John Pope (military officer)

John Pope (military officer)

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John Pope was a career United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 officer and Union
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 general in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. He had a brief but successful career in the Western Theater
Western Theater of the American Civil War
This article presents an overview of major military and naval operations in the Western Theater of the American Civil War.-Theater of operations:...

, but he is best known for his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run
Second Battle of Bull Run
The Second Battle of Bull Run or Second Manassas was fought August 28–30, 1862, as part of the American Civil War. It was the culmination of an offensive campaign waged by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia against Union Maj. Gen...

 (Second Manassas) in the East
Eastern Theater of the American Civil War
The Eastern Theater of the American Civil War included the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the coastal fortifications and seaports of North Carolina...

.

Pope was a graduate of the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 in 1842. He served in the Mexican-American War and had numerous assignments as a topographical engineer and surveyor in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, and Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

. He spent much of the last decade before the Civil War surveying possible southern routes for the proposed First Transcontinental Railroad
First Transcontinental Railroad
The First Transcontinental Railroad was a railroad line built in the United States of America between 1863 and 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad of California and the Union Pacific Railroad that connected its statutory Eastern terminus at Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska The First...

. He was an early appointee as a Union brigadier general
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

 of volunteers and served initially under Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

, with whom he had a stormy relationship. He achieved initial success against Brig. Gen. Sterling Price
Sterling Price
Sterling Price was a lawyer, planter, and politician from the U.S. state of Missouri, who served as the 11th Governor of the state from 1853 to 1857. He also served as a United States Army brigadier general during the Mexican-American War, and a Confederate Army major general in the American Civil...

 in Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 and then led a successful campaign that captured Island No. 10
Battle of Island Number Ten
The Battle of Island Number Ten was an engagement at the New Madrid or Kentucky Bend on the Mississippi River during the American Civil War, lasting from February 28 to April 8, 1862. The position, an island at the base of a tight double turn in the course of the river, was held by the Confederates...

 on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

.

Pope's success in the West inspired the Lincoln administration
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 to bring him to the troubled Eastern Theater to lead the newly formed Army of Virginia
Army of Virginia
The Army of Virginia was organized as a major unit of the Union Army and operated briefly and unsuccessfully in 1862 in the American Civil War. It should not be confused with its principal opponent, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Robert E...

. He initially alienated many of his officers and men by publicly denigrating their record in comparison to his Western command. He launched an offensive against the Confederate army of General Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

, in which he fell prey to a strategic turning movement into his rear areas by Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson
ຄຽשת״ׇׂׂׂׂ֣|birth_place= Clarksburg, Virginia |death_place=Guinea Station, Virginia|placeofburial=Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeteryLexington, Virginia|placeofburial_label= Place of burial|image=...

. At Second Bull Run, he concentrated his attention on attacking Jackson while the other Confederate corps, under Maj. Gen. James Longstreet
James Longstreet
James Longstreet was one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War and the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his "Old War Horse." He served under Lee as a corps commander for many of the famous battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia in the...

, executed a devastating assault into his flank, routing his army. He deflected some of the blame for the defeat by wrongfully accusing Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter
Fitz John Porter
Fitz John Porter was a career United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War...

 of disobeying his orders. Porter was exonerated in 1879, causing much public embarrassment for Pope.

Following Manassas, Pope was banished far from the Eastern Theater to Minnesota, where he commanded U.S. Forces in the Dakota War of 1862
Dakota War of 1862
The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux. It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota...

. He was appointed to command the Department of the Missouri
Department of the Missouri
Department of the Missouri was a division of the United States Army that functioned through the American Civil War and the Indian Wars afterwards.-Civil War:...

 in 1865 and was a prominent and activist commander during Reconstruction in Atlanta. For the rest of his military career, he fought in the Indian Wars
Indian Wars
American Indian Wars is the name used in the United States to describe a series of conflicts between American settlers or the federal government and the native peoples of North America before and after the American Revolutionary War. The wars resulted from the arrival of European colonizers who...

, particularly against the Apache
Apache
Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

 and Sioux
Sioux
The Sioux are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects...

.

Early life


Pope was born in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

, the son of Nathaniel Pope
Nathaniel Pope
Nathaniel Pope was a politician and jurist from the U.S. state of Illinois.-Early life, education, and career:...

, a prominent Federal judge in early Illinois Territory
Illinois Territory
The Territory of Illinois was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 1, 1809, until December 3, 1818, when the southern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Illinois. The area was earlier known as "Illinois Country" while under...

 and a friend of lawyer Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

. He was the brother-in-law of Manning Force
Manning Force
Manning Ferguson Force was a lawyer, judge and soldier from Ohio. He became known as the commander of the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and was a recipient of the Army Medal of Honor for gallantry in action.-Early life and career:Manning F...

