Judge failed to make his appearance.
In 1839 he was nominated, by a State Convention, as one of the electors to support Van Burenand Johnson. In 1842 he was elected to the Legislature for the third time from Gallatin, during which session he brought forward amendments to the banking system of the State, which were finally adopted. In 1843, while still a member of the Legislature, he was elected a representative to the twenty-eighth Congress. His first speech in Congress was on the bill to refund the fine imposed on General Jackson by Judge Hall. During the same session he made speeches on the Rhode Island controversy and in favor of the repeal of the second section of the apportionment law, requiring the States to elect representatives to Congress by single districts. During this session he also brought forward, as a member of the Committee on Public Lands, a report, accompanied by a bill, for a grant of land to aid in the completion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. In 1844, owing to a change of the usual time by an act of the Legislature, another election for representatives in Congress came on and Mr. McClernand was elected without opposition. He was one of the members who insisted upon the "fifty-four forty," in the Oregon controversy, and as chairman of the Committee on Public Lands, he introduced a bill to grant to the State of Tennessee the public lands of the United States lying within her borders. During the first session of the twenty-ninth Congress, he introduced the bill to reduce and graduate the price of the public lands. At the ensuing session he took an active part in favor of the bill to bring into market the mineral regions around Lake Superior.
In 1846 he was again elected to Congress for the third time, and again without opposition. In 1848 he was re-elected, but not without opposition. In 1849, as one of the members of a select committee, he submitted a minority report defending the action of President Polk in Establishing a tariff of duties in the ports of the Mexican Republic. In 1850 he prepared and offered the first draft of the famous compromise measures of that year, and in the same session drafted the bill granting a quantity of land in aid of the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad and its Chicago branch.
In 1851 he retired from Congress riftef eight years' service and removed to Jacksonville, 111. In 1852 he was chosen a second time an elector for President, and voted for Pierce and Bang. In 1856 he removed to Springfield, 111. In 1859 he was elected from the capital district to the popular branch of Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Col. T. L. Harris.
In April, 1861, at the instance of Governor Yates, being still a member of Congress, he accompanied an armed volunteer force from Springfield to Cairo and occupied that place. While there he caused the steamers passing from St. Louis to Louisville and other intermediate points in Missouri and Kentucky, to be brought to at Cairo, and thus kept from the rebel agents a considerable quantity of arms and munitions. This was the first time the navigation of the Mississippi had been interfered with by the federal authority. While at Cairo, he informed himself intimately of the condition of affairs in the West and Southwest, and laid them before Governor Yates and the President. In July, 1861, he again took his seat in Congress, but shortly after resigned and returned to Illinois, with written authority to raise a brigade, and before the expiration of August, was ordered to Cairo by General Fremont, assuming command there on the 5th of September.
In the battle of Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh, Major-General McClernand was conspicuous throughout. His division was engaged through both days of that sanguinary conflict, and bore, without blemish, the honor of the Prairie State.
After the battle he moved his division cautiously forward, protecting it as it advanced.
On the 29th of April he was, by order of Major-General Halleck, assigned to the command of the third division of the Army of the RESIGNATION OF GEN. M'cleenand. 47&
Tennessee, Major-General Wallace's, the fifth division of the Army of the Ohio, commanded by Brigadier-General Crittenden, with the cavalry and artillery, including the siege trains, attached—these with his own division constituting the Army Corps of the Reserve. A subsequent order assigned the 5th division with one of the siege batteries to Major-General Buell. With this command he moved forward, having some skirmishing, and destroying railroad and telegraphic communication, until the pains-taking strategy of General Halleck gave his magnificent army possession of Corinth, without its army of Confederates, without its munitions or guns. From a providential point of view it is not now difficult to see that such was the best, but from a military, not so easy.
Remaining in the field until September, he was ordered to return to Springfield to assist Governor Yates in organizing the volunteers of this State enlisted under the call for 600,000 men.
Subsequently he commanded the 13th Army Corps in the expedition against Vicksburg and its surroundings. These events will hereafter be considered in their order. In January, 1863, he commanded what he denominated "The Army of the Mississippi," consisting of parts of two Corps d'armee, namely, the ] 3th, his own, and the 15th, Major-General Sherman's, in the expedition resulting in the reduction and capture of Arkansas Post, with 5,000 prisoner^, seventeen pieces of cannon, large and smally with large quantities of small arms, swords, ammunition, etc.
He commanded the 13th Corps at the siege of Vicksburg, and during it, unfortunately, the harmony subsisting between himself and General Grant was disturbed, and on the 18th of June, 1863, he was relieved of his command.
Subsequently General McClernand resigned his commission. In the presidential contest of 1864 he took part for Major-General McClellan in opposition to Mr. Lincoln.
