Minty cdv of Union General John McClernand. Anthony, NY photographers b/m.
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McClernand, John A., major-general, was born near
Hardinsburg Ky., May 30, 1812. He moved with his mother, after
the death of his father in 1816, to Shawneetown,Ill., where he
was brought up on a farm, studied law, and was admitted to the
bar in 1832. In the same year he volunteered for the Black
Hawk war, and on his return engaged in trade for a time, and
then, in 1835, established at Shawneetown a paper called the
"Democrat," which he edited, at the same time practicing law.
He was a representative in the state legislature, 1836-42, and
was appointed by the legislature commissioner and treasurer of
the Illinois & Michigan canal. He was a presidential elector
on the Van Buren and Johnson ticket in 1840, and was a
Democratic representative in Congress in 1843-51, and again in
1859-61. He resigned his seat in the 37th Congress to enter
the United States volunteer army, and with N. B. Buford, John
A.Logan and Philip B. Fouke he raised the McClernand brigade
and was appointed by President Lincoln brigadier-general, May
17, 1861. At the battle of Belmont he commanded the 1st
brigade of Grant's army, and at Fort Donelson he did good
service, commanding the right of the national line. He was
made major-general of volunteers March 21, 1862, commanded the
1st division, Army of the Tennessee at Shiloh, and in Jan.
1863, relieved Gen. Sherman in command of the expedition for
the capture of Vicksburg. He afterwards took part in the
storming and capture of Arkansas Post, and was at Port Gibson,
Champion's hill, and Big Black river, and also at the siege of
Vicksburg. He was charged by Grant with failing to support
the troops engaged in the battle of Champion's hill, and he
was relieved of his command in July, 1863 He was reinstated by
President Lincoln, Jan. 31, 1864, but resigned from the army
on account of ill health, Nov. 30, 1864, and-in 1865 resumed
his law practice in Springfield. He was circuit judge for the
Sangamon district 1870-73; chairman of the Democratic national
convention in St. Louis in 1876, and was appointed a member of
the Utah commission by President Cleveland in 1888. Gen.
McClernand died in Springfield, Ill., Sept. 20, 1890.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 8