, and a distant cousin married the sister of Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Ann Lincoln was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865.-Life before the White House:...

. He graduated from the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 in 1842, and was commissioned a brevet
Brevet (military)
In many of the world's military establishments, brevet referred to a warrant authorizing a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily, but usually without receiving the pay of that higher rank except when actually serving in that role. An officer so promoted may be referred to as being...

 second lieutenant in the Topographical Engineers. He served in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and then helped survey the northeastern border between the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. He fought under Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

 in the Battle of Monterrey
Battle of Monterrey
In the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War, General Pedro de Ampudia and the Mexican Army of the North was defeated by U.S...

 and Battle of Buena Vista
Battle of Buena Vista
The Battle of Buena Vista , also known as the Battle of Angostura, saw the United States Army use artillery to repulse the much larger Mexican army in the Mexican-American War...

 during the Mexican-American War, for which he was appointed a brevet first lieutenant and captain, respectively. After the war Pope worked as a surveyor in Minnesota. In 1850 he demonstrated the navigability of the Red River
Red River (Mississippi watershed)
The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers in the southern United States of America. The river gains its name from the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name...

. He served as the chief engineer of the Department of New Mexico from 1851 to 1853 and spent the remainder of the antebellum years surveying a route
Pacific Railroad Surveys
The Pacific Railroad Surveys -A series of explorations of the American West to explore possible routes for a transcontinental railroad across North America. The expeditions included surveyors, scientists, and artists and resulted in an immense body of data covering at least on the American West....

 for the Pacific Railroad
First Transcontinental Railroad
The First Transcontinental Railroad was a railroad line built in the United States of America between 1863 and 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad of California and the Union Pacific Railroad that connected its statutory Eastern terminus at Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska The First...

.

Civil War


Pope was serving on lighthouse duty when Abraham Lincoln was elected and he was one of four officers selected to escort the president-elect to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 He offered to serve Lincoln as an aide, but on June 14, 1861, he was appointed brigadier general
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

 of volunteers (date of rank effective May 17, 1861) and was ordered to Illinois to recruit volunteers.

In the Western Department
Department of the West
The Department of the West, later known as the Western Department, was a major command of the United States Army during the 19th century. It oversaw the military affairs in the country west of the Mississippi River to the borders of California and Oregon.-Organization:The Department was first...

 of Maj. Gen.
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...

 John C. Frémont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

, Pope assumed command of the District of North and Central Missouri in July, with operational control along a portion the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. He had an uncomfortable relationship with Frémont and politicked behind the scenes to get him removed from command. Frémont was convinced that Pope had treacherous intentions toward him, demonstrated by his lack of action in following Frémont's offensive plans in Missouri. Historian Allan Nevins
Allan Nevins
Allan Nevins was an American historian and journalist, renowned for his extensive work on the history of the Civil War and his biographies of such figures as President Grover Cleveland, Hamilton Fish, Henry Ford, and John D. Rockefeller.-Life:Born in Camp Point, Illinois, Nevins was educated at...

 wrote, "Actually, incompetence and timidity offer a better explanation of Pope than treachery, though he certainly showed an insubordinate spirit." Pope eventually forced the Confederates
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

 under Sterling Price
Sterling Price
Sterling Price was a lawyer, planter, and politician from the U.S. state of Missouri, who served as the 11th Governor of the state from 1853 to 1857. He also served as a United States Army brigadier general during the Mexican-American War, and a Confederate Army major general in the American Civil...

 to retreat southward, taking 1,200 prisoners in a minor action at Blackwater, Missouri
Blackwater, Missouri
Blackwater is a city in Cooper County, Missouri, along the Blackwater River. The population was 199 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Blackwater is located at ....

, on December 18. Pope, who established a reputation as a braggart early in the war, was able to generate significant press interest in his minor victory, which brought him to the attention of Frémont's replacement, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck.

Halleck appointed Pope to command the Army of the Mississippi
Army of the Mississippi
Army of the Mississippi was the name given to two Union armies that operated around the Mississippi River, both with short existences, during the American Civil War.-1862:...

 (and the District of the Mississippi, Department of the Missouri) on February 23, 1862. Given 25,000 men, he was ordered to clear Confederate obstacles on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. He made a surprise march on New Madrid, Missouri, and captured it on March 14. He then orchestrated a campaign to capture Island No. 10
Battle of Island Number Ten
The Battle of Island Number Ten was an engagement at the New Madrid or Kentucky Bend on the Mississippi River during the American Civil War, lasting from February 28 to April 8, 1862. The position, an island at the base of a tight double turn in the course of the river, was held by the Confederates...

