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tv   The Civil War Union General John Pope  CSPAN  November 10, 2021 11:34am-12:38pm EST

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this is the march for our lives in the wake of the douglas shootings. now, this is a friendly crowd but this is the same picture 100 years later, right? so once you start seeing these parallels to tactics the suffragists invented, you kind of can't unsee them. picketing the white house, this was the national women's party's idea. not only is picketing the white house now incredibly common. this is an image from this summer when there were so many back lives matter protesters that they started adding their signs to the fence that the white house had put between the historic fence and lafayette square. also what are these women doing? they're making a message go viral. this is the 1917 equivalent of a tweet, right? sure, it reaches the people who are standing in front of the white house on lafayette square. but it reaches more people as a picture in a newspaper.
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that's why that banner is on really easy to read sans-serif font. it's all about how it will reproduce. >> watch that program and thousands more at hey, everybody. my name is jon tracey. i'm one of the newer members of emerging civil war due in no small part to the recruiting efforts of the person i'm introducing today. i'm here to talk about dan welch who is a very long time seasonal ranger at gettysburg military park where i had the pleasure of meeting and working with him for a couple of years. also the co-author of "last road north" on the gettysburg campaign, co-author of an immediately coming out book on ohio and antietam and also the co-editor of a new series coming
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out. and so with no too much else to say, i want to introduce dan welch who is here to talk about the man we love to hate, john pope. here is dan welch, the man with too many laughs and not enough free time. [ applause ] >> well, good evening, everyone. one of the things i've not shared with a lot of you is my absolute love of the southern rock band lynyrd skynyrd. [ applause ] i've been very fortunate over the last several years to meet some of the plane crash survivors. i've visited all the graves of those that perished in october 1977. i've heard some wonderful stories from some of their former managers and crew. and one of the stories i heard was, as lynyrd skynyrd was getting very popular as the '70s were wearing on and their fame
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was rising, a lot of the acts they opened for would talk to their manager and say, don't let them close with freeburg, we can't top that. this would be from bands like peter frampton and the rolling stones. now i know exactly the situation they were in, trying to follow gary gallagher. in all honesty, i would to thank my colleagues, jon, eric, all the members of for their tireless work that goes into this symposium. it's an honor to have this camaraderie and to talk about this defining moment in american history. even more of a special occasion for me this evening. for me, my heroes didn't wear capes. it was the documentaries i got to watch with those talking heads. the opportunity to talk about an interesting person like john pope tonight in the room of such
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notaries is a true honor. so thank you. so where do we begin this evening? we're going to begin with perhaps one of the most famous moments in john pope's career. and i ask you to bear with me as i read through these dynamic words written 159 years ago. 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 whose business it has been to seek the adversary and to beat him when he was found, whose policy has been attack and not defense. in but one instance has the answer my been able to place our western armies in defensive attitude. i presume i have been called here to pursue the same system and 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
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achieving, an opportunity i shall endeavor to give you. meanwhile i desire you dismiss from your mind 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, end quote, and of, quote, base of supplies. let us discard these ideas. the strongest position of a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can easily advance against the enemy. let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents and leave our own to take care of themselves. let us look before us and not behind. success and glory are an advance. disaster and shame lurk in the rear. let us act on this understanding. and it is safe to predict that your banners shall be inscribed with many a glorious deed and that your names will be dear to your countrymen forever.
