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The general conviction here is that Pope is a failure here, and there is a belief and admission that he has not been seconded and sustained as he should have been by McClellan, Franklin, Fitz John Porter, and perhaps some others. Personal jealousies and professional rivalries, the band and curse of all armies have entered deeply into ours… Gideon Welles August 1862

The military memoirs of General John Pope  edited by Peter Cozzens and Robert I. Girardi  Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c 1998  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xviii, 287 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 243-280) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Portrait of Brig. Gen. John Pope, officer of the Federal Army (Maj. Gen. after Mar. 21, 1862)

Portrait of Brig. Gen. John Pope, officer of the Federal Army (Maj. Gen. after Mar. 21, 1862)

Union general John Pope was among the most controversial figures to hold major command during the Civil War.

Saturday August 30th 1862. Inscribed on verso: Advance of the rebel, Genl. Hills division. 30th of August 1862. In the distance is the enemies guns on the heights of Groveton. Groveton is situated to left of the middle of the sketch. Dogners [?] house in the centre. Battery in foreground captured by Penders troops. Troops in foreground part of Sch[urz]'s command. The officer on horseback may be Col. Koltes but I am not sure.

Saturday August 30th 1862. Inscribed on verso: Advance of the rebel, Genl. Hills division. 30th of August 1862. In the distance is the enemies guns on the heights of Groveton. Groveton is situated to left of the middle of the sketch. Dogners [?] house in the centre. Battery in foreground captured by Penders troops. Troops in foreground part of Sch[urz]’s command. The officer on horseback may be Col. Koltes but I am not sure.

Before being called east in June 1862 to lead the Army against General Robert E. Lee, he had compiled a mized record in Missouri and as commander of the Army of the Mississippi. After his ignominious defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run, he was sent to the frontier. Over the next twenty-four years Pope held important department commands on the western plains and was recognized as one of the army’s leading authorities on Indian affairs, but he never again commanded troops in battle.

Catletts Station where Stuart made a raid and captured Popes baggage

Catletts Station where Stuart made a raid and captured Popes baggage

In 1886, Pope was engaged by the National Tribune, a weekly newspaper published in Washington, D.C., to write a series of articles on his wartime experiences. Over the next five years, in twenty-nine installments, he wrote about the war as he had lived it. Collected here for the first time, Pope’s “war reminiscences” join the roster of memoirs written by Civil War army commanders – twenty years after the fact and to earn a crust to flesh out a miserly army pension.

Residence of Mr. Hudson, headquarters of Gen. Pope during the battle of Cedar Mountain

Residence of Mr. Hudson, headquarters of Gen. Pope during the battle of Cedar Mountain

Pope presents his review of the campaigns in which he participated and offers vivid character sketches – is a little too fawning with praise to be believed – of such illustrious figures as Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Nevertheless his memoirs, though more dramatic than accurate, are an important addition to the literature of the Civil War if only because they prove how grossly inaccurate memoirs may be and how cautious a historian should be in using them as source material.

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