Major General John Pope
Army of Virginia Commander
Major General John Pope commanded the Union Army of Mississippi that captured New Madrid, Missouri and fortified Island No. 10. This success gave him the opportunity to command the newly organized Army of Virginia. It was concentrated in Northern Virginia while Major General McClellan threatened Richmond with his Peninsula Campaign.
General Pope was very self-assured. He proclaimed to his new army, "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." While General Pope's troops engaged General Robert E. Lee's troops along the Rappahannock River, Major General "Stonewall" Jackson marched around the Union Army and cut their supply lines at Manassas Junction. General Pope then marched his army to meet General Jackson. The Confederate Army had established excellent defensive positions at the site of the First Battle of Manassas or Bull Run. The Second Battle of Manassas began on August 28, 1862 with neither side gaining a quick victory. When 30,000 Confederate reinforcements under General Lee arrived on August 30, the battle turned in their favor. General Pope was blamed for the defeat, and he was removed from his command. He was sent to Minnesota to handle a Sioux uprising. He retired from the United States Army in 1886.
John Pope was born in Louisville, Kentucky on March 16, 1822. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1822. He bravely fought in the Battles of Monterrey and Buena Vista during the Mexican War. He died in Sandusky, Ohio on September 23, 1892.
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