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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 into modern works. a narrative 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 lead to his banishment to the west and a fall from grace from which he 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
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administration, in the eyes of many other commanding officers in the federal army and i'm going to challenge you tonight to think about that word, banishment, used by pope's 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. he's the son of nathaniel pope, a very distinguished figure from the state, the former territorial secretary and delegate from the state of illinois territory, would later be a prominent federal judge in the illinois territory as well. pope would receive a very strong education. he would graduate from the united states military academy 17th in his class of 56,
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graduating in 1842, commissioned a second lieutenant in the corps of topographical engineers. he has even 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 then-growing in popularity illinois lawyer, perhaps you've heard of him, abraham lincoln. his brother-in-law, the gentleman by the name of manning force, these men will become best of friends and will ultimately book-end our story tonight. last but not least, a distant cousin of john pope had marry the sister of a woman that would later be known as mary todd lincoln. john pope has an incredible connection with the very history and fabric of society and aristocracy and political
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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. he'll help to survey the northeastern border between the united states and canada. upon the war in mexico he'll fight under zachary taylor at the battles of monterey and buena vista from which he will be appointed a first lieutenant and captaincy. he will go on to demonstrate the navigability of the red river. he will be promoted to captain in 1856. in the years before the american civil war he would spend the remainder of the antebellum years serving a route for the
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pacific railroad. to say that john pope had performed service to his country before 1861 is an understatement. the experiences he gained throughout the 1840s and 1850s, his training as a topographical engineer, will propel him to the front of the pack as the war begins in 1861, to bring those experiences, to bring that understanding of terrain and topography and commanding men on the battlefield of a war that is beginning to break out. now, during the secession winter of 1860-1861, john pope is serving on lighthouse duty. several of our high ranking officers in the federal army will have that same privilege, one of which would be george gordon meade. upon president lincoln's election, he will write to the newly elected president and he starts that letter by giving a lot of advice to the president-elect on the state of the united states military at
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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. now, it's not just advice that pope offers lincoln. it's not just advice 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 not only serve as an entrance way into lincoln's inner circle but it will put him in good graces of the future
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president to serve for future promotions for himself. pope will become incredulously ambitious, starting here in the early days of the american civil war. 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 and 1861. but as the american civil war plays out, this personality trait will become a double-edged blade for pope. although at times it will advance him to the ranks and glory that he hopes to achieve, it will also set him back as well. now, when lincoln finally gets this seven-page letter, i can only imagine, as he's opening it up, he's sitting in his home in springfield, what is this, who is this guy sending me this letter? but lincoln reads it carefully and decides he's a promising, upcoming officer. he sends an invitation to john pope to be one of four officers selected to the score the president-elect to washington, dc. that train will leave from
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illinois on february the 11th of 1861 and pope would later recall the moment he said i became a member, though a very insignificant one, of the party which surrounded and in a sense guarded mr. lincoln and in that wonderful journey, the like of which has never been made before or since. at some point following his escort service to washington, dc of president lincoln, pope would offer lincoln his services as an aide to the president. but on june 14 of 1861, instead he would be appointed brigadier general of volunteers with a date of rank effective to may 17 of that year and he would be 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 that duty of recruitment. in the department of the west under the command of major general john fremont, pope assumed command with operational
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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 promotion and glory. and he'll enter a new phase, a new trait that will once again raise its head in the coming years of this war, the utilization of politics to get what he desires. it's at this moment that pope, detesting fremont, will utilize political connections behind fremont's back to get him removed from command. the ultimate goal, we do away with fremont, and himself get promoted to the post. fremont is not oblivious to what's going on and is convinced that pope has horrific intentions for fremont'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 january that lacks aggressive
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offensive actions on the plains of manassas. historian alan evans would write of this moment, he said actually, it's incompetence and timidity, though he certainly showed an insubordinate spirit, 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 at blackwater, missouri, pope is continuing to rise in notoriety amongst those staff and other officers in his department as well as washington, dc. 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's going to utilize something he hasn't done yet by the end of 1861. he's going to utilize the press.
