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tv   The Civil War Union General John Pope  CSPAN  October 27, 2022 10:10am-11:12am EDT

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time i'm saying this, the narrative just went along. all of the interesting people that you have ferreted out around him, as well. and the quotes that come with it! this is, today was the day of release. we appreciate that. those of you who are watching right now can still get a day of release book plate. you can, if you are watching later on c-span, we'll still have book plates just like this that jeffrey had signed for us. we will have those, as well. we want to thank c-span for carrying our interviews, and all of you for watching us, as well. you can go to our website abelincoln book shop. com to be a part of our interviews and our artifact shows. thank you for being with us, goodbye and be safe.
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at he spent history for more of this date in history post. >> hi, buddy. i am john tracy, a newer member of emerging civil war no small part of the recruitment efforts of the present i am hey everybody. my name is john tracey. one of the members of "emerging civil war". i'm here to talk about dan welch, a very long time, seasoned ranger at gettysburg military park where
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i have the absolute pleasure of meeting and working with him for a couple of years. he is also co-author of "last road north", the ecw book on the gettysburg campaign, co-author of an immediately coming out book on ohio and antietam. and also the co-editor of the "emerging civil war" tenth anniversary series that has just recently come out, one on gettysburg, another on tullahoma and vicksburg. with not too much else to say, i want to introduce dan welch, who will talk about the man we love to hate, john pope. so, here is dan welch, the man with not enough free time. >> [applause] >> good evening, everyone. one of the things i've not shared
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with a lot of you is my absolute love of the southern rock band lynyrd skynyrd. i've been very fortunate to meet some of the plane crash survivors and meet those who perished in the raves of october 1977. one of the stories i've heard is that as lynyrd skynyrd was getting popular and their fame was rising, a lot of the acts that they would open four would go to the tour manager and say, don't let them close with "free bird", we can't top that. >> [laughs] >> this would be from bands like peter frampton and the rolling stones -- so now i know exactly the situation they were in trying to follow gary gallagher. but in all honesty, i want to begin by thanking my colleagues sarah, john and eric, and thank my colleagues for their tireless work that goes into this yearly symposium. it's an honor to be back and to have that camaraderie over this weekend and talk about this
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defining moment in american history. it's even more of a special occasion for me this evening because, growing up, my superheroes didn't wear capes. it was the historians that i got to meet, the battlefields i got to go to, the documentaries i got to watch, those talking heads. so the opportunity to be able to talk about an interesting person like jon pope tonight in a room of such notaries as greg mertz and gordon ray and gary gallagher, it is a triple honor. so thank you. so where do we begin this evening? we are going to begin with one of the most famous moments, perhaps, in john pope's career. i ask you to bear with me as i go through these dynamic words. this military proclamation of pope's would begin with this. let us understand each other. i've come to you from the west where we have always seen the backs of our enemies. from an army
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whose business it has been to seek the adversary and to defeat him where he was found. whose policy has been attacked 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'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 desire to you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases which i am sorry to find so much in vogue amongst you. i hear constantly of, quote, taking strong positions and holding them. of, quote, lines of retreat, and quote and of, quote, base of supplies. let us discard these ideas, the strongest position of a soldier should be to occupy, one from which he can easily advance against the enemy. let us study
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the probable lies and retreats of our opponents and leave our own to take care of themselves. let us look before us and not behind, success and the glory are in advance. disaster and shame lurk in the rear. love this act on this understanding and it is safe to predict that your banners shall be inscribed with many of glorious deeds and that your names will be dear to your countrymen forever. for many contemporaries of john pope and historians over the last 159 years, this military proclamation will mark the zenith of john pope's military career in the united states army. a narrative that continues to modern works. a narrative that continues that, forever after everything -- 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
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will never recover. tonight, 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 and the eyes of many of the commanding officers in the federal armies. i'm going to challenge you tonight to think about that word banishment, used by pope's contemporaries in 1862 and utilized by historians and persons. 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 think about where john pope came from. he was born in march of 1822 in louisville, kentucky. and he's the son of
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nathanael pope, a very distinguished figure from the state. a former territorial secretary and delegate from the state of illinois territory, later a prominent federal judge in the illinois federal territory as well. pope would receive a strong education, graduate from the united states military academy, 17th in his class of 56 graduating in 1842. he would be commissioned a second lieutenant in the core of top of graphical engineers. despite this pedigree, hope has even more connections that would propel him as the war breaks out all of those years later. first and foremost, jon 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 popularity illinois lawyer --
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perhaps you've heard of him -- abraham lincoln. his brother-in-law is manning force. these men will become best friends and will ultimately book and our story tonight. last but not least, a distant cousin of john pope married the sister of a woman later known as mary todd lincoln. john pope has an incredible connection with the very history and fabric of society and our stock racy and political greatness in this country. as well as the ability to secure the appointment to west point. in the years upon his graduation, before the american civil war, hope would go on to serve several years in florida. he will help to survey a northeastern border between the united states and canada. upon the war in mexico, he will fight under zachary taylor at the bottom battle of monterrey and wayne vista, for which he
