On Monday, October 20, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln ordered General John A. McClernand of Illinois, a close personal friend and political ally, to recruit a force from Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa which would conduct operations against Confederate held Vicksburg, Mississippi. Four days earlier General Ulysses Grant had been appointed commander of the Department of Tennessee, which gave Grant command against Vicksburg.
Lincoln’s appointment of McClernand would result in continuing friction and many charges and countercharges between Grant and McClernand. In truth, McClernand was a classic case of the politician-in-uniform coming into conflict with career military, West Point graduates. Eventually serving as the senior Union corps commander in Grant's army for the Vicksburg Campaign, McClernand would be relieved of his command for his intemperate and unauthorized communication with the press.