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he's going to bring more attention to him and more braggadocio, the more the press plays into how good he is, the more he makes those claims of just what a brilliant officer he is. and it's beginning to work, because attention all of that attention will folking on replacing john c. fremaupt. j who to replace him? that attention is coming from none other than major general hallic. now, as he's slowly but surely rising through the ranks, setting him up for an even more drastic fall less than a year later, as the historical later of the last 159 years would argue. pope is an interesting fellow. adjectives that would describe pope as a person in 1861. rough, bombastic, foul mouthed, direct in speech, decisive in
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actions. blunt, despondent and silent. be agnative ohioen, myself, i couldn't ignore this quote, describing pope in 1861. quote those of row that served under pope know what a universal knowledge he had of cuss words and with what artistic ease, grace and vin he could use them. as pope's star continued to rise after the minor affair in missouri of 1861, one of his first falls from grace would occur early the following year in 1862. in february 1862, he would find his wife, clara in poor health. she is suffering even more from a recent pregnancy. pope is despondent. his recent commands from 1861 have been broken up. there's no active campaign in site and he's giving serious
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consideration to resigning his commission. he decides it's perhaps best to take his wife and ride out the pregnancy and challenges of their health there in company of family. pope would write to his father in law, since she is so far away from her home, must under the circumstances be so uneasy that it fills me with anxiety for her. he's despondent and silent because he's had several small victories. got fremont out of place. his star is beginning to rise, getting notice from higher ranking officers in washington d.c. but where's the promotions 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 give pope a regular army commission up to the rank of brig deer general.
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they're applying all this pressure on washington d.c. and he's getting nowhere in this promotion. he'll lash out at lincoln. he'll say my self respect is already startled at what ysk already done. mr. lincoln 's treatment has been so shaby that i would feel humiliated today to receive an appointment from him. what an interesting fellow, oo say the least. the opportunity may be there but i'm too humiliated to accept it. just days after he writes about this, pope's star begins to rise once again. four days after he writes that note about lincoln, he's given a chance at an independent command, which, if successful, almost guarantees a regular commissioned merited commission.
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and halok would recall pope from his time in st. louis to give him the command. and he talks with his wife to assure her she would be okay in his absence and he went. he would be given the command of 25,000 men, his largest yet and ordered to clear confederate obstacles on the mississippi river. his commander wants to capitalize, to move the federal army deeper to the confederacy itself. open the mississippi river as far as possible. and it will lead to one of pope's most successful actions and campaigns to that time. a movement on new madrid and island number ten. pope would capture new madrid march the 14th and upon so, his commanding officer would heap praise on this already very self-confident general. house would say i congratulate
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you and your command on the crown, you have given the fatal blow to the rebellion in am missouri and proven yourselves worthy members of the brave army of the west. pope will continue to make his next advance towards number ten, forcing its surrender april the 7th, officially opening the mississippi river as far as memphis. pope will receive note that his campaign is victory. capture 123 pieces of heavy artillery, 35 pieces of field arb tillery. the total loss for pope's men in the entirety of the campaign was 32 men. he would later report that his own, his own success that he had produce dd lited him with profound satisfaction. so, everyone is heaping praise
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on john pope for the early actions in 1862. and he'll once again rely on what he did following the small victory in december 1861. he will utilize the victory and media coverage thereof to resume his petition the ben factors in the state of illinois for a regular army promotion. he'll write, you will see from the papers and the general's dispatch that we now have a great success. i think if illinois governor and yourself would telegraph lincoln, he will now promptly transfer me as general to the regular army. independent of the gratification of myself, it will enable me to give my staff, my staff increased rank if lincoln is telegraphed in the spur of this victory. just so happens one of his political ben factors were on pope's staff. they would appeal to linken, nonetheless.
