tv The Civil War Union General John Pope CSPAN December 16, 2021 2:00pm-3:03pm EST
allan kelso discussing the question whether the united states needs a president. then lectures on history, laura june davis talks about confederate guerilla attacks on u.s. waterways and describes pro-confederate sympathizers who sabotaged union vessels. watch saturdays on c-span 2, find a full schedule on program guide or watch anytime at cspan.org/history. >> hey everybody, my name's john tracy, one of the new members of the emerging civil war, due in no small part to the person i'm introducing today. talking about dan welsh, long time ranger at the military park where i the pleasure of working
with him. also the coauthor of the book on the gettysburg campaign, and also the coeditor of the emerging civil war 10th anniversary series, one on gettysburg, one on tolohoma and vicksburg so without too much else to say, introduce dan welsh to talk about the man we all love to hate, dan pope. here he is, the man with too many laughs and not enough free time. >> well, good evening everyone. one of the things i have not shared with a lot of you is my absolute love of the southern rock band lynyrd skynyrd, very
fortunate over the last several years to meet the plane crash survivors, visit all the graves of those who perished in 1977, heard the stories from the crew, one thing i heard as they were getting popular, a lot of the acts they would open for would talk to their tour manager and say don't let them close with free bird. we can't top that. and this would be from bands like peter frampton and the rolling stones and now i know exactly the situation they were in trying to follow gary gallagher. but in all honestly, i want to begin tonight by thanking my colleagues, sara, john, eric and all colleagues at acw. it's an honor to be back in person and have that comradery over this weekend and talk about this defining moment in american history. even more special occasion for me this evening because, you
know, growing up my superheroes didn't wear capes, it was the historians i got to meet, battles i got to go to and to talk, to be able to talk about a person like john pope tonight in a room of such notaries as greg mertz, gordon ray, gary gallagher is a true honor. so where do we begin this evening? perhaps one of the most famous moments in john pope's career. i ask you to bear with me as i read through the dynamic words written 159 years ago. this military proclamation of popes would begin with this. let us understand each other. i come to you from the west where we always seen the backs of our enemies. from an army whose business it has been to find the adversary and beat him where he is found.
in not one instance has the enemy been able to place our army's defensive attitude. i have been called here to lead you against the enemy, it is my purpose to do so and that, speedily. i'm sure you long for an opportunity to win the distinction you are capable of achieving, an opportunity i shall endeavor to give you. meantime i endeavor you to dismiss from your mind certain phrases which i find so much in vogue amongst you. i hear constantly of, quote, taking strong positions and holding them. of quote, lines of retreat, end quote, and of, quote, base of supplies. let us discard of these ideas. the the strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can easily advance against the enemy. let us study the probable lines of retreats of our opponents and
leave our own to take care of ourselves. look before us and not behind. success and glory are in advance. disaster and shame lurk in the rear. act on this understanding and it is safe to predict your banners should be inscribed with many a glorious deed and your names shall be dear to your countrymen forever. for many contemporaries of john pope and historians, this military proclamation will mark the zenith of john pope's military career in the united states army. a narrative that continues into modern works, that for everything after this military proclamation for the next several weeks, across july and august of 1862, that everything is downhill for john pope. and it will eventually lead to his banishment to the west and a fall from grace in which he will never recover.