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will be appointed a force lieutenant and captain, respectively. following the mexican american war, john pope would work as a surveyor and go on to demonstrate the navigable itty of the red river in 1850, serve as a chief engineer for the department of new mexico. he would be promoted regularly all the way up to the rank of captain by 1856. and in the year just immediately before the american civil war, he would spend the remainder of those antebellum years serving a route for the pacific railroad. to say that john pope has performed service to his country before 1861 is an understatement. the experiences he gains throughout the 18 40s and 18 50s, his training as a topic graphical engineer, will propel him to the front of the pack as the war began in 1861, to bring those experiences, to bring that understanding of terrain and topography and commanding men on the battlefields of a war that is beginning to break out. during
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the secession winter of 1860 to 1861, jon pope is serving on lighthouse duty. he's not the only one. several other high ranking officers in the federal army will have that same privilege, one of which will be george gordon meade. upon lincoln's election, his successful election in the fall of 1860, he will write a seven-page letter to the newly elected president. and he's going to start 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 will he give lincoln his thoughts on that. he will 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 secessionists. it's not just advice that probe offers lincoln. it's not just advice
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that pope has included in this letter. it's a way for pope to insert himself into lincoln's inner circle right at the outset of the war. and 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 serve not only as an entrance way into lincoln's inner circle but it would put him in good graces of the future president, to serve for future promotions for himself. pope will become incredulously ambitious, starting here in the early days of the american civil war. his never-ending to desire to rise through the ranks of his profession will all linked back to this moment during the secession winter of 1861. but as the american civil war plays out, this personality trait will become a double edged blade. though at times it will advance him to the ranks and glory he hopes to achieve, it will also set him back as well.
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when lincoln finally gets the seven-page letter, i can only imagine, as he's opening it up, sitting at his home in springfield, saying, what is this? who is this guy sending me this letter? but lincoln reads it carefully. and decides that he is a promising, upcoming officer and so he sends an invitation to john polk to be one of four officers selected to escort the president-elect to washington, d. c.. the train will leave from illinois on february 11th of 1861 and pope would later recall that he became a member, though a very insignificant, one of the party which surrounded mr. lincoln and that wonderful journey the like of which has never been made before since. at some point following his escort service, the washington d. c. and president lincoln, pope would offer link in his services as an aide to the president. instead, he would be appointed brigadier general of volunteers with a date of rank to be
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effective to may 17th of that year and he would be immediately ordered to the state of illinois, to recruit volunteers for the burgeoning war effort. now, upon making his way out to illinois, he wouldn't linger along in that duty of recruiting. in the department of the west of the command of major general john fremont. pope assumed control -- with operational control along a portion of the mississippi river thereof. and it's during this time that, yet again, we begin to see pope's desire for a promotion and glory. and he'll enter a new phase, a new trait, that will once again raise its head in the current -- the utilization of politics to get what he desires. and it's at this moment that pope, detesting fremont, will utilize political connections behind fremont back to get him removed from command. the ultimate goal, we do away with fremont, gets promoted to the post. fremont
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does not oblivious to what's going on and he's convinced that pope has a horrific intentions. for freeman's career and intentions towards fremont himself. and that was demonstrated, in particular, by pope's lack of action in following some of fremont's offensive plans in the state of missouri. boy, that's going to sound real familiar come august of 1862. a general that lacks aggressive offensive actions on the plains of manassas. historian allan nevins will -- he said actually it's incompetence and timidity to offer a better explanation of pope at this moment than treachery. though, he certainly showed and insubordinate spirit. it's yet another trait that pope will continue to refine as he continues to rise through the ranks. this continued trait of insubordination. of orders from his commanding officers. by the end of 1861, after a minor action, a -- pope is continuing
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to rise in notoriety amongst those staff and other officers in his department, as well as washington d. c.. with his latest victory at blackwater, he now has proof to back up his claims of his reputation, of how good he is as a commanding officer. and he is going to utilize something he hasn't done yet by the end of 1861. he's going to utilize the press. and it will bring more attention to him and more raggedy show -- the more the press plays into the how good he is the more he makes those planes of just water really an officer he is. and it's beginning to work. because attention is beginning to be drawn to him. and all of that attention will focus on replacing john c fremont. and who to replace him? that attention will come from henry w headache. now as pope is slowly but surely rising
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through the ranks, his stars on the rise. setting him up for an even more drastic followed less than a year later as the historical narrative of the last 159 years would argue. pope himself is a very interesting fellow. i'll give you some of the adjectives that would describe general pope as a person in 1861. gruff, bombastic, foul mouthed, direct in speech, decisive in action, blunt, despondent, and silent. -- i couldn't ignore this quote from a soldier, the 39th ohio -- describing pope in 1961. he says -- you know what a universal knowledge he has of cuss words. and with what artistic used grace, and when he could use them. as popstar continue to rise after that mile affair in missouri, december of 1861. one of his first setbacks, when i first first falls from grace whitaker
