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McClernand, John Alexander

John Alexander McClernand, 1812–1900, Union general in the American Civil War, b. Breckinridge co., Ky. He was admitted (1832) to the Illinois bar and sat as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives (1843–51, 1859–61). At the outbreak of the Civil War he resigned from Congress, raised a brigade of Illinois volunteers, and was made a brigadier general (May, 1861). He fought at Fort Donelson (Feb., 1862) and at Shiloh (April). Through political influence he superseded William T. Sherman (Jan. 2, 1863) in command of the river expedition in the Vicksburg campaign. After McClernand—upon Sherman's suggestion—had successfully assaulted Arkansas Post (Jan. 11), Ulysses S. Grant assumed his command. In Grant's successful advance on Vicksburg, McClernand led the 13th Corps, fighting at Port Gibson and Champion's Hill, but he was subsequently relieved (June) for insubordination. Restored to his command in Feb., 1864, he resigned his commission in November and returned to the legal profession.

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