GENERAL JOHN POPE, USA - History

GENERAL JOHN POPE, USA - History


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VITAL STATISTICS
BORN: 1822 in Louisville, KY.
DIED: 1892 in Sandusky, OH.
CAMPAIGNS: New Madrid, Island No. 10, and Second Bull Run.
HIGHEST RANK ACHIEVED: Major General
BIOGRAPHY
John Pope was born on March 16, 1822, in Louisville, Kentucky. He grew up in Illinois, and entered West Point at the age 16. After graduating in 1842, he fought in the Mexican War, and was brevetted for gallantry. In July of 1861, after the Civil War began, Pope was appointed brigadier general of volunteers, and commanded the Army of the Mississippi in 1862. After capturing New Madrid, Missouri and Island No. 10, he was promoted to major general as of March 22, 1862. Although he was defeated at the Second Battle of Bull Run, he remained in control as he led his troops into the fortifications around Washington. Pope attributed the defeat to the poor performance of many of his officers, an opinion President Lincoln shared. Pope was sent to the West to take part in campaigns against Native Americans, where he remained in top positions of command until his retirement in 1886. He became known as a commentator on frontier conditions and on conflicts with the Indians. Pope died in the Old Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Sandusky, Ohio, on September 23, 1892.

John Pope (military officer)

John Pope (March 16, 1822 – September 23, 1892) was a career United States Army officer and Union general in the American Civil War. He had a brief but successful career in the Western Theater, but he is best known for his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas) in the East.

Pope was a graduate of the United States Military Academy in 1842. He served in the Mexican-American War and had numerous assignments as a topographical engineer and surveyor in Florida, New Mexico, and Minnesota. He spent much of the last decade before the Civil War surveying possible southern routes for the proposed First Transcontinental Railroad. He was an early appointee as a Union brigadier general of volunteers and served initially under Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, with whom he had a stormy relationship. He achieved initial success against Brig. Gen. Sterling Price in Missouri and then led a successful campaign that captured Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River.

Pope's success in the West inspired the Lincoln administration to bring him to the troubled Eastern Theater to lead the newly formed Army of Virginia. He initially alienated many of his officers and men by publicly denigrating their record in comparison to his Western command. He launched an offensive against the Confederate army of General Robert E. Lee, in which he fell prey to a strategic turning movement into his rear areas by Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackson. At Second Bull Run, he concentrated his attention on attacking Jackson while the other Confederate corps, under Maj. Gen. James Longstreet, executed a devastating assault into his flank, routing his army. He deflected some of the blame for the defeat by wrongfully accusing Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter of disobeying his orders. Porter was exonerated in 1879, causing much public embarrassment for Pope.

Following Manassas, Pope was banished to the Department of the Northwest far from the Eastern Theater in Minnesota, where he commanded U.S. Forces in the Dakota War of 1862. He was appointed to command the Department of the Missouri in 1865 and was a prominent and activist commander during Reconstruction in Atlanta. For the rest of his military career, he fought in the Indian Wars, particularly against the Apache and Sioux.


USS General John Pope (AP-110) - Vietnam War

General John Pope reactivated 17 August 1965 to serve again as a civilian-manned ship of MSTS, operating from San Francisco. From 1965 through 1970, she transported troops to bases in the Pacific and Far East, supporting the anti-communist struggle in Vietnam. During three consecutive months, November and December 1966, and January 1967, the General John Pope, along with the USNS General Daniel I. Sultan, transported U.S. military troops to Southeast Asia.

On 6 June 1966, elements of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment boarded the General John Pope at Oakland Army Base. Eighteen days later on 24 June 1966, the 503rd PIR disembarked at Vung Tau, South Vietnam. On 23 July 1966, elements of the 64th Transportation Company boarded the General John Pope, and departed from the Tacoma, Washington Outport Facility, arriving in Okinawa on 5 August 1966. Departing Okinawa the following day, she disembarked the 64th TC at Qui Nhon, South Vietnam on 10 August 1966.