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earlier the following year in 1862. in february of 1862, pope would find his wife, clara, in very poor health. she had many pre-existing health conditions and now, she was suffering even more from a recent pregnancy. pope is despondent. his recent command from 1861 had been broken up. there is no active campaign insight. and he is giving serious consideration to resigning his commission. he decides that perhaps it's best to pack up his wife, take her to her parents house, and to ride out the pregnancy and its challenges. in the company of family. post would write through his family -- most under the circumstances be so unsettled and uneasy and it fills me with anxiety for her. pope is also despondent and silent because he's not getting promoted. he is having several small victories. he got fremont out of place. his stars beginning to rise. he's getting noticed from higher ranking
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officers. in washington d. c.. but where is the promotion? for this man, so eager to have his star rise. now, 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 d. c. and he is getting nowhere in this promotion. he lashed out at lincoln. he'll say myself respect is already -- in a matter that i cannot go farther. mr. lincoln's treatment of me has been so shabby that i would feel almost humiliated today to receive an appointment from him. what an interesting fellow. to say the least. clamoring to rise and get a promotion, the opportunity may be there and now too humiliated to accept.
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it but just several days after he ran sub out this, popstar begins to rise once again. he overcomes the setbacks. four days after that no, he's given a chance at an independent command, which, if successful, almost guarantees a regular commission and a promotion. henry howick will promote pope to the command of the army of the mississippi on february 23rd, 1962 -- and as pope is willing to -- talk to his wife to assure her that she would be okay in his absence. and so, he went. pope would be giving the command of 25,000 men, his largest command yet and he's ordered to clear confederate
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obstacles on the mississippi river. his commanding officer, henry howick, wants to capitalize on his recent victories. -- he wants to open the river, the mississippi river, as far as memphis and a cut off the retreat of pulp's garrison in columbus. and it will lead to one of pope's most successful actions and campaigns at that time. a movement on new madrid, and island number 10. pope would capture new madrid on march the 14th at upon so, his commanding officer who alec, would heap praise on this already very self confident general. how like would say, i congratulate you on your command on the success which has crowned your toils and exposures. you have given the fabled blow to the rebellion in missouri. improved yourself -- of the brave army of the west. pope will continue to make his next advance towards island number 10, forcing its surrender on april the 7th. officially opening the mississippi river as far as memphis. people receive credit that his campaign was a bloodless victory. he would claim 7000 prisoners, that captured general -- 123 pieces
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of heavy artillery. 35 pieces of field artillery -- and the total loss for popes men during the entirety of this campaign -- was 32 man. he would later report that his own success that he had produced delighted him with profound satisfaction. so, everyone is heaping praise on jon pope for these early actions in 1862. and pope will once again rely on what he did, following that small victory and block, water that missouri, -- he will utilize the victory and the meteor coverage thereof to resume his petition to his benefactor's and the state of illinois for a regular army promotion. pope will write, to those benefactor,'s he says,
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you will see from the papers and from general -- that we now have a great success. i think if illinois governor, richard yates and yourself, will telegraph lincoln at once, he will now promptly transfer me as a major general -- independent of the ratification of myself, it will enable me to give my staff increased rag if lincoln has telegraphed in the spur of this victory. it just so happens that one of his political benefactor's an illinois son was on popes staff. his two political benefactor's would resume their appeal to lincoln on the last. they would write lincoln quote, transfer john spoke to the regular army with his present rank of token of gratitude to illinois. give one of her sons of position in the united states army. so gloriously achieved the just reward we asked for him -- now, lincoln by this point in time, has become quite accustomed to pope's personality and his relentless ambition. and one of the things that i love about how lincoln handles some of these delicate situations if he does it in a very folksy charm way. it's very plain and easy
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to understand, but firm. lincoln rights back to these benefactor's. he says, i fully appreciate his splendid achievements with her invaluable results, but you must know that major general ships and the regular army are not as plentiful as blackberries. despite this, his victories along the mississippi were enough to pressure -- to major general, march the 21st, 1862. pope service in the west was not done. pope would immediately take part in the following campaign of the siege against current. and during this campaign, pope would again illustrate one of those personality traits that we learned about, insubordination. during the campaign, the siege of current, he advanced his column to disobeyed the structure of moving -- that
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command of you'll. he'll also disobey an order from colic by ordering an attack during the campaign. about four miles east of current itself. this new trait that has emerged constantly disobeying orders, including not expelling one of popes tools to promote himself. henry halep had ordered the removal of the media and the press out of the army during the campaign and pope had yet again -- and insubordinate -- he enjoys boasting about himself, he loves gossiping about others to the media and the press. henry villard, the writer of the moment, said pope was no doubt unable man and a good soldier, but he talked too much of himself. of what he could do and of what ought to be done and he indulged, contrary to good discipline and all propriety and very free comments of his superiors and their fellow commanders. in essence, what's villard as saying is that pope has become the consummate self promoter.
