[Note: The following is one chapter of a larger work, entitled “1863”
an epic poem on the ‘Turn of Events’ at that time, from two major events
of that year: Vicksburg and Gettysburg.
Several sources have been used and are acknowledged.]
McClernand had sided with William T. Sherman
at Milliken’s Bend, on being rebuffed.
What happened to Sherman, and to his men,
the previous week at Chickasaw Bluffs
was not his fault, but Grant’s all alone –
He failed to help as promised and leaving
Sherman to fighting and doing the bleeding.
The fault was Grant’s, and all on his own.
Two thousand men we lost up the Yazoo,
the recruits he was saving at Cairo.
Grant had snatched them, from under his nose,
and sent them to battle and die in the droves.
He then sent a letter to Edwin M. Stanton,
to supersede Grant there and then.
Such were the machinations of many,
by those both in and out of the army.
Self-aggrandizement, internal back-stabbing,
Lincoln’s whole army was slowly back-sliding.
And the media made the matters much worse,
where Grant, for some reason, had everyone’s curse.
The rumors were rampant: “He’s drinking again.”
“But, whatever he’s drinking,” said Lincoln,
“please give to my men.
He fights. I can’t spare him.”
Grant’s saving favor was Lincoln, who thought
that none of the generals shared the same sight –
To win at a war, the war first must be fought.
McClernand moved forward, assuming command,
re-naming the army, Mississippi.
Next, the attack on Arkansas land,
a Confederate post, Fort Hindman.
When Grant got the wind on General McClernand,
he wired to Halleck, in Washington.
“McClernand appears to abandon Vicksburg,
which is our primary mission.”
And Halleck reverted: “You hereby are ordered
relieve him of his command.
The Vicksburg expedition is our main mission,
by yourself, someone else, not him.”
Now Grant had the power to win his first war,
with McClernand, with whom he would purge;
then turn his attention to the original intention:
The public war, and a move onto Vicksburg.
©2013, Marvin Loyd Welborn
30 July 2013
Poem’s Score: 0.6