I received the following telegram from Gen. Halleck. By direct order of the President, I am to give Gen. McClernand a command and allow him to participate in the expedition on Vicksburg.
WASHINGTON, December 18, 1862-10.30 a.m.
Major General U. S. GRANT:
The troops in your department, including those from Curtis’ command, which join down-river expedition, will be divided into four army corps. It is the wish of the President that General McClernand’s corps shall constitute a part of the river expedition and that he shall have the immediate command under your direction.
H. W. HALLECK,
I wrote Gen. McClernand,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Oxford, Miss., December 18, 1862.
Major General JOHN A. McCLERNAND:
GENERAL: I have been directed this moment by telegram from the General-in-Chief of Army to divide the forces of this department into four army corps, one of which is to be commanded by yourself, and that to form a part of the expedition on Vicksburg.
i have draughted the order and will forward it to you as soon as printed. The division now commanded by Brigadier General George W. Morgan and Brigadier General A. J. Smith will compose all of it that will accompany you on the expedition, and the divisions of Brigadier General F. Steele and Brigadier General M. L. Smith will accompany you, and will be commanded directly by Major General W. T. Sherman, who will command the army corps of which they are a part. Written and verbal instructions have been given General Sherman, which will be turned over to you on your arrival at Memphis.
I hope you will find all the preliminary preparations completed on your arrival and the expedition ready to move.
I will co-operate with the river expedition from here, commanding this portion of the army in person.
Major-General Hurlbut will have command of the Third Army Corps, most of which is here with me. He will therefore be directed to report immediately to these headquarters for orders.
The instructions now with General Sherman provide for the garrison of Memphis, and forms part of the Second Army Corps.
The District of Columbus is attached to your command, but for the present will report direct to these headquarters and will receive orders direct also.
It is desirable that there should be no delay in starting. If unforeseen obstacles should be in your way, however, inform me of it by messengers to Columbus and by telegraph from there. Also send me a field return of your entire command – that is, of the river expedition – before starting.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 7, p 61-62
O.R., I, xvii, part 1, p 476
O.R., I, xvii, part 2, p 425