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"transfer john pope to regular army. give one of her son as position in the united states army who has so gloriously achieved the just reward we asked of him." lincoln has become quite accustomed to pope's personality and relentless ambition. one of the things i love about how lincoln handles these delicate situation is he does it in a focusy sort of charm. plain and easy to understand but firm. i fully appreciate the achievements with their invaluable results. but you must know major generalships in the regular army are not as plentiful as blackberries. despite this, his victories along the mississippi were enough to promote john pope to
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major general march 21st, 1862. pope's service in the west was not done. pope would immediately take part in the following campaign of the siege against cornyn. now, during this again illustrated one of the personality traits we learned about, insubordination. during the campaign, pope would advance his column too quickly. and advance the strickture of moving no faster than the other elements of the union army. and he'll disobey an order by ordering an attack during the campaign about four miles east of corns itself. this new trait that has emerged, constantly disobeying orders, including, not expelling one of pope's tools to promote himself. henry haloc had ordered the remove of the press during the
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campaign and pope has again been insubordinate. he enjoys boasting of himself and gossiping about himself to the media and the press. he was no doubt an able man and a good soldier but he talked too much of himself and what he could do and ought to be done and he indulged, contrary to very free comments of his superiors and their fellow commanders. what he's saying is pope has become the consummate self prumotor? and i'll pause with that thought to let you know i have books back there for sale at the end of the program this evening. by the middle of june of 1862 u june the 19th, john pope receives a telegram at the secretary of war. he says if your orders will admit you and you can be absent
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long enough for your command, i would be glad to see you at washington. when pope receives this from stanton, he's visiting with his family in saint lewis at the time. clara had just given birth to their first child, clara horton. and he has time off from an active campaign that's just wrapped up. his wife has just given birth. the family are together in saint a lewis. not interested in going to d.c. so, pope asks for advice on what he should do and he writes back, quote, the secretary of war can order you to washington if he deems proper but i cannot give you the leave as i think your services are of the greatest possible importance. so, stanton will send a second telegram, this time ordering pope to washington d.c. but throughout the exchange between hal ocand pope and pope
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and stanton, nowhere is there a reason why he's being sumened from st. louis to the nation's capitol, least of which does he expect a transfrb at the east. pope's men, under his command, take a moment to reflect on his abilities as their commander. while he has commanded him throughout the recent campaign. captain cyrus carpenter a once future governor of illinois, would say he was pug nations and confident. i do not think of him as a man. i consider him a good general. a cavalry said pope, as i saw him, seemed like one of the honest, patriotic and well-informed soldiers. good to remember that as we go further in the program. it caused me to believe that he understood his business and attended to it. he vested the right concension of the american soldier. that is to say he thought the
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men in the ranks to be the real heros of the war. an iowa sergeant said to be sure he's given to blowing a little. but he's a stirring man and one they feared and hated more than anyone else. as pope is preparing to head to washington d.c., two others known to him will comment on the situation the moment that pope is leaving to d.c. captain oscar jackson, would note of pope's departure that, quoted with regret, we parted with pope, who for so long a time, had held our entire confidence as a commander. but perhaps was a man by the name of gordon ranger that summed up the moment best. as pope bords the train to st. louis. goodbye, your grave is made. pope arrives to washington d.c. on june 24th. so, what he describes an enthusiastic welcome as it's reported in the philadelphia inquirer. upon his arrival, clara, his
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wife, wrote him a quick note and this moment, this movement to washington d.c., this movement, this order, this meeting was perfectly -- she was perfectly convinced all of this was leading to a greater purpose and that greater purpose was pope would not return to the west. she would write this and i am almost sure you will now have bank and now perhaps mcdowell's department and you will then take the field against jackson. it is possible that you may supercede mcclellan but i do not w my present light, on the subject consider it lightly. how claire voyant was pope's wife in that moment? now, on june 25th, pope is arrived to washington d.c. and he has his first interview that day with secretary of war, edwin stanton. he sits with stanton and there they sit and they sit and look
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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 d.c., why he's been called back. stanton cannot say anything until abraham lincoln gets back to washington d.c. abraham lincoln had left for west point june twerd. he kept his departure a secret from those in the washington d.c. and the press. rrs he's heading to west point to meet with general winfield scott too, quote, ask my views in writing ask for further dispositions to be made. he's going to ask scott if pope is capable of commanding several despairt armies in the eastern theater of the war. sounds like lincoln's placing a lot of confidence in pope and that perhaps pope's braged eegso
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have something to back it up. and specifically mentioned in the conversation and the suitability whether or not he takes this command and the accounts written down about this meeting. it was certainly discussed. lincoln has a train stop in new jersey and he shares with the press then why he had gone to -- excuse me to west point and eluded to the situation that is brewing back in washington d.c. lincoln said again, in his focusy way, when the birds and animals are lookt add through a fog, they're seen at a disadvantage. if i were to atemp to tell you why i went to general scott. i can only say it did not have the importance which has been attached to it. it concerned matters you understand quite as well as if i were to tell you about them.