On 20 November 1966 the first elements of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade departed the Oakland Army Base on the General Daniel I. Sultan. Two days later, on 22 November 1966, the General John Pope departed Oakland Army Base with the second of two elements of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, elements of the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the 9th Infantry Division, and the 58th Field Depot. On 12 December 1966, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade and 9th Infantry Division disembarked the General John Pope in Vung Tau, South Vietnam. Three days later, on 15 December 1966 the 58th Field Depot disembarked the General John Pope at Qui Nhon.

In early January 1967, the General John Pope returned to San Francisco Bay. On 8 January 1967, she departed Oakland Army Base with the remaining elements of the 9th Infantry Division to South Vietnam, disembarking the units at Vung Tau on 30 January 1967. In April 1967, she transported the 589th Engineer Battalion to Qui Nhon from Oakland. On 7 July 1967, the General John Pope departed U.S. Naval Base San Diego, transporting elements of the U.S. Army 244th Aviation Battalion (aerial surveillance), elements of D Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment (C Packet), and elements of the 3rd Marines, 9th Marine Regiment. On 21 July 1967, she arrived in Okinawa to disembark partial elements of the 3rd Marine Regiment. She arrived at Vung Tau on 29 July 1967 to disembark the 244th Aviation Battalion and the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment. She sailed on to Da Nang to disembark remaining elements of the 3rd Marines.

On 1 September 1967, she departed Oakland Army Base with elements of the 1st Battalion (Mechanized) 50th Infantry, reaching Okinawa on 18 September 1967. She departed Okinawa the following day and on 22 September 1967 disembarking the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry at Qui Nhon. On 1 November 1967, the General John Pope again departed Oakland Army Base with elements of the 61st Assault Helicopter Company, the 92nd Assault Helicopter Company, the 134th Assault Helicopter Company, and the 45th Military Intelligence Detachment, arriving in Okinawa on 17 November 1967 for a 24-hour layover. Departing Okinawa the following day she arrived at Qui Nhon, South Vietnam on 21 November 1967 and disembarked the 61st Assault Helicopter Company. She then departed and arrived at Cam Ranh Bay South Vietnam on Thanksgiving Day, 23 November 1967 disembarking all units.

Famous quotes related to vietnam war :

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GENERAL JOHN POPE, USA - History

John Pope, born 18 March 18 - at Louisville, KY., graduated from the Military Academy in 1842 and joined the Topographical Engineers. After serving in Florida and helping survey the northeastern boundary line between the United States and Canada, he fought gallantly at Monterey and Buena Vista during the war with Mexico. At the beginning of the Civil War he served as mustering officer at Chicago but was soon appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers. In May 1861 General Pope assumed command of the District of North and Central Missouri and forced the Confederates to retreat southward. He cooperated with Flag Officer Foot in taking New Madris and Island No. 10. Subsequently he commanded the Army of the Mississippi during the siege of Corinth, winning a promotion to Major General. He headed the newly formed Army of Virginia after the collapse of the Peninsular Campaign. He was relieved after the Second Battle of Bull Run. Following the Civil War, he served with distinction in the Indian wars. General Pope retired in 1886 and died 23 September 1892 at the Ohio Soldiers' Home near Sandusky, Ohio.

(AP-110: dp. 11,450 (It.) 1. 622'7" b. 75'6", dr. 25'6"

s. 21 k. cpl. 466 trp. 5,289 a. 4 5", 16 1.1"' 16 20mm.,

cl. General John Pope T. P2-S2-R2)

General John Pope (AP-110) was launched under a Maritime Commission contract 21 March 1943 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J. sponsored by Mrs. Charles P. Gross acquired by the Navy 2 July 1943 placed in ferry commission the same day for transfer to Baltimore for conversion to a transport by Maryland Drydock Co., and commissioned in full 5 August 1943, Captain George D. Lyon in command.