tonight's, as we make our way through this program, and talk about the events that will lead to that fall of grace, i'm going to challenge you to think differently about this moment, in the summer of 1862, to think differently about this idea of john pope falling from grace in the eyes of the lincoln administration, in the eyes of many other commander officers in the federal armies and i'll challenge you tonight to think about that word banishment, used by popes contemporaries in 1862 and utilized by historians ever since. so where does our story begin, then? to understand john pope, and understand the events that will eventually take place in 1862, you need to understand where john pope came from. he was born in march of 1822 in louisville kentucky, son of in
you, nathaniel pope, later a prominent federal judge in the illinois territory as well. pope would receive a very strong education, would graduate from the united states military academy 17th in his class of 56 graduating in 1842, and be commissioned a second lieutenant in the core of topographical engineers, but despite this pedigree, pope has more connections that will propel him as the war breaks out all those years later. first and foremost, john pope is a collateral descendant of george washington. his uncle was united states senator from kentucky. his father is a friend of a then growing in populate illinois lawyer, perhaps you've heard of him, abraham lincoln. his brother-in-law a gentlemen by the name of manning force, these men will become best of friends and ultimately bookend our story tonight and last but
not least a distant can you see of john pope married the sister of a woman later known as mary todd lincoln. a connection with the very fabric of society and political greatness in this country as well as the ability to secure that appointment to west point. in the years upon his graduation, before the american civil war, pope will go on to serve several years in florida, help to survey the north eastern border between the united states and canada. upon the war in mexico, he'll fight under zackary taylor, at the battles of monta ray, following the mexican/american war, he works as a surveyor, goes on to demonstrate the
navigatability of the red river, would be promoted regularly all the way up to the rank of captain by 1856 and the years just before the civil war he would spend the remainder of those antebellum years serving a roet for the pacific raidroad. to say he served his country before 1861 is an under statement and the experiences he gained, training as a topographical engineer will propel him to the front of the pack as the war begins in 1861, to bring those experiences, bring that understanding of terrain and topography and commanding men on the battle field of a war that is beginning to break out. now, in the secession winter of 1861, john pope is serving white
house duty, many other would have the same privilege, one of which is gordon mead. upon the election in 1860, he would write a seven page letter to the newly elected president, starting that letter by giving a lot of advice to the president elect on the state of the united states military at the time. that takes a lot of gusto, if you will, to write a seven page letter to the newly elected president telling him your thoughts on the state of the united states military. not only give lincoln his thoughts on that, also include a warning, a caution, if you will, to be careful of some of the high ranking officers that lincoln should trust, as they might be sucessionists. it's not just advice that pope offers lincoln, not just advice included in this letter. it's a way for pope to insert himself into lincoln's inner
circle at the outset of the war. it's a personality trait, a desire for promotion that will come back into pope's career time and time again. pope believes that this letter will not only serve as an entrance way into lincoln's inner circle but put him in good graces of the future president to serve for future promotions for himself. pope will become incredulously ambitious and his never-ending desire to rise through the ranks of his profession will all link back to this moment during the secession winter of 1860, 1861, but as the war plays out this personality trait will welcome become a double-edged blade for pope, although at times advance him to the ranks he hopes to achieve, will also set him back as well. when lincoln finally gets the 7 page letter, i can only imagine opening it up, asset his home in
springfield, who is this guy sending me this letter, but lincoln reads it carefully and decides he is a promising upcoming officer so sends an invitation to john pope to be one of four officers selected to escort the president elect to washington dc. that train will leave from illinois february 1861 and pope will recall, when i became a member, though a very insignificant one of the party that guarded mr. lincoln in that wonderful journey the like of which has never been made before since. at some point following his escort service to washington dc, president lincoln, pope would offer lincoln his services as an aid to the president but on june 14th of 1861, instead appointed brigadier general of volunteers with a date of rank to be effective to may 17th of that year and immediately ordered to the state of illinois to recruit
