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Grant & McClernand It was initially believed possible to address the relationship that existed involving military leader U.S. Grant and Congressman John A. McClernand during 1861, and include discussion of that “friendship” in the Pop Quiz item, “We Meet Again,” but there is too much material. And to understand why the relationship became strained before Battle of Shiloh, and how that strain affected the state of readiness at Pittsburg Landing, it must first be understood how the initial friendly relationship between the two men eventuated. On the face of it, the successful politician, McClernand, ten years more senior, with origins in a Southern state, and with limited experience as a Private during the Black Hawk War, has little in common with the West Point trained, but struggling since his resignation from the Army, Grant. And there does not appear to have been any pre-Civil War contact between the two men (Grant lived in Missouri until 1860) so it is safe to assume that their first encounter occurred June 1861, when finally-a-Colonel Grant permitted Illinois Congressmen Logan and McClernand to address his 21st Infantry Regiment outside of Springfield [Memoirs pages 244 – 5]. The next meeting between Grant and McClernand appears to have taken place after the Disaster at First Manassas, after McClernand had been granted permission to raise his brigade of infantry regiments (and was accorded rank of Brigadier General, junior to Brigadier General Grant.) The relationship appears to have evolved as a “friendship of convenience.” Grant needed assistance in his seniority dispute (September 1861) with Benjamin Prentiss; and McClernand – recently arrived at Cairo – was available to take command of in-arrest Prentiss’s troops in Missouri (this arrangement was suggested by Grant, but not actioned by Fremont – see Papers of USG vol.2 pages 173 – 4). With Prentiss out of the way, Grant relocated to Cairo and established his Head Quarters, District of S.E. Missouri (and benefited from Brigadier General McClernand’s presence when the opportunity to occupy Paducah presented on September 5th). While Grant took the 9th Illinois and 12th Illinois to Kentucky, McClernand remained behind with his brigade and provided defense of Cairo. Upon return from Paducah, about September 7th, District commander Grant and Post of Cairo commander McClernand had ample time to get to know each other (Grant would remain at Cairo until 21October) and during that time the communications between the two generals is cordial, supportive and frequent… in keeping with a letter sent from McClernand to U.S. Grant dated September 4th: “I will be happy to co-operate with you in all things for the good of the service” (Papers of USG vol.2 page 184). No doubt during this period of close interaction, fellow Democrats Grant and McClernand would have shared “war stories” and may have realized their similar experience as “dispatch riders” (Grant at Monterey during the Mexican War and McClernand during the recent Bull Run Campaign.) McClernand would also have details of that campaign (and Irwin McDowell) not available anywhere else. From the tone and content of the communications, it appears that Grant was “grooming McClernand to become the best Brigadier he could be” (see Papers of USG vol.2 pp. 184 – 353 and vol.3 pages 67, 88 and 123 – 125). Reports were requested by Grant, the preparation for movement of troops ordered, recommendations provided for establishment of Provost Marshal and other measures (at all times with Grant addressing McClernand as “General” or “Gen.”) The hands-on training with Grant in close proximity culminated with Grant’s brief departure on October 21st for a visit to St. Louis, leaving McClernand in acting-command of the District HQ at Cairo (Papers of USG vol.3 page 67). McClernand obviously passed that test, for on Grant’s return to Cairo he began planning for the Observation of Belmont (and put McClernand to work in helping organize transport and equipage for that expedition – Papers USG vol.3 pp. 98, 103 and 108 – 109). Papers of US Grant vol.3 pages 123 – 126 details the final preparations and orders for the Expedition against Belmont (with Brigadier General McClernand’s given pride of place as lead brigade.) Following successful completion of the raid, General Grant provides a glowing report of McClernand’s participation (page 142) and McClernand’s own report of Belmont can be read: Papers of US Grant vol.3 pages 196 – 201. After Belmont, General Grant next left McClernand in acting-command District HQ on November 18th when Grant departed on an inspection tour of Bird’s Point and Cape Girardeau and the frequent communications between the two generals remain cordial and supportive through early February 1862. Ozzy References: Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, volume one Papers of US Grant volumes 3 & 4 (pages as sited) Papers of US Grant vol.4 pages 4 (notes: Letter of 12 JAN 1862 from Hillyer) and 6, 38 49 through to page 132 typical of cordial correspondence, Grant and McClernand Personal Memoirs of John H. Brinton, Major and Surgeon