Major General John Pope

John Pope

John Pope was the commander of the Army of the James operating in the Shennadoah Valley in 1862. After George B. McClellan's withdrawl from the Peninsula back to Washington, DC, President Abraham Lincoln started searching for a commander who would more agressively pursue Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Stripping McClellan of most of his units, Lincoln assigned the bulk of the Army of the Potomac to Pope's command.

Pope immediately set about to engage the Army of Northern Virginia, resulting in the Second Battle of Bull Run. At first Pope's troops held their own against Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's division, even to the point of leading it into an ambush. The timely arrival of James Longstreet's division saved the day for the Confederates, and routed Pope's army back to the defenses of Washington.

Pope is reported to have once declared that, in this campaign, his headquarters would be "in the saddle," leading one wag to say, "He had his headquarters where his hindquarters should be."

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Photo credit: Library of Congress
Created 26 APR 2000; Modified 24 JUL 2014