, a strongly fortified post garrisoned by 12,000 men and 58 guns. Pope's engineers cut a channel that allowed him to bypass the island, then, assisted by the gunboats of Captain Andrew H. Foote, he landed his men on the opposite shore, which isolated the defenders. The island garrison surrendered on April 7, 1862, freeing Union navigation of the Mississippi as far south as Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

.

Pope's outstanding performance on the Mississippi earned him a promotion to major general, dated as of March 21, 1862. During the Siege of Corinth
Siege of Corinth
The Siege of Corinth was an American Civil War battle fought from April 29 to May 30, 1862, in Corinth, Mississippi.-Background:...

, he commanded the left wing of Halleck's army, but he was soon summoned to the East by Lincoln. After the collapse of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

's Peninsula Campaign
Peninsula Campaign
The Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War was a major Union operation launched in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862, the first large-scale offensive in the Eastern Theater. The operation, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B...

, Pope was appointed to command the Army of Virginia
Army of Virginia
The Army of Virginia was organized as a major unit of the Union Army and operated briefly and unsuccessfully in 1862 in the American Civil War. It should not be confused with its principal opponent, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Robert E...

, assembled from scattered forces in the Shenandoah Valley
Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley is both a geographic valley and cultural region of western Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. The valley is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians , to the north by the Potomac River...

 and Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia consists of several counties and independent cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in a widespread region generally radiating southerly and westward from Washington, D.C...

. This promotion infuriated Frémont, who resigned his commission.

Pope brought an attitude of self assurance that was offensive to the eastern soldiers under his command. He issued an astonishing message to his new army on July 14, 1862, that included the following:




Despite this bravado, and despite receiving units from McClellan's Army of the Potomac
Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

 that swelled the Army of Virginia to 70,000 men, Pope's aggressiveness exceeded his strategic capabilities, particularly since he was now facing Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

. Lee, sensing that Pope was indecisive, split his smaller (55,000 man) army, sending Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
Stonewall Jackson
ຄຽשת״ׇׂׂׂׂ֣|birth_place= Clarksburg, Virginia |death_place=Guinea Station, Virginia|placeofburial=Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeteryLexington, Virginia|placeofburial_label= Place of burial|image=...

 with 24,000 men as a diversion to Cedar Mountain
Battle of Cedar Mountain
The Battle of Cedar Mountain, also known as Slaughter's Mountain or Cedar Run, took place on August 9, 1862, in Culpeper County, Virginia, as part of the American Civil War. Union forces under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks attacked Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. Thomas J...

, where Jackson defeated Pope's subordinate, Nathaniel Banks. As Lee advanced upon Pope with the remainder of his army, Jackson's swung around to the north and captured Pope's main supply base at Manassas Station
Manassas, Virginia
The City of Manassas is an independent city surrounded by Prince William County and the independent city of Manassas Park in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. Its population was 37,821 as of 2010. Manassas also surrounds the county seat for Prince William County but that county...

. Confused and unable to locate the main Confederate force, Pope walked into a trap in the Second Battle of Bull Run
Second Battle of Bull Run
The Second Battle of Bull Run or Second Manassas was fought August 28–30, 1862, as part of the American Civil War. It was the culmination of an offensive campaign waged by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia against Union Maj. Gen...

. His men withstood a combined attack by Jackson and Lee on August 29, 1862, but on the following day Maj. Gen. James Longstreet
James Longstreet
James Longstreet was one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War and the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his "Old War Horse." He served under Lee as a corps commander for many of the famous battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia in the...

 launched a surprise flanking attack and the Union Army was soundly defeated and forced to retreat. Pope compounded his unpopularity with the Army by blaming his defeat on disobedience by Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter
Fitz John Porter
Fitz John Porter was a career United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War...

, who was found guilty by court-martial and disgraced
Court-martial of Fitz John Porter
The court-martial of Fitz John Porter was a major event of the American Civil War. Major General Fitz John Porter was found guilty of disobeying a lawful order, and misconduct in front of the enemy and removed from command based on internal political machinations of the Union...

.

Pope himself was relieved of command on September 12, 1862, and his army was merged into the Army of the Potomac under McClellan. He spent the remainder of the war in the Department of the Northwest in Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, dealing with the Dakota War of 1862
Dakota War of 1862
The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux. It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota...

