John Alexander McClernand
Library of Congress, image item 2018670221
Details about John Alexander McClernand
Date Period: 1812 - 1900
Year Born:
Year Died:
Brief Description: Lawyer, politician, general
Associated Illinois Cities: Springfield, Shawneetown
John Alexander McClernand

​Brought to Shawneetown, Illinois, as an infant,  John A. McClernand made a name  in law, politics, and government, serving Southern Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives from  1843 to 1851 and the Springfield area from 1859 to 1861.   McClernand formed a relationship with political opponent Abraham Lincoln; their wives, Sarah and Mary, also became friends. Republican President Lincoln appointed Democrat McClernand to important commands during the Civil War, where he served with Ulysses S. Grant. Conflict with fellow officers helped to end his military career.  McClernand returned to live in Springfield where he served as circuit court judge for three years.