Union General John A. McClernand and the Politics of Command


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About the Book

John A. McClernand was a career politician, and those ambitions and qualities continued during his Civil War service. A member of the Illinois General Assembly and a U.S. Representative for 10 years, McClernard was connected to other prominent figures of the time such as Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. However, he is best known for his rivalry with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and this biography balances McClernard’s political career with his military leadership and his place in the Union command structure.

About the Author(s)

Christopher C. Meyers is professor of American history at Valdosta State University. He has contributed articles to The Georgia Historical Quarterly, The Journal of Southwest Georgia History, Columbiad and edited a volume on Georgia history.

Bibliographic Details

Christopher C. Meyers
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 7 photos, 5 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5960-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6196-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Introduction      1

1. Glory Hunting in Illinois      5
2. Congressman from Illinois      18
3. The Sectional Conflict      30
4. The Secession Crisis      47
5. “Three Cheers for the Union”: Belmont      61
6. “The Death-Knell of Rebellion Is Sounded”: Forts Henry and Donelson      73
7. Into the Confederate Heartland      88
8. The Mississippi Expedition      102
9. “We Have Disposed of This Tough Little Nut”:
The Arkansas Post/Fort Hindman Campaign      119
10. “Warriors Stripped for the Conflict”: Vicksburg and Removal      132
11. Recriminations, Red River, Resignation      150
12. The Politics of Command      158

Epilogue      169
Appendix: Organization of Troops Commanded by General John A. McClernand      173
Chapter Notes      177
Bibliography      199
Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

“supplies buffs with well-grounded debating points”—Booklist; “breathes life into the wilting field of Civil War military biography…promises to make historians pause and reflect upon the untold importance of McClernand as a meteoric figure of the Civil War”—H-Net Reviews; “presents a biography of this notoriously arrogant and ill-tempered Illinois politician and Civil War general. Arguing that McClernand’s real value to the Union Military cause lay in his prominence as a Democratic party politician and his ties to Stephen Douglas, this work examines his pre-war political career in order to create a more balanced portrait of the general and to discuss the ways in which McClernand politicized the war. The volume includes numerous black and white photographs and maps”—Reference & Research Book News.