After shakedown General John Pope sailed for Newport News 5 September 1943 with over 6,000 troops and civilians bound for Greenock, Scotland and, after disembarking her passengers there, returned to Norfolk 25 September. From 6 October to 19 November she made a troop-carrying voyage to Brisbane, Australia and, after touching Townsville and Milne Bay, put in at San Francisco on the latter date. Underway again 10 December with over 5,000 troops for the Pacific fighting, General John Pope debarked them at Noumea 23 December and returned via Pago Pago to San Francisco 10 January 1944 with 2,500 veterans.

In the months that followed, General John Pope sailed in support of the giant amphibious offensive on New Guinea's northern coast, spearheaded by Rear Admiral Barhey's famed VII Amphibious Force. On a 3 month round-trip voyage out of San Francisco, beginning 23 January, she took troops to Guadalcanal, Auckland, and Noumea, and brought 1,300 men back to San Francisco D March. General John Pope then embarked another full complement of troops, including the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, and sailed 6 April for Noumea and Oro Bay' New Guinea. Returning via Noumea to embark casualties, the ship reached San Francisco 18 May 1944. During the summer of 1944 ,the far-ranging transport made two round-trip voyages from San Francisco: on the first she got underway 27 May for New Guinean ports, Guadalcanal, and the Russell Islands, debarking 3,800 men of the famous 1st Marine Division at San Diego before returning to San Francisco and on the second she departed 26 July for Honolulu and returned 8 August.

In the early fall, another voyage out of San Francisco 14 August brought General John Pope on a troop rotation run to New Guinean ports and subsequently, after embarking 5,000 Army troops at San Pedro, Calif., she sailed via Melbourne for Bombay. Nearly 4,000 fighting men, mainly troops of the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces, were embarked and delivered safely to Melbourne and Wellington before the ship moored again at San Pedro 16 January 1945.

The spring of 1945 saw a round-trip troop-carry lug voyage begin in San Francisco 26 March, which took her to Manila, Leyte, and Biak before returning 21 May. General John Pope next stood out from the Golden Gate once more 2 June 1945, this time bound for Marseilles, where 5,242 troops were embarked and taken to Manila. The transport returned to Seattle 17 August following this long voyage, but she was underway again 11 days later via Ulithi, Cebu, and Leyte for Yokohama, returning to San Francisco 8 October with over 5,000 veterans.

From 19 October 1945 to 7 May 1946, four more "MagicCarpet" and troop rotation voyages were made, two from San Francisco and two from Seattle, to the Philippines and Yokohama. Finally, missions accomplished, General John Pope departed San Francisco 15 May bound for New York, where she decommissioned 12 June 1946 and was returned to WSA.

Reinstated on the Navy List 20 July 1950 General John Pope was assigned to MSTS 1 August. During the Korean fighting she carried American troops to Japan and Korea to take part in the giant effort to hold back Communist aggression. Following the war, General John Pope continued to sail to Japanese and Korean ports on troop rotation duties, finally being placed in reduced operational status at Seattle 14 May 1955. The veteran transport was returned to the Maritime Administration and entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Wash., 5 September 1958.

General John Pope reactivated 17 August 1965 to serve again as civilian-manned ship of MSTS, operating from San Francisco. She carries troops to bases in the Pacific and Far East, supporting the fight to stop Communist aggression in Vietnam. Mid-1967 found this veteran transport still performing this vital duty, and scheduled to continue to support the fight for freedom in southeast Asia.


Largest Mass Execution in US History: 150 Years Ago Today

December 26, 2012

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December 26, 1862: thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota, in the largest mass execution in US history–on orders of President Abraham Lincoln. Their crime: killing 490 white settlers, including women and children, in the Santee Sioux uprising the previous August.