volunteers for the burgeoning war effort. upon making his way out to illinois, he wouldn't linger long in the duty of recruitment. in the department of the west, under command of john fremont, pope assumed command of the district of north and central missouri in july, with operational control along the mississippi river thereof and this time, yet again, we see pope's desire for promotion and glory and enter a new phase, new trait raising its head in the coming years of this war, the utilization of politics to get what he desires. at this moment that pope, detesting fremont will utilize political connections behind fremont's back to get him removed from command. the ultimate goal, do away with fremont, he himself gets promoted to the boast. fremont is not oblivious to what's going on and is convinced
pope has horrific intentions for fremonts career and to himself and is demonstrated in particular, by pope's lack of action in following some of fremont's offensive plans in the state of missouri. that's going to sound real familiar come august of 1862, a general that lacks aggressive offensive actions on the plains of manasis. historian evans rights of this moment, actually, it's incomitance and timidity to offer a better explanation of pope at this moment than treachery though he showed insubordinate spirit, a trait he will refine as he rises through the ranks, this trait of insubordination, of orders from his commanding officers. by the end of 1861, after a minor action of blackwater missouri, pope is continuing to rise in notoriety amongst those
staff and other officers in his department as well as washington dc. his latest victory at blackwater he now has proof to back up his claims of his reputation of how good he is of a commanding officer and will utilize something he hasn't done yet by the end of 1861, he will utilize the press. bring more attention to him and more bragadicio the more the press plays into how good he is, the more claims on what a brilliant officer he is and it's beginning to work because attention is beginning to be drawn to him and all that attention will focus on replacing john c fremont and who to replace him, that attention is going to be coming from none other than major general henry w halick. as pope is rising through the ranks, star on the rise setting him up for a drastic fall less than a year later as the
historical narrative of the last 150 years would argue, pope himself is a very interesting fellow. i'll gisk you some of the adjectives that would describe him, foul-mouthed, direct in speech, decisive in actions, blunt, despondent, and silent. being a native ohion myself, i couldn't help but share this description, what a universal knowledge of cuss words and with what artistic grace he could use them. as he continues to rise after that minor affair in missouri 1861, one of the first setbacks, falls from grace, occurs early the following year in 1862, in
february 1862, pope would find his wife clara in very poor health, many preexisting health conditions and now suffering more from a recent pregnancy. pope is despondent, his recent commands from 1861 broken up, there's no active campaign in sight, and he's giving serious consideration to resigning his commission. he decides, perhaps, it's best to pack up his wife, take her to her parent's house and ride out the pregnancy and challenges of her health there in the company of family. pope would write to his father in law, say since she is so far away from her home and life, must under the circumstances be so settled and uneasy that it fills me with anxiety for her. pope is also despondent and silent because he's not getting promoted, had these several small victories, got fremont out of place, his star is beginning to rise, getting noticed from high ranking officers in washington dc, but where's the
promotions for this man so eager to have his star rise? pope would be recommended by two prominent illinois politicians that would press the state governor of illinois and the treasurer to get pope a regular army commission up to the rank of brigadier general. it's not working. they're applying all this pressure on the lincoln administration and washington dc and he's getting nowhere in this promotion. he'll lash out at lincoln, say myself-respect is already startled at what i have done in the matter and i cannot go farther. mr. lincoln's treatment of me has been so shabby, i would feel almost humiliated today to receive an appointment from him. what an interesting fellow, to see the least, clambering to rise and get a promotion, opportunity may be there and i'm too humiliated to accept it. but several days after he writes about this, pope star begins to
rise once again, four days after he writes the note about lincoln given a chance at independent command which, if successful, almost guarantees a regular commission-merited promotion. henry hallick will appoint pope on february 3, 1862, will recall pope from his time with his wife in st. louis to give the command and as he is going to accept, he talks to his wife to ensure her she will be okay in his absence. pope given command of 25,000 men, largest yet and ordered to clear confederate obstacles on the mississippi river, officer, henry hallock wants to capitalize, open the mississippi river as far as memphis and cut off the retreat of polk's garrison from columbus and will lead to one of polk's most
successful actions and campaigns at that time, new madrid island number 10, pope would capture new madrid and the commanding officer hallock would heap praise on the already self confident general. you have given the fatal blow to the rebellion in missouri and proved yourselves worthy members of the brave army of the west. pope continues to make his advance toward island 10, surrendering, opening the mississippi river as far as memphis. pope receives credit his campaign was a bloodless victory. claim 7,000 prisoners, hundreds pieces of heavy artillery, 35 pieces of field artillery, huge supplies and ammunition and the