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it had nothing to do with making or unmaking any general in the country. the secretary of war holdads pretty tight reign on the press and i'm afraid if i blab too much he might have a tighter reign on me. and the following day, june 26th, there will be another meeting between pope and edwin stanton. they'll meet in private chambers in the war department. he'll announce there's been a in shenandoah and he concede said they're to blame for all that's developed and the fallout in the shenandoah valley. stanton says look, we made mistake in the following ways. first of all, we placed political patrons in command of the arnlys. we also shouldn't have tried to regulate their movements from washington d.c.
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after these commands were defeated across keys in port republic, stanton and lincoln finally give in to what secretary of the treasury has been arguing for weeks and what he's been arguing is these two armies in the valley and irvin mcdowell's army need to be united under one commander. and following the defeat, lincoln and stanton give in. the genesis for lincoln's trip to west point, the genesis for calling pope east. stanton reveals there's going to be an objective for the newly recritted a army. first too, protect washington. objective two, defend the shenandoah valley and objective three, defend the pennsylvania railroad. by accomplishing these objectives and particularly the vital rebel rail rink with the shenandoah valley, they hope it
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would compel the confederates around washington d.c. and opposite mcclellan's army, that they would pull away from mcclellan and it would ease mcclellan 's way into the city of richmond. stanton says he's been called east to carry out these objectives. it's at this point in the conversation that stanton stops talking and they just look at each other. and there's this long, awkward silence. stanton finally says to pope, general, you don't seem to approve the arrangements i have outlined to you. pope responds, mr. secretary, i entirely concur in the wisdom of concentrating these wide-scattered forces and using them generally as you proposeple pose. but i do not view the favor of placing me in command of them. the title of tonight's presentation is john pope's reluctant rise.
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he's been doing everything he can to rise through the ranks. but now he's saying i don't want this command. stanton is annoyed, to say the least. stanton's saying look, you should be flattered that i brought you out here; that i'm offering you this command. pope says look, i'm 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 why don'tia want this? and pope says, first of all, there's three generals of the despairt 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 be carried to those under their command. so, pope continues to explain those things.
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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 not best for his command in the west. he would write, my assignment to command the army of virginia, brought dissatisfaction among a number of officers of high rank and no doubt a good amount of severe comment was indulged in. no one stopped to inquire whether it was by my own act or even wish i came to washington, or whether such transfer or military arrangement was or was not satisfactory to me. i did not desire a transfer. but he had been summoned from another theater would only add to this already tense situation if he were to command these three armies brought together and says it's going to take a long time to organize these armies and discipline them and get them better trained in the
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role of being a soldier. quote in short, i should be much in the situation of a strange dog without even the right to run out of the village. quote, it is of a forlorn hope under the most favorable conditions possible for success. stanton's unconvinced. he says i hear your ideas of why you don't want to do this but i've got to talk to lincoln. the three would meet privately and at the end, lincoln concludes pope's staying in the east and taking command. lincoln has chosen pope for political purposes, not his battlefield ability. lincoln is not at this point in time ready to relieve general mcclellan. there's other factors going into the decision. they've chosen pope because he will fight a hard, relebtless
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contest, unsparing of southern populous, especially in virginia. lincoln is arguing about primarily on the grounds of policy and doing so with patronage. stanton's sole objectival is to humiliate mcclellan. youbl told your commanding 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. he says i don't want this position. send me back out west. the question comes in at this moment for historical debate, who else would by the right fit at this moment? the lincoln administration needs someone out spokenly republican. pope fits that box. antislavery, check. suggesting using african-americans for federal military service, check.
