endangered the success of the movement, that Grant
was authorized to name another commander, or to assume the command himself.
To avoid unpleasant results, which might have arisen from superseding McClernand
, to whom he wished to give the command, he assumed it himself, and retained McClernand
in command of his own corps.
But the latter, while not a very efficient officer, was still insubordinate and troublesome, boastful and obnoxious to his fellow-officers.
Finally his spirit of braggadocio led him to exaggerate what he was doing during one of the fierce assaults in the rear of Vicksburg
, to claim successes which he had not gained, and to ask for support which involved an unnecessary sacrifice of life.
And to crown this, he published a bombastic address to his corps, in which he recounted all its gallant deeds to his own glory, and the disparagement of other corps and commanders.
This unsoldierly conduct justly incensed other officers, and McClernand
was at once relieved of his command, which he had obtained through political influence, and in the exercise of which the good of the country was made subordinate to his own glorification.
But for Grant
's patience and forbearance, he would have been sooner relieved for other reasons.
The movement against Vicksburg
was one of the greatest importance.
Its object was to open the Mississippi
, in order not only to secure that majestic line of communication with the sea, and with the Union
forces at its mouth, but to divide the rebel confederacy in twain, and to cut off the rebel armies in the east from one of their chief sources of supply.
It was a movement