total loss for pope's men during the entirety of this campaign was 32 men. later would report that his own, his own success that he had produced delighted him with profound satisfaction. so everyone is heaping praise on john pope in 1862 and following what he did on that small victory in 1861, utilize the victory and media coverage there of to resume on his benefactores in the state of illinois, he would write from the benefactores we had a great success, i think if governor richard yates and yourself would telegram lincoln once i'll be of
the regular army, it would enable me to give my staff increased rank if lincoln is telegraphed in the spur of this victory. just so happens one of his political benefactors in illinois, his two political benefactors give one of his sons a position in the army so earned the award we asked of him. lincoln in this time become quite customed to pope's personality and reckless ambition. one of the ways i love how he handles this ambition is he does it in a folksy charm that's plain and easy to understand but firm. he writes back to these
benefactors, you must know, places in the army are not as plentiful as blackberries. despite this, his victories among the mississippi were enough to promote to general in 1862, his service to the west was not done. pope would immediately take part in the following campaign of the siege against corinth and again, display the personality traits we would learn about, insubordination, in the siege of corinth pope advanced column too quickly, disobey, the stricture moving no faster than the other elements of the union army, in this case, the command of bule, also disobey an order from henry hallock ordering at attack.
this new trait that has emerged, constantly disobeying orders, including, not expelling one of pope's tools to promote himself . hallock ordered the removal of the media and press out of the army during the campaign, and pope yet again been insubordinate to his commander's orders. he enjoys boasting of himself and gossiping to others in the media and press. henry villard would say pope was no doubt an able man and good soldier, but he talked too much of himself and what he could do and ought to be done and indulged contrary to good discipline and all propriety and of his superiors and their fellow commanders. in essence, what villard is saying is pope became the consummate self promoter. i'll pause to say i got some
books for sale at the end of the program this evening. by the middle of june 1862, june the 19th to be exact, john pope receives a telegram from the secretary of war at one stanten. stanten says this to pope, if your orders admit you and you can be absent from your command, i would be glad to see you at washington. when pope receives this at stanten, visiting with his family at the time, wife clara just give birth to their first child named clara horten and pope does not have time right now, time off from an active campaign just wrapped up, wife just given birth, family in st. louis, not interested in going to dc so pope asks for vgs of his friend and superior, henry hallock what he should do and
hallock writes back to pope, secretary of war can order you to washington if he deems proper but i cannot give you the leave because i think your services here are of the greatest possible importance so stanton will send a second telegram this time, ordering pope to washington dc. between the exchange of pope and stanton nowhere in there is a reason why he's being summoned from st. louis to the nation's capitol. least of which does pope express a transfer to the east. through june of 1862, pope's men in his command take a moment to reflect on his abilities as their commander, while he had commanded them throughout the recent campaigns. captain cyrus carpeneter one future governor of illinois would write that pope was pugnacious and conceded, though not a good general, a cavalry
order appeared to me as the sound minded and patriot soldiers. what i learned about him caused me to believe he learned about his business and attended to it. general pope was the right conception of the american soldier. that is to say, he thought the men in the ranks to be the real heros of the war. and i was sergeant in pope's command said sure he is given to blowing a little but a stirring man and one the rebs fear and hated more than anyone else. as he is going to washington dc two others comment to him on the situations, that pope is leaving to dc, captain oscar jackson of fooler's brigade would note of pope's departure, with regret we parted with pope who for so long a time, had held our entire confidence as a commander, but if perhaps, was a man by the
name of gordon granger that summed up the moment best as pope leaves the train for st. louis. goodbye, pope, your grave is made. pope arrives to washington dc on june the 24th to what he describes an enthusiastic welcome as it's also reported in the philadelphia inquirier. his wife wrote him a quick note in that this movement out to washington dc, this movement, this order, this meeting was perfectly, and she was perfectly convinced that all of this was leading to a greater purpose and that greater purpose was that pope would not return to the west. she would write this in her letter to her husband. i am almost sure you will now have banks and fremonts and mcdow's departments and then take the field against jackson. it is possible you may supercede mclelen but i don't consider it likely. how clairvoyant was pope's wife in that moment.
