Head Quarters Dept. of the Ten.
Before Vicksburg, Feb. 1st 1863.
COL. J. C. KELTON
A. A. GEN.
WASHINGTON D. C.
Herewith I enclose you copy of Gen. Orders No 13 from these Hd Qrs. and of correspondence between Gen. McClernand and myself growing out of it.
It is due to myself to state that I am not ambitious to have this or any other command. I am willing to do all in my power in any position assigned me.
Gen. McClernand was assigned to duty in this Dept. with instructions to me to assign him to the command of an Army Corps operating on the Miss. river and to give him the chief command under my direction. This I did, but subsequently receiving authority to assign the command to any one I thought most competant, or to take it myself I determined to at least be present with the expedition.
If Gen. Sherman had been left in command here such is my confidance in him that I would not have thought my presence necessary. But, whether I do Gen. McClernand injustice or not, I have not confidance in his ability as a soldier to conduct an expedition of the magnitude of this one successfully. In this opinion I have no doubt but I am born out by a majority of the officers of the expedition though I have not questioned one of them on the subject.
I respectfully submit this whole matter to the Gen. in Chief and the President. Whatever the decision made by them I will cheerfully submit to and give a hearty support.
I am Col. very respectfully
your obt. svt.
U. S. GRANT
Maj. Gen. Com