The execution took place on a giant square scaffold in the center of town, in front of an audience of hundreds of white people. The thirty-eight Dakota men “wailed and danced atop the gallows,” according to Robert K. Elder of The New York Times, “waiting for the trapdoors to drop beneath them.” A witness reported that, “as the last moment rapidly approached, they each called out their name and shouted in their native language: ‘I’m here! I’m here!’ ”

Lincoln’s treatment of defeated Indian rebels against the United States stood in sharp contrast to his treatment of Confederate rebels. He never ordered the executions of any Confederate officials or generals after the Civil War, even though they killed more than 400,000 Union soldiers. The only Confederate executed was the commander of Andersonville Prison—and for what we would call war crimes, not rebellion.

Minnesota was a new frontier state in 1862, where white settlers were pushing out the Dakota Indians—also called the Sioux. A series of broken peace treaties culminated in the failure of the United States that summer to deliver promised food and supplies to the Indians, partial payment for their giving up their lands to whites. One local trader, Andrew Myrick, said of the Indians’ plight, “If they are hungry, let them eat grass.”

The Dakota leader Little Crow then led his “enraged and starving” tribe in a series of attacks on frontier settlements. The “US-Dakota War” didn’t last long: After six weeks, Henry Hastings Sibley, first governor of Minnesota and a leader of the state militia, captured 2,000 Dakota, and a military court sentenced 303 to death.

Lincoln, however, was “never an Indian hater,” Eric Foner writes in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. He did not agree with General John Pope, sent to put down a Sioux uprising in southern Minnesota, who said “It is my purpose utterly to exterminate the Sioux if I have the power to do so.” Lincoln “carefully reviewed the trial records,” Foner reports, and found a lack of evidence at most of the tribunals. He commuted the sentences of 265 of the Indians—a politically unpopular move. But, he said, “I could not afford to hang men for votes.”

The 265 Dakota Indians whose lives Lincoln spared were either fully pardoned or died in prison. Lincoln and Congress subsequently removed the Sioux and Winnebago—who had nothing to do with the uprising—from all of their lands in Minnesota.

Mankato today is a city of 37,000 south of Minneapolis, notable for its state university campus, which has 15,000 students. In Mankato, which has heretofore neglected its bloody past, a new historical marker is being erected at the site of the scaffold, at a place now called Reconciliation Park. The marker, a fiberglass scroll, displays the names of the thirty-eight Dakota who were executed.

The Minnesota History Center in St. Paul is currently featuring an exhibit titled “Minnesota Tragedy: The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.” “You can’t turn your head from what is not pretty in history,” said Stephen Elliott, who became the director of the Minnesota Historical Society last May after twenty-eight years at Colonial Williamsburg. He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Whatever we do, it’s not going to somehow heal things or settle it.” The impressive state-of-the-art exhibit includes the views of both white settlers and Indians, voices from the past as well as the present. “Visitors are encouraged to make up their own minds about what happened and why,” the official guide declares. The website and online video are particularly impressive.

The mass execution of the Dakota Indians isn’t the only fact missed in the Lincoln biopic. Check out Jon Wiener on “The Trouble with Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln.’”

Jon Wiener Twitter Jon Wiener is a contributing editor of The Nation and author of Conspiracy in the Streets: The Trial of the Chicago Seven.


John Pope (March 16, 1822-September 23, 1892)

Early Life

John Pope was born in Louisville, Kentucky into the family of Nathaniel Pope, "a prominent Illinois judge who was also a close friend of Abraham Lincoln," on March 16, 1822 (Frederiksen 1541).

Pre-Civil War
Entering the Military Academy at West Point in 1838, Pope graduated from the institution seventeenth in his class of fifty-six students as a second lieutenant in the Topographical Engineers. His first assignment was surveying the United States-Canadian border, until the outbreak of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) when he was stationed in Texas under General Zachary Taylor.

While participating in the war with Mexico, Pope quickly earned promotions, rising through the ranks. He gained the rank of first lieutenant for his actions at the Battle of Monterrey (September 21-24, 1846) and then the rank of captain following the Battle of Buena Vista (February 22-23, 1847). After the conclusion of the war with Mexico, Pope returned to his surveying duties, notably "[demonstrating] the navigability of the Red River" and working as the chief engineer of the Department of New Mexico from 1851-1853 (Frederiksen 1542). After his work with New Mexico, he began assessing a route for the new Pacific Railroad until the eruption of the War Between the States in 1861.