now on june the 25th, pope has arrived to washington dc and has his first interview that day with secretary of war edwin stanton, he sits with stanton and they sit and sit and look at each other and they size each other up. they have some very faint chit-chat about light hearted topics and that's it. stanton shares no reason to pope, one day after being in dc, why he's been called there and there's a reason for it. stanton cannot say anything to pope until abraham lincoln gets back to washington dc. see lincoln left for west point on the 23, he kept his departure a secret from those in dc and in the press, leaving to meet with winfield scott to, quote, ask my views in writing for further
dispositions to be made. lincoln is traveling to westpoint to meet with win field scott to ask scott if pope is capable of commanding several disparate armies in the eastern theater of the war. sounds like lincoln is placing a lot of confidence in pope and perhaps popes bragadici has something to back it up with. though scott nor lincoln mention pope in this suitability of any of the accounts in this meeting, it was certainly discussed. lincoln on his return back to west point has a train stop in new jersey and shares with the press then why he had gone to west point and alludes to the situation brewing back in washington dc. lincoln said again in his folksy way, when the birds and animals are looked at through a fog, they are seen to disadvantage.
so it may be to you if i were to tell you why i saw general scott. i can only say my visit to west point did not have the importance which has been attached to it but concerned matters you understand quite as well if i were to tell you about them. now i can only remark that it had nothing to do whatever with making or unmaking any general in the country. the secretary of war you know holds a pretty tight reign on the press so they shall not tell more than they ought to and i'm afraid if i blab too much he may draw a tighter reign on me. lincoln will arrive back in dc and the following day on june 26 another meeting, will meet in private chambers in the war department. stantonen will finally reveal to pope that there's been a fiasco between jackson, banks and fremont and stanton concedes in this meeting that lincoln, himself, they're to blame for all that's developed and come
across from this fallout of the most recent campaign in the shanandoah valley. stanton says look, we made mistakes in the following ways. first of all, placed political patrons in commands of these armies. also, we shouldn't have tried to regulate their movements from washington dc which after these commands were defeated across keys and port republic, stanton and lincoln finally give in to what secretary of the treasury, chase, has been arguing about for weeks, that these two armies in the valley and mcdow's army need to be united under one commander and following the defeats across key and port republic, lincoln and stanton give in. the genesis for lincoln's trip, the genesis for calling pope east. stanton reveals there will be an objective for the newly created army. several, in fact three, the first will be to protect washington.
objective two, defend the shanandoah valley and disrupt the central railroad in the neighborhoods of charlottesville, particularly by threatening that area of the shanandoah valley they hope it will compel the confederates around washington dc or opposite washington dc, opposite richmond and mclellan's army, they would pull away from mclellan and ease the way into richmond. stanton knows from that point he's been called east to carry out the objectives, at this point in the conversation, stanton stops talking and they just look at each other and there's this long awkward silence. stanton says to pope, general, you don't seem to approve the arrangements i have out for you.