. His months campaigning in the West paid career dividends because he was assigned to command the Military Division of the Missouri (subsequently named the Department of the Missouri
Department of the Missouri
Department of the Missouri was a division of the United States Army that functioned through the American Civil War and the Indian Wars afterwards.-Civil War:...

) on January 30, 1865, and received a brevet promotion to major general in the regular army on March 13, 1865, for his service at Island No. 10.

Shortly after Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

's surrender at Appomattox Court House
Appomattox Court House
The Appomattox Courthouse is the current courthouse in Appomattox, Virginia built in 1892. It is located in the middle of the state about three miles northwest of the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, once known as Clover Hill - home of the original Old Appomattox Court House...

, Pope wrote a letter to Edmund Kirby-Smith offering the Confederates in Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 the same surrender terms that Grant allowed for Lee. He told Kirby-Smith that further resistance was futile and urged the general to avoid needless bloodshed, devastation, and misery by accepting the surrender terms. Kirby-Smith, however, rejected Pope's overtures and said that his army remained "strong and well equipped and that despite the 'disparity of numbers' his men could outweigh the differences 'by valor and skill.'" Five weeks later Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Simon Bolivar Buckner fought in the United States Army in the Mexican–American War and in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He later served as the 30th Governor of Kentucky....

 signed the surrender in New Orleans.

Postbellum years


In April 1867, Pope was named governor of the Reconstruction Third Military District
Third Military District
The Third Military District existed in the American South during the Reconstruction era that followed the American Civil War. It comprises Georgia, Florida and Alabama and was headquartered in Atlanta....

 and made his headquarters in Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

, issuing orders that allowed African Americans to serve on juries, ordered Mayor James Williams
James E. Williams (mayor)
James Etheldred Williams was an American politician who served as a two-term antebellum mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, during Reconstruction....

 to remain in office another year, postponing elections, and banned city advertising in newspapers that did not favor Reconstruction. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

 removed him from command December 28, 1867, replacing him with George G. Meade.

Pope returned to the West and served with distinction in the Apache Wars
Apache Wars
The Apache Wars were a series of armed conflicts between the United States and Apaches fought in the Southwest from 1849 to 1886, though other minor hostilities continued until as late as 1924. The Confederate Army participated in the wars during the early 1860s, for instance in Texas, before being...

. He made political enemies in Washington recommending that the reservation system would be better administered by the military than the corrupt Indian Bureau
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

. He engendered controversy by calling for better and more humane treatment of Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. Others point to quotes from John Pope regarding killing and displacing specific Native American tribes (specifically the Sioux Indians) author Walter Donald Kennedy states the following (including a quote from John Pope himself): "Union general John Pope gave expression to how the 'Indian problem' was to be handled when he stated, 'It is my purpose to utterly exterminate the Sioux.' Pope planned to make a 'final settlement with all these Indians.' His plan was to shoot and hang as many as possible and then remove the rest from the land."

Pope's reputation suffered a serious blow in 1879 when a Board of Inquiry led by Maj. Gen. John Schofield
John Schofield
John McAllister Schofield was an American soldier who held major commands during the American Civil War. He later served as U.S. Secretary of War and Commanding General of the United States Army.-Early life:...

 concluded that Fitz John Porter had been unfairly convicted and that it was Pope himself who bore most of the responsibility for the loss at the Second Battle of Bull Run. The report characterized Pope as being reckless and dangerously uninformed about the events on the battle, and credited Porter's perceived disobedience with saving the army from complete ruin.

John Pope was promoted to major general in the regular army in 1882 and retired in 1886. He died at the Ohio Soldiers' Home near Sandusky, Ohio
Sandusky, Ohio
Sandusky is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Erie County. It is located in northern Ohio and is situated on the shores of Lake Erie, almost exactly half-way between Toledo to the west and Cleveland to the east....

. He is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

.

See also


  • List of American Civil War generals
  • The Court-martial of Fitz John Porter
    Court-martial of Fitz John Porter
    The court-martial of Fitz John Porter was a major event of the American Civil War. Major General Fitz John Porter was found guilty of disobeying a lawful order, and misconduct in front of the enemy and removed from command based on internal political machinations of the Union...


Further reading

  • Ellis, Richard M. General Pope and U.S. Indian Policy. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1970. ISBN 0-8263-0191-6.
  • Pope, John, Peter Cozzens, and Robert I. Girardi. The Military Memoirs of General John Pope. Civil War America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8078-2444-5.
  • Ropes, John Codman. The Army in the Civil War. Vol. 4, The Army under Pope. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1881. .
  • Strother, David Hunter. A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War: The Diaries of David Hunter Strother. Edited by Cecil D. Elby. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8078-4757-7. First published 1961.

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