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and i'll pause with that thought to let you know that i have some books back there for sale at the end of the program this evening. [laughs] by the middle of june of 1862, during the 19th to be exact, jon pope receives a telegram from the secretary of war. stanton sent this to pope. he says, if your orders will admit you and you can be absent long enough for your command, i would be glad to see you at washington. now, when pope receives this some from stanton, he's visiting with his family at st. louis at the time. his wife, clara, had just given birth to their first child named clara horton. and pope does not have time right now or a desire to go to washington d. c.. he's got time off from an active campaign that has just wrapped up, his wife has just given birth, the family are together in st. louis. he's not interested in going to d. c.. so, pope asks for advice of his friend and superior, henry alec, about
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what he should do. and alec writes back to pope. he says pope, the secretary of war can order you to washington if he deems proper, but i cannot give you relief, as i think your services here are of the greatest possible importance. -- ordering pope to washington d. c.. but throughout the exchange between how like and pope and pope and stanton, nowhere in there is a reason given why he is being summoned from st. louis to the nation's capital. least of which does pope expect a trans four to the east. now, as this is taking place, throughout june of 1862, popes men under his command take a moment to reflect on his abilities as their commander. while he had commanded throughout the recent campaigns -- captain silence carpenter -- future governor of illinois, would write that pope was pugnacious and conceited. i now think as a general pope -- i
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consider him a good general. the cavalry orderly under pope -- appeared to me like another one of those sound minded, honest, repatriated -- i beg you to remember that as we go further in this program. when i learned about him, caused me to believe that he understood his business and attended to. it general pope possess the right conception of the american soldier. that is to say, he thought the men in the ranks to be the real heroes of the war. an iowa sergeant and popes command said, to be sure, he is given to blowing a little, but he is a sterling manned. and -- more than anyone else. as pope is preparing to head to washington d. c., two others known to him will comment on the situation in the moment that pope is leaving to d. c.. captain oscar jackson -- would note of pope's departure that -- with regret, we parted with
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pope, who for so long a time, had held our entire confidence as a commander. summed up the moment best as pope boards the train. goodbye, pope. your grave is made. pope arrives to washington d. c. on june 24th, to what he describes as enthusiastic welcome. it's also reported this way in the philadelphia inquirer. upon his arrival, his wife, claire, wrote him a quick note, that this movement out to washington d. c., this order, this meeting, was perfectly -- she was perfectly convinced that all 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'm almost sure that you will have banks and fremont and perhaps miked owls departments. and you will then take the field against jackson. it's possible you will
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supersede mcclelland. but i do not, with my present light on the subject, considerate likely. how clairvoyant was pope's wife in that moment? on june 25th, pope has arrived to washington d. c.. he has his first interview that day with secretary of war and win stanton. he goes, he sits with stanton and there they sit and they sit. and they look at each other. and they size each other up. they have some very faint to chat about very lighthearted topics. and that's it. stanton shares no reason to pope, one day after being in d. c., why he's been called there. there is a reason for it. stanton cannot say anything until abraham lincoln gets back to washington. lincoln had left for west point on june 23rd. he kept his departure a secret from those in washington d. c.. and the secret from the press.