>> he says i concur in the wisdom of drawing these forces around dc in the way you suppose, but i don't draw in favor the decision to place me in command of them. the title of tonight's presentation is john pope's reluctant rise. for the last 18 months doing anything he can to rise through the ranks, now saying i don't want this command. stanton is annoyed to say the least. stanton saying you should be flattered that i brought you out here, that i'm offering you this command and pope says i'm very grateful, but i don't want this station. i don't want this command. pope is being reluctant to rise in this occasion. stanton says what do you mean? why don't you want this? so pope begins to explain, first of all, there's three generals of these disparate army and see are my senior in rank, it would
humiliate these generals, they would be resentful and the sentiment carried to their troops on their command. so pope continues to explain those things. he'll decide what's best, and at that moment, he decides it's not best for him, not best for his reputation, not best for his command abilities, it's just not best for his command in the west. pope would later write at that moment, he said my assignment to command the army of virginia from the president, nationally occasional dissatisfaction among a number of officers high rank and no doubt of severe comment was indulged in. no one stopped to inquiry whether it was by my own act or even wish that i came to washington or whether such transfer a military arrangement was or was not satisfactory to me. i did not desire a transfer.
but he had been summoned from another theater would already add to this already tense situation if he was to command these lead to disparate armies brought together. pope also tells stanton it's going to take a long time to organize these armies and discipline them and get them better trained in the role of being a soldier. pope said, in short, i should be much in the situation of a strange dog, without even the right to run out of the individual. and for the command he was to be given he said, quote, it is of a forlorne hope under the most unfavorable conditions possible for success. stanton's unconvinced. he says okay, i hear your ideas why you don't want to do this but i got to talk to lincoln about it. so the following day, lincoln, stanton and pope meet privately and lincoln concludes, pope is staying in the east and taking this command, and on june the 27th, pope assumes command of
the army of virginia. lincoln chose pope for various purposes, not battle field abilities, also not ready to relieve general mclelland, other factors are going into this, chase and stanton chose pope because he would fight a hard relentless contest unsparing of protest. chase is arguing to lincoln and stanton of bringing him east and giving the command, primarily on the grounds of policy and doing so with patronage. stanton's sole objective for pope is to humiliate mclelland. imagine being placed in a situation, you told your commander officers, this is not the command for me. it will not be successful. and being placed in this position with all these subcontext in mind and now you're expected to be successful on it. pope demures again says, you know, i don't want this position. send me back out west.
but the question comes out at this moment, for historical debate, who else would be the right fit at this moment? the lincoln administration needs someone outspokenly republican, pope fits that box, antislavery, check, suggesting using african americans in federal military service, willing to wage a hard war against the civilian populace, check, and a commander that is aggressive, all these things mclelland is not. new york tribune would note pope is not the man to sit around and wait. the philadelphia public ledger would write pope would bring in or out of the chaos in shanendoah valley and be ready for service. pope will be called to different meetings for lincoln. lincoln and stanton are looking
for some advice from pope on how to help mclelland on the peninsula, lincoln and stanton are saying no, pope saying all of this is bad news on the peninsula and basically tells lincoln and stanton the reality of the situation. pope says, perhaps the biggest mistake then occurring is mclelland's withdrawal toward the james river and this moment, for a fourth time, pope says look, it's a big mistake what mcleland is doing, if you don't order him to halt to the james river i would prefer to return to the west. lincoln says no. again, pope is reluctant. for a man so ambitious, why is he turning this down over and over and over again? but pope stuck with his new role. and he will begin to deal with the army of virginia and getting it ready for the next campaign. part of dealing with the army of
virginia is dealing with the consequences and fall-outs from the most recent campaigns that they've experienced against jackson. having a problem here with our slide advancer. we'll just keep looking at pictures of those three guys. i've always admired stanton's facial hair, so -- as he gets the army of virginia together, what pope realizes is that the things he talked about with stanton and lincoln are holding true, the morale of army in virginia are lowest possible sense, supply situation is disastrous, hardly any cavalry to rely on, most cavalry men have no horses, so he sets about the task of getting them ready as best he can for a campaign and part of that is to issue these orders that become so
