Gen. Halleck: “You are hereby authorized to relieve General McClernand from command of the-expedition against Vicksburg”

Jan 13 1863.  I have received the following telegram from Gen. Halleck in Washington,

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 12, 1863.

Major-General GRANT, Memphis, Tenn.:

You are hereby authorized to relieve General McClernand from command of the-expedition against Vicksburg, giving it to the next in rank or taking it yourself.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

 

I wrote Gen. McClernand,

MEMPHIS, TENN., January 13, 1863.

Major General JOHN A. McCLERNAND,

Commanding Expedition on Vicksburg:

On the 11th instant I wrote to you disapproving of the diversion your expedition from the main object, but owing to the difficult of getting a convoy the dispatch has not yet got off. I am in receipt of yours of same date and have forwarded it to Washington. I cannot tell positively what is best for you to do; but unless there is some object not visible at this distance your forces should return to Milliken’s Bend, or some point convenient for operating on Vicksburg, and were they can co-operate with Banks should he come up the river. Banks was in New Orleans on the 16th December, and under orders to push up the river with all possible dispatch. What difficulties he may have had to encounter below I do not know, but understand that Port Hudson has been made very strong. Should he get past that place, however, it is our duty to be prepared to co-operate.

One brigade assigned to the division of Morgan L. Smith goes down to join at the same time with this. I understand also that there are still other forces down the river with the destination, but of this I am not officially informed. I will still further re-enforce with two divisions from here unless the next few days prove it to be unnecessary.

The transports in the river available for moving troops are becoming very limited i consequence of the great number now with you. You will therefore discharge any that are not absolutely necessary for your purposes and order them to report here without delay.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 7, p 210, 218-9

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, p 555, 559

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