Civil War
In January of 1861, after Abraham Lincoln was elected, "[Pope] was still a Captain when the rebellion broke out, and was one of the officers appointed by the War Department to escort President Lincoln to Washington" from Illinois (Harper's Weekly). At first, Pope offered his services to President Lincoln as an aide, but his military experience was needed on the battlefield and he received an appointment and promotion to brigadier general of volunteers in June, where he prepared and organized recruits in Illinois for service in the brewing conflict.

In July, Pope served under Major General John C. Frémont in Missouri, whose jurisdiction was Union territory west of the Mississippi. After a short time, Pope was given command of the District of North and Central Missouri as well as part of the operations through the Mississippi River.

Pope did not have a good relationship with his commanding officer, Maj. General Frémont, and actively worked to have Frémont removed from command, which Frémont discovered. These actions widely marred Pope's reputation and many saw Pope as "[s]omewhat of a braggart by nature" (Frederiksen 1542). Frémont was ultimately replaced by Major General Henry W. Halleck on November 2, 1861, who took notice of Pope after his capture of about 1,200 of Confederate General Sterling Price's troops in Blackwater, Missouri.

Pope was then given command of the Army of the Mississippi, about 25,000 troops on February 25, 1862. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard fortified Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River at the Kentucky Bend, which was adjacent to the Confederate-held city of New Madrid. Pope swooped down on New Madrid on February 28, 1862, and on March 3 rd he laid siege to the city, capturing it on May 14 th .

Once Pope gained control of the city, they turned their attention to Island Number 10, taking advantage of portions of the Union Navy's ironclad fleet to bombard and overwhelm the island. "The siege might have been indefinitely prolonged but for "a transverse movement" undertaken by General Pope. He cut a canal through the swamp and bayou, through which a gun-boat and transports were sent to him from above. This enabled him to cross the river, and to bag the entire rebel army at Island No. 10" (Harper's Weekly). Brigadier General William W. Mackall surrendered the Confederate control of Island Number 10-including the 7,000 troops stationed there-on April 8 th . This victory, directed by Pope, led to significant victories along the Mississippi, which also led to Pope's promotion to major general.

In June of 1862, Pope was given command of the Union Army of Virginia-fresh from setbacks during the Shenandoah Valley campaign-though when Frémont discovered that he would be subordinate to Pope, he resigned his commission and Pope was subsequently promoted to brigadier general in the regular Federal Army. When he took command, he distributed a message attempting to boost the morale of his troops:

"Let us understand each other. I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary and to beat him when he was found whose policy has been attack and not defense. In but one instance has the enemy been able to place our Western armies in defensive attitude. I presume that I have been called here to pursue the same system and to lead you against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so, and that speedily. I am sure you long for an opportunity to win the distinction you are capable of achieving. That opportunity I shall endeavor to give you. Meantime I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases, which I am sorry to find so much in vogue amongst you. I hear constantly of "taking strong positions and holding them," of "lines of retreat," and of "bases of supplies." Let us discard such ideas. The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the enemy. Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before us, and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance, disaster and shame lurk in the rear. Let us act on this understanding, and it is safe to predict that your banners shall be inscribed with many a glorious deed and that your names will be dear to your countrymen forever"-(Martin 35)

Furthermore, Pope ordered that citizens working against the Union were to be shot as spies, infuriating the Confederate military. General Robert E. Lee took it upon himself to defeat Pope, and added General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's forces to take on Pope. "The rebels became so furious with him that they denounced him by general order, in which they declared that if he or any of his officers were taken prisoners, they would be treated as common felons. Instead of being cowed by such an announcement, it, only added vigor to his al-ready vigorous plans" (Harper's Weekly). Jackson's troops overwhelmed the forces of Major General Nathaniel Banks at the Battle of Cedar Mountain (or Slaughter Mountain-August 9, 1862).