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willing to wage a hard war against the civilian populous, check. and a commander that is aggressive. all of these things that mcclellan is not. "the new york tribune" would note he is a man of action, a man of bold dash and bayonet, and pope will bring order out of the chaos in the shenandoah valley and be ready at once for offensive service. now, pope takes command and essentially he's going to be called into different meetings with lincoln and cabinet and stanton. linken and stanton are looking for advice on how to help mcclellan on the peninsula. he's screaming for reinforcements. pope is 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
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mistake occurring is mcclellan's withdraw towards the james river. and it's at this moment for a fourth time pope says look, it's a big mistake what mcclellan's doing, if you do not order him to halt his withdraw, i would prefer to return 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 fallout from the most recent campaigns that they've experienced against jackson. i'm having a problem here with our slide advancer.
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we'll just keep looking at pictures of those three guys. always admired stanton's facial hair. so -- so, as he gets the army of virginia together, what pope realizes is the things he talked about with stanton and virginia are holding true. it's in the lowest possible sense. the supply situation is disastrous. there's hardly any cavalry to rely on. most -- he sets upon the task of getting them ready as best as he can for a campaign. and part of that is to issue these orders that become so famous. most of which was his military proclamation. that is the opening salvo of many other offensive orders pope will issue, including number five, which is going to order them to subcyst off the land.
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holding the local citizenry accountible for railroad tracks, attacks on wagon trains, stragglers, et and general orders number 11, addressing all male citizens within a sphere of operations, if you will. the military proclamation, damage to the morale of the army of virginia, soured relationships with mcclellan and his command and others. these other orders pope has issued is gaining the respect of the men in the rank and file of the army of virginia. these orders are not radical. john hennessy, respected historian would write, quote, that these orders are a calculated outgrowth of the federal government's changing approach to the war and made necessary by the failure or success of stalemate on the battle field. the goal of these orders to
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bring to the southern people as a whole. these would serve as a political weapon yielded against mcclellan and the conservative approach of war. john pope is going to wage a new style of war fare in the summer of 1862. in the virginia. now, when pope finally gets command, he's commanding from washington d.c. he's made an arrangement and wants mcclellan removed from command. lincoln tells him no, not ready to remove him from command. pope is the one responsible for bringing henry haloc east. he said how did you get him to supervisor the armies in virginia? until haloc gets here, your are the defacto military advisor. pope is going to have to prepare for a campaign while still stuck
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in washington d.c. as he prepares for the second campaign, taz would become known, the objectives for the campaign he's given are very limited. first objectival for this developing campaign for the army of virginia to cover washington d.c. number two, oppose and delay the confederate advance, the last extremty, to allow the armies of potomac to link up with the army of virginia. number three, pope is to attack the critical rail -- confederate rail lines and communications with gourdens vill and charlottesville. this is going to force robert e. lee to open the confederate capitol and mcclellan can hopefully turn the tide on the virginia peninsula. these challenges, all of these things pope is fighting against begin to change him and weigh on him.
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phil kerny, what a great reputation he has, will say this about pope's challenges august 4th. how do they expect pope to beat with a very inferior force, the veterans of yul and jackson? get me in and with pope's army, i would breathe again. several days into the campaign, pope's men are defeated at ceder mountain and his pulling back from that battle field surrendered the initiative to robert e. lee. lee will have seized the initiative immediately and begin to capitalize on all that it will provide him. as the second menases campaign continues to unfold, many men in the ranks feel they're being needlessly sacrifices after the defeat at ceder mountain. land has gotten way out of hand, damaging the morale to the men in the ranks. when pope takes command, he fires a very, very intelligent fellow by the name of herman
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halps, who kept the supply running and by the time pope's army is almost starving to death. and asking to please come back. by the middle of the month of august, pope is beginning to learn that lee's 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. by the second to last week of august, john pope starts making a lot of mistakes. he's done pretty well so far, although he's failed tactically at ceder mountain, he's holding some of the campaign objectives he's been given. but pope's gone completely off the rails. the command stres of the objectives, all that subtext we talked about is weighing on him heavily. pope is uncertain about lee's intentions. no reinforcements that haloc has
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been promising have arrived. he's receiving no specific orders telling him what to do next as relates to his campaign objectives. the only thing he's getting from washington are the following instructions from haloc, "if possible to attack the enemy in the flank, do so." if posable to attack in the rear, do so with vigor. i mean, what's 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 he can think of on the 26th is to retire towards fredericksburg but if he does, he believes he would be reduced in command. he would be demoted for these actions. the following morning on august 27th, pope comes up with two other ways to come out this predicament.