In his address of May 31, 1863, to the 13th Corps, the General thus enumerated the doings of the Corps up to the 22d, when the unsuccessful attack was made on the defences of Vicksburg:
"head-quarters, Army Corps, ) Battle*field itf Rear os vicksBURG, May 81, 1868. )
"General Orders, No. 12. "Comrades; As your commander, I am proud to congratulate you upon your constancy, valor and success. History affords no more brilliant example of soldierly qualities. Your victories have followed in such rapid succession that their echoes have not yet reached the country. They will challenge its grateful and enthusiastic applause. Yourselves striking out a new path, your comrades of the army of Tennessee followed, and a way was thus opened for them to redeem previous disappointments. Your march through Louisiana, from Milliken's Bend to New Carthage and Pekinss' plantation, on the Mississippi River, is one of the most remarkable on record. Bayous and miry roads, threatened with momentary inundations, obstructed your progress. All these were overcome by unceasing labor and unflagging energy. The two thousand feet of bridging which was hastily improvised out of materials created on the spot, and over which you passed, must long be remembered as a marvel.
"Descending the Mississippi still lower, you were the first to cross the river at Bruin's Landing, and to plant our colors in the State of Mississippi, below Warrenton. Resuming the advance the same day, you pushed on until you came up to the enemy near Port Gibson. Only restrained by the darkness of the night, you hastened to attack him on the morning of the 1st of May, and by vigorously pushing him at all points, drove him from his position, taking a large number of prisoners and small arms, and five pieces of cannon. General Logan's division came up in time to gallantly share in consummating the most valuable victory won since the capture of Fort Donelson.
"Taking the lead, on the morning of the 2d, you were the first to enter Port Gibson, and to hasten the retreat of the enemy from the vicinity of that place. During the ensuing night, as a consequence of the victory at Port Gibson, the enemy spiked his guns at Grand Gulf and evacuated that place, retiring upon Vick&burg and Edwards' Station. The fall of Grand Gulf was solely the result of the victory achieved by the land forces at Port Gibson. The armament and public stores captured there are but just trophies of that victory.
"Hastening to bridge the south branch of the Bayou Pierre, at Port Gibson, you crossed on the morning of the 3d, and pushed on to Willow Springs, Big Sandy, and the main crossing of Fourteen Mile Creek, four miles from Edwards' Station. A detachment of the enemy was immediately driven away from the crossing, and you advanced, passed over, and rested during the night of the 12th within three miles of the enemy, in large force at the station.
"On the morning of the 13th, the objective point of the army's movements having been changed from Edwards' Station to Jackson, in pursuance of an order from the commander of the department, you moved on the north side of the Fourteen Mile Creek toward Raymond.
"This delicate and hazardous movement was executed by a portion of your number, under cover of Hovey's division, which made a feint of attack in line of battle upon Edwards' Station. Too late to harm you, the enemy attacked the rear of that division, but was promptly and decisively repulsed.
44 Resting near Raymond that night, on the morning of the 14th you entered that GEK. M'CLEKNAND IN TEXAS. 481
place, one division moving on the Mississippi Springs, near Jackson, in support of General Sherman, another to Clinton, in support of General McPherson, a third remaining at Raymond, and a fourth at Old Auburn, to bring up the army trains.
"On the 15th you again led the advance toward Edwards' Station, which once more become the objective point. Expelling the enemy's picket from Bolton the same day, you seized and held that important position.
"On the 16th you led the advance, in three columns, upon three roads against Edwards' Station. Meeting the enemy on the way in strong force, you heavily engaged him near Champion Hill, and after a sanguinary and obstinate battle, with the assistance of General McPherson's corps, beat and routed him, taking many prisoners and small arms, and several pieces of cannon.
"Continuing to lead the advance, you rapidly pursued the enemy to Edwards' Station, capturing that place, a large quantity of public stores, and many prisoners and small arms. Night only stopped you.
"At day-dawn, on the 17th, you resumed the advance, and early coming upon the enemy strongly intrenched in elaborate works, both before and behind Big Black River, immediately opened with artillery upon him, followed by a daring and heroic charge at the point of the bayonet, which put him to rout, leaving eighteen pieces of cannon and more than a thousand prisoners in your hands.
"By an early hour on the morning of the 18th, you had constructed a bridge across the Big Black, and had commenced the attack upon Vicksburg."
On the 14th of February, 1864, General McClernand assumed command of the 13th army corps, then dispersed in detachments from Brownsville, on the Rio Grande, to New Orleans and to Port Hudson, on the Mississippi River, and was dispatched to the coast of Texas. He arrived at Matagorda Island on the 18th of May, and established his headquarters there. Several days were occupied in a thorough inspection of the garrison at various points and in pleasant interviews with Cortinas. On the 18th of April he embarked with a division of the 13th corps for the Red River, in pursuance of General Banks' orders, and on the 24th arrived at Alexandria, upon which place General Banks had retired after the disastrous battle at Sabine Cross Roads. He participated in the battles attending the retreat, ordered a part of his pioneer corps to assist in constructing, the dam which relieved the gunboats. He fell sick at Alexandria, arrived at Fort De Russy, and was transferred on stretchers to the hospital boat, carried to New Orleans, and arrived at Alton on the 16th of June. In November, 1865, he tendered his resignation,
which was accepted.