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he is heading up to west point to meet with general winfield scott, to quote, ask my views in writing and to further dispositions to be made. lincoln is traveling to west point to meet with winfield scott to ask scott if pope is capable of commanding several disparate armies in the eastern theater of the war. it sounds like lincoln's place placing a lot of confidence in pope. and perhaps popes raggedy shoe braggadocious no -- and the suitability of whether he can take this command in any of the accounts in this meeting, it was certainly discussed. lincoln on his return back from west point has a train stop in new jersey and he shares with the press then why he has gone to west point. and he eludes to the situation that is brewing back in washington d. c.. lincoln said, when the birds
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and animals are looked at through a fog, they are seen to vanish. and so it might be with you if i were to attempt to tell you why i went to see general scott. i can only say that my visit to west point did not have the importance which has been attached to it. the concerns matters that you understand quite as well as if i were to tell you about them. now, i can only remark that it had nothing to do whatever with making or un-making any general in the country. the secretary of war, you know, held a pretty tight rein on the press. so that they shall not tell more than they ought to. and i'm afraid that if i blob too much he might draw tighter reign. lincoln will arrive back to d. c.. and on the following day, june 26th, there will be another meeting between pope and edward stanton. they will meet in private chambers in the war department. stanton will finally reveal to pope that there is been a fiasco in the shenandoah valley between
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jackson and fremont. stanton concedes in this meeting that lincoln and himself, they are to blame, for all that has developed and come across from this fall out of this most recent campaign in the shenandoah valley. stanton says, look, we made mistakes in the following ways. first of all, we placed political patrons in command of these armies. we shouldn't have done that. we also shouldn't have tried to regulate their movements from washington d. c.. after these commands were defeated across the of the republic, stanton and lincoln finally given to what the treasury secretary has been arguing for weeks. what they've been arguing -- what he's been arguing is that these two armies in the valley, mcdonald's army, they need to be united under one commander. lincoln and stanton give in. the genesis for lincoln's trip to west point. the genesis for
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stanton calling pope east. stanton reveals there is going to be an objective is for this army. several, in fact. three. the first will be to protect washington. objective, to defend the shenandoah valley and objective three, disrupt the virginia central railroad in the neighborhoods of charlottesville and gordon ville. by accomplishing these objectives, particularly threatening that vital rebel rail link with the shenandoah valley, the administration, lincoln and stanton, hope that would compel the confederates around washington d. c. and opposite washington d. c., opposite richmond, around richmond and opposite mcclelland's army, that they would pull away from mclelland and it would ease mcclelland's way into the city of richmond. stanton tells pope at that moment he's been called these to carry out these objectives. and it's at this time in the conversation that stanton stops talking and they just look at each other. and there is this long, awkward silence. stanton finally says, you don't seem to approve the arrangements i've outlined for you. pope responds, mister secretary, i entirely
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concur to the wisdom of concentrating these widely scattered forces in front of washington d. c.. and using them generally as you propose. but i certainly do not view them with any favor or proposition to place me in command of them. the title of tonight's presentation is john popes reluctant rise. for the last 18 months, he's been doing everything he can to rise through the ranks. but now he is saying, i don't want this command. stanton is annoyed, to say the least. stanton is saying, look, you should be flatter that i brought you out here. but i'm offering you this command and pope says, listen, i am grateful but i don't want this station, i don't want this command. pope is being reluctant to rise in this
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occasion. stanton says, what do you mean? why do you not want? this pope begins to explain. first of all, there are three generals of these disparate armies. and all of them are my senior in rank. if we brought these armies together and i commanded them, it would humiliate those generals. they would be resentful and those sentiments would thusly be carried to the troops under their command. so pope continues to explain those things. he will 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. not best for his command in the west. pope would later right at that moment, my assignment to command the army of virginia by the president, naturally occasion dissatisfaction among a number of officers and no doubt a good deal of severe comment wise indulged in. no one stop to
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inquire where there were ways by my own act or even wish that i came to washington or whether such transfer of military arrangement was or was not satisfactory to me. i did not desire a transfer. but he had been summoned from another theater, to only add to this already tense situation, if he was to command these three disparate armies brought together. who 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 village. for the command he was to be given, he said, quote, it is a forlorn hope over the most unfavorable conditions possible for success. stanton is unconvinced. he says, okay, i hear your ideas of why you don't want to do this. but i've got to talk to lincoln about it. so the following day, lincoln, stanton and pope meet privately. at the end of the conversation, lincoln concludes that pope is staying in the east and he is taking this