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and damage his reputation and individual pieces. in transit on this campaign. secure in my reputation. and continue to rise. leads us to the battle. pope's biographer, peter will say that pope was a raddic during the battle, that he continued in, quote, wishful thinking, rather than clear reasoning. he said pope was pushing offenses and his better judgment. in the field with pope, they would say general pope seemed wholely at a loss what to do and what to think. he said he did not know where his own men were or where jackson was. we all know how the battle of
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second menases played out. pope would retreat back to washington d.c. and eventually be relieved of command. we move to the end of the program this evening talking about this moment, where everyone in the history of 159 years, and most argue this defeated the second menases and his banishment to the west ultimately will be his fall from grace in the eyes of the lincoln administration. but it couldn't be further from the truth. and late august of 1862, as menases is playing out in virginia, they're ignoring desperate pleas for help from the governor of minnesota. there is a serious, serious war waging out there. it was -- the dakota war of 1862. they need help. lincoln is focusing all of their energies on virginia. they went out there and comes
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back and tells lincoln that they need help. and confidence in lincoln. and stanton. why would you send someone that is so inept that was defeated at second menases to be in charge and carry out a war by themselves in minnesota. mcclellan goes back to new jersey. not a whole lot going on there. but they send this guy to be forgotten about. and pope thrives once again. he handles the sioux war, the dakota war of 1862 with brilliance. he'll continue to have his star rise throughout the rest of 1863 and into 1864. he continues to impress all his superiors to the point the
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opening movements and they look east. and they just lost faith in confidence with the higher echelon of the military or the lincoln administration. over the next several years, pope is going to continue to rise in prominence. pope will rewrite how the united states government deals with indian affairs in the 1860s, 1870 said and 1880s. in addition, john pope is going to be asked about his thoughts on overhauling the american military system. he says the american military cyst foreman the last 100 years before had largely been based on the british model, a system based on aris oceracy and he says that's in direct opposition
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to what this country stands for. pope will begin to issue a number of changes that will radically change the armed forces in this country. pope's star continues to rise. at one point in pope's command, as the war is winding up, by february 3rd, 1865, pope takes command of the military division of the missouri. he's in command of 41,000 men 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, he adds the department of arkansas to his command and 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 of the canadian border to the mississippi river, west to the humboldt mountains of nevada. pope has lived a very long life and dedicated a large majority
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of it to service of this country. he'll finally retire from the military in 1866. his wife had passed away in 1888 and he rarely left the house after that. in september 1892, he went from st. louis to ohio to visited with his close friend and brother in law that we heard about, who is the commandant of the sailers home. after dinner, pope passed away in his sleep. and nervous system. letting loose of all vital force, which has been properly styled, nervous frustration. he would bow buried at the end of the week back in st. louis next to his wife with full military honors. the war department, by the 1870s and '80s had started to turn their thoughts about pope as the minor affair with john porter
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continued to plague his legacy at second menases. and so the spokesman says the death closes a patriotic and distinguished career nearly half a century in service of this country. we titled the program the reluctant rise and up avoidable falloff john. pope. he flat out told lincoln and stanton this is not the command for me, that my abilities do. this is not the command that can carry out the objectives you want to give it but he was forced to take that position. he did the best he could. he clearly made mistakes and became practically unravelled during the btal itself. his fall from grace was not as far as the historiography would tell you. upon pope's death, the editors of the army and navy journal,
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perhaps summed up his contributions, trying to restore his reputation from the fall at second menases. 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 servient of his country a patriot and a scholar, deserve ogof the fullest accomenidations and the place in the hearts of his countryman with those whose ultimate success make them the forb most of the leaders of their time. " thank you. [ applause ] >> any questions? please introduce yourself and let us know where you're from.
