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/VGGeneral 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.
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.
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.