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command. on june 27th, pope will soon command the army of virginia. lincoln has chosen pope for political purposes, not for his battlefield abilities. lincoln is also not at this time ready to relieve general mcclelland. there are other factors going into this decision. secretary chase and others have chosen pope because he will fight a hard, relentless contest, unsparing of southern populist especially in virginia. chases arguing to lincoln and stanton about this command, primarily on the grounds of policy and patronage. the stanton sole objective for pope is to humiliate mclelland. imagine being placed in the situation, you told the commanding officers, this is not the command for me. it will not be successful. and being placed in this position with all these sub contexts in mind, you are now expected to be successful on it. pope him yours again and
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says, i just don't want this position. send me back out west. whether question comes in at this moment for historical debate, who else would be the right fit at this moment? the lincoln administration need someone that is outspokenly republican, profits that box. anti slavery, check. suggesting using african americans for federal military service? check. willing to wage a hard war against the civilian populace? check. and the commander that is aggressive? all of these things that mcclellan is not. the new york tribune would know that pope was not the type of man to sit and wait. he's a man of action, a man of bayonet. the philadelphia public ledgerwood right that pope would bring order out of chaos and the shenandoah valley would be ready at once for offensive service. pope takes command. and eventually pop is going to
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be called to different meetings with lincoln and various members of the cabinet and stanton. lincoln and stanton are looking for some advice from pope on how to help mcclelland down on the peninsula. mcclellan a screaming for reinforcement and lincoln and stanton are saying no. pope is saying, all of this is bad news down there on the peninsula. and basically tells lincoln instant and the reality of the situation. pope says, perhaps the biggest mistake occurring is mcclellan i's withdrawl towards the james river. and it's at this moment that if mcclellan is not ordered to halt his withdrawal, this i would prefer is a test. stanton. to return to the west. lincoln says no. again, pope is reluctant. for a man that is so ambitious, why is he turning this down over and over and over again? but pope is stuck with his new role. and he will begin to deal with the army of virginia and getting it ready
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for the next campaign. part of dealing with the army of virginia is dealing with the consequences and fall from the most recent campaigns that they've experienced against jackson. i have a problem here with our slide advancer. well, we will just keep looking at pictures of those three guys. >> [laughs] >> i've always admired stanton's facial hair, so -- as he continues to pull the virginia army together, the morale in the army of virginia is in the lowest possible
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sense. their supply situation is disastrous. there is hardly any cavalry to rely on. most of the cavalry men have no horses. he sets upon the task of getting them ready as best as he can for a campaign. part of that is to issue these orders that become so famous. most of which was his military proclamation. that is the opening salivate of many other offensive orders that will issue, including general orders number five, which is going to order the men to subsist off the land. general order number seven, holding little local citizenry accountable for any damage to railroad cars, attacks on wagon trains, stragglers and so on. general order number 11, arresting all disloyal male citizens within the union army sphere of operations, if you will. all these things have good effect. if the military proclamation damage the morale, the army of virginia soured relationships with mcclellan and his command and others. these are the orders that pope has issued.
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gaining the respect of the men and the rank and file of the army of virginia. these orders are not radical. john hennessy respected historian on the second manassas campaign would write, quote, that these orders are calculated outgrowth of the federal government's change in approach to the war. they are made necessary by the failure, at best, a stalemate on the battlefield. the goal of these orders is to bring the hard edge of war to the southern people as a whole. in the end, these orders that pope issues would serve as a political weapon yielded by lincoln against mclelland and conservatively approaching more. john is going to wage a new style of warfare in the summer of 1862 in virginia. when pope finally gets command, he's commanding from washington d. c.. he wants mcclelland
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removed from command. lincoln tells him no, not ready to remove him from command. so, they make a compromise. pope is actually the one responsible for bringing henry hell-like east. did you know that? pope says, if you won't relieve mcclelland of command, why don't you bring my former commander of the west, henry how like to come out and supervise the armies in virginia? lincoln agrees. but there is a catch that compromise. until how light gets here, you are my de facto military adviser. pope is going to have to organize his army and prepare for a campaign, while he is still stuck in washington d. c.. as he prepares for the second manassas campaign, ultimately, as it would become known, the objectives for the campaign, he is given -- not his objectives -- the objectives he is given our very limited. first objective for this developing campaign for the army of virginia, to cover washington d. c.. number two, oppose and delay the confederate banks. to the last extremity. to allow