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>> [ inaudible ] your opinion if you thought john pope was considered a political appointment? >> obviously he has that pedigree and those connections 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 promotion. i think it's a mix. i think pope has some political assprations and that those political connections will make part of his higher promotions related politically as we heard from chase and stanton as to the promotion to the army of virginia. clearly pope is a pretty good officer, has a very good understanding of how to wage war and he's successful in the waste. obviously has a setback at second menases and he really overhauls the whole way the
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government deals in indian affairs, not only to quell many of the indian raids and wars raging out there but to overhaul the military system and the post civil war era. i think it's a 50/50 balance that he's definitely a capable officer and he has some of the political connections to help those promotions. >> excellent presentation, dan. i'm curious, in your opinion, who was the author of general orders five, 7, and 11? >> there is some contemporary sources, as well as the review of some modern historians that say that the military proclamation, were not written entirely by pope himself, which would go to rehabilitate some of his responsibility in the fallout effects of those orders.
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when it comes down to the military proclamation, many believe general -- edwin stanton had dictated a large portion of the military proclamation and there's accounts that say lincoln had reviewed the military proclamation before pope made it public. those same sources point that to general orders five, seven, and 11 as well. that pope is not necessarily 100% of the master mind behind those individual orders. i think the truth lies somewhere been tween. certainly pope isn't issues these orders without somebody knowing their context, whether it be stanton or lincoln or haloc, at the very least. i would say the war department and lincoln administration has input on those orders. >> last question. >> for fredericksburg.
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general lee had nothing but contempt for pope. was that well founded? >> 100% and that's all part of the military proclamation. when that proclamation comes out, with robert e. lee labelling pope as miscreant. many will argue that pope's command becomes lee's objective. lee may have had other plans for the summer of 1862, but upon that, pope is lee's primary objective. we'll get this miscreant out of virginia and then we'll deal with this. [ applause ] thank you. weekends on c-span 2 are an intellectual feed. every saturday, american history tv documents america's story.
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and on sunday, book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding comes from these television companies and more, including media com. >> the world changed in an instant. the media comwas ready. internet traffic soared and we never slowed down. schools and businesses went virtual and we powered a new reality. because we're built to keep you ahead. >> media com, along with these television companies supports c-span 2 as a public service. how did the suffragests win the vote? in a virtual discussion with the u.s. capitol historical society, lucinda rob and roberts, heirs of two prominent political families, explain the suffragest
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strategies in "suffragest playbook. >> this idea of taking a cause a marge on washington, that was the suffragests idea? and it's now so common that we think of it as a traffic headache but it had never been done before in this way. that was alice paul's idea. in the 1913 parade, which i will talk about at great length, if given half an opportunity. i'm going to restrain myself. because we have a lot to cover today. it did not go at all as planned. an event that was planned down to the last minute but then this massive crowd blocked pennsylvania avenue. for perspective, at about 13th street. you can see the capitol in the
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background, the large office and it's got wide sidewalks and there's no daylight between these men. they are men. you can see all the bowler hats. they were there for the wilson inauguration the next day. they blocked the street, they spit on the women, they called them names, they tripped them. the please did nothing to hold them back and in some cases the police joined in. how familiar is this image now? this is the march for our lives in the wake of the [ inaudible ] douglas shooting. this is the same picture 100 years later. once you start seeing parallels to tactics with suffrages, you can't unsee them. and picketing the white house, right? no one had ever done this before in 1917. this was the national women's party idea.
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so, not only is picketing the white house incredibly common. this is an image from the summer when there were so many black lives matter protesters that they started adding their name to the fence at lafayette square. what are these women doing? they're making a message go viral. this is the 1917 equivalent of a tweet, right insure, it reaches the people standing in front of the white house but it reaches many more people in a picture in the newspaper. that's why that banner is on really easy to read, dark against the white background. that's all about how it's going to reproduce. >> watch the full program and thousands more at tom mcmillen. he is a life-long student of history and civil war. up until this year, he


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