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Minty cdv of General John McClernand
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