endeavoring to obtain an independent command.
It was very desirable that the Mississippi River
should be opened its entire length.
The Union forces had opened it to Memphis
and below, but at Vicksburg
the rebels had strong fortifications, and entirely commanded the river between that place and Port Hudson
, thus maintaining their communications between the west and the east, and drawing large supplies from Louisiana
proposed to open this part of the river, and persuaded President Lincoln
to authorize him to organize a force of the new troops from the west for that purpose.
He imagined himself fully equal to the undertaking, talked boastfully, claimed the expedition as his original conception, and desired the sole command, with the idea that he should have the sole honor of its success.
, however, and others, had no such exalted opinion of McClernand
's abilities as an officer, and he was allowed to organize the expedition subject to General Grant
seemed to have more faith in Grant
than formerly, or at least placed him far above McClernand
as a soldier.
He atoned for his former injustice by allowing Grant
great freedom of action, and heartily aiding him in all his plans.
had no patent right to such a movement.
It had formed a part of Halleck
's grand plan of operations when he was commander of the Western Department; and Grant
had long ago had his eye on Vicksburg
as an objective, towards which he would have advanced had his forces been sufficient.
got ready to take command of his expedition, Grant
, with all the troops collected