famous. the most of which was his military proclamation, that is the opening salvo of many other offensive orders that pope will issue including general orders number five which is going to order the men to subsist off the land, general orders number seven, holding the citizenry accountable to damage to railroad tracks, cars, and order 11 arresting all disloyal male citizens within union army sphere of operations, if you will. all of these things have good effect. if the military proclamation damaged the morale of the army of virginia, soured relationships with mclelland and his command and others, these other orders that pope issues is gaining the respect of the men in the rank and file in the army of virginia. these orders are not radical. john hennessy, respected
historian on second manasis campaign would write, quote, these orders are a calculated out growth of the federal government's changing approach to the war, made necessary by the failure or at best a stalemate on the battle field, to bring the hard edge of the sword to the southern people if you will. these issues would serve as a political weapon yielded by the lincoln administration against mclelland and conservative approach of war. he will wage a new style of war fair in 1862 in virginia. when pope finally gets command, he's commanding from washington dc. he's made an arrangement with lincoln, wants mclelland removed from command, lincoln tells him nope, not ready to remove him from command so make a
compromise. pope says if you relieve mclelland from command, why don't you bring my partner from the west, lincoln agrees but there's a catch to that compromise. until hallock gets here, you are defacto military adviser. he has to prepare the army and prepare for campaign while he is stuck in washington dc. as he prepares for the second manasis campaign, as it becomes known, the objectives for the campaign he is given are very limited. first objective for this developing campaign for the army of virginia, to cover washington dc. number two, oppose and delay the confederate advance to the last extremity to allow the army of potomick make their way to alexandra, fredericksburg, and army of virginia. pope is to attack the railroad
lines in charlottesville, allow lee to send reenforcements to the capital mclelland can hopefully turn the tide. all these challenges begin to change him and they weigh on pope. phil kerny what a reputation he has, how do they expect pope to beat the vettens of yule and jackson. get me in my division with pope's army, would i breathe again. just several days into the campaign however, pope's men are defeated at cedar mountain and pulling back from that battle surrendered the initiative to robert e lee, he will capitalize on it immediately. morale in the army of virginia plummets further, many men in
the ranks feel they are needlessly sacrificed after the defeat of cedar mountain. general orderered five, subsisting off the land gotten way out of hand. pope's army is hungry. when pope takes command he fires a very, very intelligent fellow by the name of herman hout who kept the supplies running and by the time pope's army is almost starving to death he comes crawling and begging back to hout to please, please come back. by the middle of the month of august, pope is beginning to learn that these objectives are set upon crushing his army and begins to make a series of decisions that are going to lead to what will happen at the end of the month. but by the second to last week of august, john pope starts making a lot of the mistakes. done pretty well in this campaign so far although he failed tactically at cedar mountain, he is holding some
strategy, some campaign objectives he is given but by august 25 and 26, pope has gone completely off the rails, the stress of the command, stress of the objectives, all the subtext we talked about is weighing on him heavily, pope is uncertain about lee's intentions by theened of the month. no reenforcements hallock has been promising him the last two weeks have arrived, receiving no specific orders from hallock or washington telling him what to do next as it relates to campaign objectives. the only thing he is getting from washington dc are the following instructions from hallock, if possible, to attack the enemy in the flank, do so. if possible to get in the rear, pursue with vigor. i mean, what's he supposed to do. by august 26, pope is already looking at ways to get out of this predicament, the only thing he can think of on the 26 is
retire toward fredericksburg but he then believes he would be reduced in command, demoted for these actions. the following morning pope comes up with two other ways to get out of this predicament, believes one of the other things he can do is retire to fredericksburg link up with the burnsides command but feel if he does that, his army will be stripped from him, damage his reputation, so goes for option two, maybe go after the individual pieces of the confederate army, defeat them in detail, secure my reputation, have my star continue to rise. it leads us to the battle of second manases, pope will commit inumerous blunders, pope's biographer will say he continues in wishful thinking, saying pope was choosing to disregard both