Lee then took out Pope's base of supply at Manassas Station, diverting Pope to eventually encounter the combined forces of Generals Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson at the Second Battle of Manassas, or the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28-30, 1862), which was a decisive Confederate victory.

Pope was blamed for the appalling defeat, and indignantly denied wrongdoing, placing blame on a subordinate officer, Major General Fitz John Porter, who was discharged after a court-martial. Pope was not safe from repercussions, however. He was relieved of command on September 21, 1862 and General McClelland's Army of the Potomac absorbed the Army of Virginia within a fortnight. Following his disgrace, Pope was relegated to command of the Department of the Northwest in Minnesota, managing conflicts with the Sioux, where he remained until the close of the war.

Post Civil War

In 1867, Pope took command of the Third Military District, headquartered in Atlanta, where he "[issued] orders allowing blacks to serve on juries, ordering Mayor James Williams to remain in office another year, and banning city advertising in newspapers that don't favor reconstruction" (http://www.city-book.com/Overview/history/history3.htm). At the end of the year, President Andrew Johnson removed Pope from Atlanta in lieu of General George G. Meade.

In 1879 Pope was further embarrassed when General Fitz John Porter was exonerated from wrongdoing and that the defeat at Manassas was due to Pope's lack of information.

He then commanded the Department of the Missouri from 1870-1883, continuing the work he began in Minnesota. He retired from the military in 1886, and died outside Sandusky, Ohio on September 23, 1892.


The Worst Civil War Union Generals

Union Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler. As military governor of New Orleans in 1862, Butler engaged in corrupt and unethical practices. “Beast Butler,” as the Southerners called him, was an inept military commander as shown by his poor generalship at Big Bethel in 1861 and later as commander of the Army of the James in 1863-1864. At Bermuda Hundred, Butler proved himself totally incapable of brushing aside a thin screen of Confederates under General P.G.T. Beauregard that kept his two corps contained. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant could not wait to remove him from command.

Union Maj. Gen. John Pope. Pope was the subject of derision by his enemies and also many of his own men. Lincoln transferred Pope from the West to the East in summer 1862 to command the newly created Army of Virginia, which was tasked with covering northern Virginia while Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan campaigned on the Virginia Peninsula. Pope issued a pompous introductory address to his troops on July 14, 1862, which was full of self-praise but lacking little appreciation for his opponents’ military skills. The Kentuckian led his army straight into a trap at Second Manassas and was crushed by General Robert E. Lee’s powerful army.

Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside. Burnside’s failures are some of the most infamous of the conflict, and some consider him one of the worst Civil War generals on both sides of the conflict. He seemed to have no tactical gifts whatsoever. At the Battle of Antietam in September 1862, he dithered all day on the Union left flank failing to brush aside Toombs’ Brigade with his IX Corps. His failure is memorialized by the bridge on the battlefield that bears his name to this day. As commander of the Army of the Potomac at Fredricksburg in December 1862, his frontal assault on the impregnable Confederate position resulted in the senseless death of thousands of Yankees.

Union Maj. Gen. George McClellan. Although a great logistician and strategist, he lost his nerve when victory was near in the Peninsula and Antietam campaigns. In the final battles of the Peninsula Campaign, he opted to sit out the battle on a Union gunboat in the James River, leaving battlefield command to subordinates who had more guts than he did.

Union Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks. One of President Abraham Lincoln’s political generals who was elevated above experienced West Point graduates, Banks performed poorly in the Shenandoah Valley in 1862, and afterwards with the Army of the Gulf where he failed utterly in the Red River Campaign in 1864. “One damn blunder from beginning to end,” said Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman of the Red River Campaign.