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the army of the potomac to make their way to alexandria and fredericksburg and a link up with the army of virginia. number three, pope is to attack the critical rail lines, confederate rail lines, in communications with gordon till and charlottesville. this will force robert e. lee to send huge reinforcements, away from the confederate capital and mclelland can hopefully turn the tide of the campaign on the virginia peninsula. these challenges, all of these things that pop is fighting against, began to change. and they weigh on him. phil carney -- what a great reputation he has. we'll say this about pope's challenge -- how do they expect hope to be, with a very inferior force, the veterans of you will and jackson? get me my fighting division with pope and with popes army, i will breathe again. just several days into the campaign, however, popes men are defeated at cedar mount. and that defeat and his pulling back from that battlefield, surrendered to robert e. lee. lee will seize that initiative immediately and
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he will begin to capitalize on all that it will provide him. as the second manassas campaign continues to unfold, morale in the army of virginia plummets further. many men in the ranks feel that they're being needlessly sacrificed after the defeat of cedar mountain. they're not being supported. general order number five, subsistent off the man, has gotten way out of hand. damaging the morale. because popes army is hungry. when pope cape -- he fires a very intelligent fellow by the name of herman how, who kept the supplies running. and by the time popes army is almost starving to death, he comes crawling and begging back. asking him to please, please come back. now, by the middle of the month of august, pope is beginning to learn that lease objectives are set up crushing his army. it 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, pope starts making a lot of mistakes. he's done pretty well in this campaign so far. although, he has failed
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tactically at cedar mountain, he's holding some of the strategies, some of the campaign objectives that he has been given. but by august 25th and 26th, pope has gone completely off the rails. the stress of this command, the stress of the objectives, all of that subtext that we talked about, is weighing on him heavily. pope is on certain about these re-tensions by the end of the month. no reinforcements that alec has been promising him for the last two weeks have arrived. he is receiving no specific orders from howick or washington, telling him what to do next. as it relates to his campaign objectives. the only thing he -- are the following instructions from how like -- if possible to attack the energy in the flank, do so. if possible to get in the rear, pursued with vigor. i mean, what is he supposed to do? and by august 26th, pope is already starting to look at ways to get out of this predicament. the only thing you can think of on the 26, is to retire towards fredericksburg. but, if he
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retires towards pratt fredericksburg, he believes he will be reduced in command. that he would be demoted for these actions. by the following morning on august 27th, he comes up with two other ways to get out of this predicament. he believes one of the things he could do, again, is to retire to fredericksburg, link up with burn sides command, but he feels that if he does that his army will be stripped from him. it will damage his reputation. so, he opts for option two. maybe i can go after individual pieces of the confederate army. -- defeat them, secure my reputation, have my start to continue to rise. it leads us to the battle of manassas. pope, admittedly, will commit numerous blunders. pope's biographer, will -- say at times that pope was erratic during the battle, that pope continues in a quote, wishful thinking -- he said pope was choosing to disregard both his senses and his better judgment. they're on the field with pope, lieutenant stephen well would say that general pope seemed wholly at a loss of what to do and what to think. he said that
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he did not know where his own man were or where jackson was. we all know how the battle of manassas played out. but would retreat back to washington d. c. and eventually, he would be relieved of command. and we move to the end of this program this evening, talking about that moment. where everyone in the historiography of 159 years -- i should say everyone, but most -- and even pope's contemporaries argue that this defeat -- ultimately will be his fall from grace and the eyes of the lincoln administration. but it couldn't be further from the truth. in late august of 1862, as
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manassas was playing out in virginia, abraham lincoln and edmund stanton are ignoring desperate pleas for help from the governor of minnesota. there is a serious, serious war raging out there. it was the sioux uprising. the dakota war of 1862. they need help. lincoln and stanton have been focusing all of their energies in virginia. john hey, one of lincoln's private secretaries that have gone out there months earlier, comes back and tells lincoln that this war is growing more extensive out there. they need help. now, if pope has lost confidence in lincoln and stanton, if he is being banished out west, why would you send someone that is so inept, that was defeated at manassas, to be in charge and carry out a war by themselves in minnesota? look where mcclelland goes. he goes back to missouri -- new jersey. not a whole lot going out there.