his senses and better judgment. there on the field with pope, lieutenant stephen well, will say pope seemed wholly at a loss what to do and what to think. he did not know where his own men were or where jackson was. we all know how the battle of second manasis played out. pope would retreat back to washington dc and eventually, be relieved of command. we move to the end of this program this evening talking about that moment, where everyone in the history of 159 years and even pope's contemporaries argue this defeat at second manasis, his banishment to the west and defeat of command will be the fall from grace in the eyes of lincoln administration, but it couldn't be further from the truth. in late august of 1862 as manasis is playing out in virginia, edwin stanton are
enduring desperate pleas from the governor of minnesota, a desperate war out there known as the sioux uprising. they need help. lincoln and stanton focusing all their energies on virginia, john hayes one of lincoln's private secretaries who had gone out there months earlier goes out and tells lincoln this war is growing more extensive out there. they need help. now if pope has lost confidence of lincoln and stanton, if he is being banished out west, why would you send someone that is so inept, that was defeated at second manasis to go be in charge and carry out a war by themselves in minnesota? look where mclelland goes. he goes back to new jersey, not a lot going there, but send this guy to another theater of the war that's been forgotten about,
and pope thrives once again. he handles the sioux war, the dakota war of 1862 with movements of the campaign began, did you know grant calls pope east to congratulate him for everything he's doing and to have pope counsel grant on how to deal with the situation in the west. doesn't sound like someone who lost the fate and confidence of the military or the lincoln administration. pope will rewrite how the american government deals with indian affairs.
pope says the american military system in the 1870s had been largely based on the british model. a system based on rarks istocacy. the pope says that is in direct opposition of what this country stands for. pope will issue a number of changes that will change the armed forces in this country. pope's star continues to rise. he's in command of 41,000 men and has the largest geographic command in the united states. with that pope is now in command of half of the size of the
united states in march of 1865. has he truly fallen so far from grace. his command stretches from the red river north to the canadian border to the mississippi river west to the humboldt mountains of nevada. pope has lived a long life and dedicated a large majority of it to service of this country. he's finally retire from the military in 1866. his wife had passed away in 1888 and he rarely left the house after that. the cause of his death was a complete breaking douchb his nervous system. letting loose of all vital force which has been very properly
styled nervous pros trags. he would be buried at the end of the week back in st. louis next to his wife with full military honors. we title the program today the reluctant rise and the unavoidable fall of john pope. this ambitious man flat out told lincoln this is not the command for me. this is not the command that my abilities can do. this is not the command that can carry out the objectives you want to give it. yet he was forced to take that position.
>> we have time for a few questions. introduce yourself and let us nowhere you're from. >> i want to find out your opinion if you thought that john pope was considered a political appointee. >> great question. he has the pedigree and those connections by the nature of his birth. i think pope has some political aspirations and those political connections will make part of his higher promotions related politically as we heard from chase and stanton as to the
promotion of the army of virginia. he overhauls the way the government deals in indian affairs but also to overall the military system in the post-civil war era. i think it's a 50/50 balance. >> excellent presentation. >> thank you. >> who was the general author of generals 5, 7 and 11? >> there's some contemporary
sources as well as the review of some modern historians that say the military proclamation as well as those general orders were not written entirely by pope himself which would then go to rehabilitate some of his responsibility and fall out effects of those orders. pope is not necessarily 100% of the master mind behind those individual orders.
i think the truth lies somewhere in between. certainly pope isn't issuing these orders without somebody knowing that context whether that be stanton or lincoln. but the war department and the lincoln administration have input on those orders. >> last question. >> there's nothing but contempt for pope. >> 100%. that's a fallout as a result of that military proclamation. when that proclamation comes out to make the famous statement, they argued that pope's command is objective. that leez may have other plans, but upon that, pope is lee's primary objective. we're going to wipe the army off the map and get this out of virginia and then we'll deal with the army back on the
utah university professor laura june davis talks about confederate guerilla attacks. exploring the american story. watch american history tv saturdays on c-span2. find full schedule op your program guide or watch. mr. caro donated his papers to the exhibition. turn every page inside the robert caro archive.