Union Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel. The German-born general put in poor performances in summer 1864 in the Shenandoah Valley where he was first defeated by Maj. Gen. John Breckenridge at the Battle of New Market. Later that summer at Harper’s Ferry he failed to attempt to delay Early’s army as it marched on Washington.


Moving His Headquarters Up the Mississippi

By February 21, Pope, deciding the Southerners were not going over to the offensive, moved his headquarters 30 miles up the Mississippi to Commerce, Mo. This put the Union Army on the same side of the Mississippi as New Madrid, at the end of an old corduroy road that ran through the swamp.

The force Pope commanded could hardly be called an army. His original force was the 140 men of his personal escort. The units assigned to him were green and untrained, many not receiving their arms until they were about to cross the river. In three days he was able to report to Halleck: “There are now here nine regiments of infantry, one battery Eleventh Ohio, and six companies of the First U.S. Infantry, about 6,500 men.” Within days he had 10,000 men.


John Pope

A career United States Army officer, John Pope was appointed on June 14, 1861 to brigadier general of volunteers by President Abraham Lincoln. Pope began the war in the Western Department with command of the District of North and Central Missouri. In 1862, after relative success with a victory at Blackwater, Missouri, Major General Henry W. Halleck appointed Pope to command the Army of the Mississippi. Pope’s orders were to clear the Mississippi River in order for easy Union movement. On March 14th Pope and his army captured New Madrid, Missouri and on April 7th they captured the heavily fortified Island No. 10. Pope’s success in the Mississippi not only opened large portions of the Mississippi for the Union, but it also propelled Pope from brigadier general to major general.

In March of 1862 Pope was ordered to the East where he was placed in command of the Army of Virginia by President Lincoln. In late August 1862 Pope met with Confederate General Robert E. Lee, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and General James Longstreet at the Second Battle of Manassas in Manassas Virginia. Pope and his men were able to survive the initial blows from Lee and Jackson however, a final surprise attack by Longstreet proved to be too much. Pope’s Army of Virginia lost at Manassas on August 30th, 1862. In September Pope was relieved of command, he was transferred to the Department of the Northwest for the remainder of the war.


Primary Sources

(1) General John Pope, proclamation issued to his troops after being appointed commander of the Army of Virginia (June, 1862)

I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary, and to beat him where he was found whose policy has been attack and not defense. I presume that I have been called here to pursue the same system and to lead you against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so, and that speedily. Meantime I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases which I am sorry to find so in vogue amongst you. I hear constantly of "taking strong positions and holding them", of "lines of retreat", and of "bases of supplies". Let us discard such ideas.

(2) Carl Schurz was highly critical of General John Pope's tactics at Bull Run.

Stonewall Jackson, with a force of 26,000 men, had worked his way through Thoroughfare Gap to the north of us, had swooped all around Pope's flank, having made a march of fifty miles in thirty-six hours and pounced upon Manassas Junction, where Pope's supplies and ammunition were stored, helping himself to whatever he could use and carry off, and burning the rest. Jeb Stuart's troopers, accompanying Jackson, had even raided Pope's headquarters at Catlett's Station. It was a brilliant stroke, but at the same time most hazardous, for Pope's largely superior forces might have been rapidly concentrated against him, with Longstreet, his only support, still far away.

(3) Henry Villard worked for the New York Tribune during the American Civil War. In his memoirs he wrote about the abilities of General John Pope.

General Pope was, no doubt, an able man and good soldier, but, whether from accidental mistakes or natural incapacity to lead a large force, his performances as an independent commander never equaled his promises. He had two marked failings - first, he talked too much of himself, of what he could do and of what ought to be done and, secondly, he indulged, contrary to good discipline and all propriety, in very free comments upon his superiors and fellow commanders.

(4) Cecil D. Elby, wrote about John Pope in his book A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War.

Pope was entirely deceived and outgeneralled. His own conceit and pride of opinion led him into these mistakes. On the field his conduct was cool, gallant, and prompt.


Watch the video: The Election of Pope John Paul II October 16, 1978


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