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but they go to -- and pope thrives once again. he handles the sioux war, the dakota war of 1862, with brilliance. he will continue to have his star rise throughout the rest of 1863 and 1864, he continues to impress all of his superiors to the point that as the opening movements of the overland campaign begin, did you know, grant calls pope east to congratulate him for everything he's doing and have pope cancel -- on how to deal the situation in the last. doesn't sound like someone that has lost the faith and confidence of the higher echelons of the military. or the link administration. over the next several years, pope is going to continue to rise in providence. pope will really rewrite how the united states government deals with indian affairs in the 18 60s and the
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1870s and the 18 80s. in addition to that, jon pope is going to be asked to bounce his thoughts on overhauling the american military system by the 1870s. pope says that the american military system in the 1870s, and for the last hundred years before, that had been largely based on the british model. a system based on aristocracy. he is 100% right. and pope says listen, that is in direct opposition to what this country stands for. and pope will begin to issue a number of changes that will radically change the armed forces in this country. popstar continues to rise. at one point in popes command, i want to share with, you as the war is -- with pope takes command of the military division of missouri. he is in command of 41,000 manned and has the largest geographic command in the united states. this is during the civil war still. is this someone whose star has fallen? in march of 1865, -- and with the, pope is now in command of half of the size of
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the united states. in march of 1865. has he truly fallen so far from grace? his command stretches from the red river, north and that canadian border from the mississippi river, west to the humboldt mountains of nevada. pope has lived a very long life and dedicated a large majority of it too service of this country. he will finally retire for the military in 1866. his wife had passed away in 1888 and he rarely left the house after that. but in september of 1892, he won from st. louis to stand dusky, ohio, to visit with his close friend and brother-in-law who we heard about at the beginning of the program. who was down the comment on of the ohio -- during the evening of september 23rd, after dinner, passed away in his sleep. the onsite surgeon said the cause of his death was a complete
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breaking down of his nervous system. letting loose of all vital force, which has been very properly styled, nervous postulation. he would be buried at the end of the week back in st. louis, next to his wife with full military honors. the war department, by the 18 70s and 18 80s, had started to turn their thoughts about pope as the minor affair with fits john porter continued to plague his legacy. at second manassas. and so the smoke's men for the war department -- and eminently useful patriotic, and distinguished career nearly half a century into the service of his country. we titled the program today the reluctant rise and the unavoidable fall of john pope. this ambitious man of 1861 in 1862, flat out told lincoln and statin, this is not the command for me, this is not a command that my abilities can do. this is not the command that can carry out the objectives you want to give. and yet, he was forced
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to. he did the best he could with it, he clearly made mistakes during the second manassas campaign, and became practically unraveled during the battle itself. but his fall from grace was not as far as the historiography would tell you. upon popstar, the editors of the army and navy journal perhaps summed up his contributions, trying to restore his reputation of that fall -- and that's how we will close our program this evening. they wrote quote, military critics may dispute as to general pope's capacity as a general in command of armies in the field. none, however, can deny that he was a faithful servant of his country, a patriot, and a scholar. deserving of the fullest commendation in a place in the hearts of his countryman with those whose ultimate success make them the foremost of the leaders of their time. we thank you. [applause]
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>> we have time for a few questions. please introduce yourself and let us know where you are from. >> -- [inaudible] i wanted to find out your opinion, if you thought that pope was considered a -- >> it's a great question. obviously, he has that pedigree and those connections, just by the nature of his birth. that seven-page letter definitely puts him on the agenda of lincoln, keeping in mind, keeping his name there for future promotions. i think it's a mix. i think pope definitely has some political aspirations and those political connections
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will make part of his higher promotions related politically, as we heard from chase and stanton asked to the promotion of the army of virginia. but clearly, pope is a pretty good officer, has a very good understanding of how to wage war and be successful in the west. he obviously has a setback at manassas, but upon his return to the west, he overhauls the way the government deals in indian affairs, not only to quell many of the indian raids and wars that are waging out there, but also to overhaul the military system in the post civil war area. i think it's a 50/50 balance. he is definitely a capable officer, but he also has some of those political connections to help his promotions. >> other questions? >> excellent presentation. i'm kind of curious, in your
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opinion, who was the author's of general orders 5, 7, 11 >> so, there is some contemporary sources, as well as the review of the modern historians, that say that the military proclamation, as well as those general orders, were not written entirely by pope himself. which would then go to really rehabilitate some of his responsibility and the fallout affects of those orders. when it comes down to the military proclamation, many believe that general stanton, or at when stanton, had dictated a large portion of the military proclamation and there's also accounts that say that lincoln had reviewed that military proclamation before pope made it public. those same sources point back to general orders five, seven, and 11 as well.
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that pope was not necessarily 100% of the mastermind behind those individual orders. i think the truth lies somewhere in between. certainly, pope is not issuing these orders without somebody knowing their context. whether that be stanton or lincoln or at least how like. at the very, very least. but i would definitely say the war department and the lincoln administration has empowered on those orders. we have time for one more question. >> all right, right over here. last question. >> ben keller, fredericksburg. general lee had nothing but contempt for pope. was that well-founded? >> 100%. and that's all a fallout result of that military proclamation. when that military proclamation comes out, it leaves robert e. lee to make the famous statement, labeling pope a miscreant. and it's at that point many historians will argue that that becomes lees objective. he may have had other plans for 1862, but hope is his primary objective. we will get this miscreant out of virginia and then we will deal with mcclellan's army back on the peninsula. thank you.
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