General John Pope


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 13, 1862

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General Pope

General Pope

President's Emancipation Policy

Lincoln's Emancipation Policy

Second Battle of Bull Run

Second Battle of Bull Run


Warrenton, Virginia



War in Virginia

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Manassas Junction

Manassas Junction

Camp Morton

Camp Morton

Civil War Iron Clads

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Scenes in Tennessee

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty



VOL. VI.—No. 298.]





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1862, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.


MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN POPE, Commander of the Army- of Virginia, whose portrait we give herewith, was born in Kentucky, about the year 1822. He entered the Military Academy at West Point from Illinois in 1838, and graduated in 1812 as Second Lieutenant of Topographical Engineers. He was in the Mexican war, and at Monterey so distinguished himself that he obtained his First Lieu-tenancy. Again at Buena Vista he won laurels and the brevet rank of Captain. He was still a Captain when the rebellion broke out, and was one of the officers appointed by the War Department to escort President Lincoln to Washington. He was loyal, and was soon after the inauguration appointed to a command in Missouri. Bands of marauders were at that time overrunning the State, burning bridges, robbing Union men, and firing into army trains. General Pope inaugurated the plan of making each county responsible for outbreaks occurring therein. An attack having subsequently been made by the rebels on a body of Union men, General Pope assessed the damage at a given sum, ordered the county to pay it on a day fixed, and, when the county of-fields showed a disposition to trifle with hint, seized property and produce enough to pay the amount required. He was subsequently appointed by General Halleck to the command of Central Missouri, and effected several important seizures of rebel arms and supplies, which rendered it necessary for General Price to fall back. When General Curtis was sent in pursuit of Price, General Pope was dispatched to Commerce, Missouri, where he organized with remarkable dispatch a compact army of about 12,000 men, and marched through the swamp to the rear of New Madrid. He took the place by a brilliant dash, seizing a large quantity of arms and munitions of war : then, conjointly with the mortar and gun-boat fleet, laid siege to Island No. 10. The siege might have been indefinitely prolonged but for "a transverse movement" undertaken by General Pope. He cut a canal through the swamp and bayou, through which a gun-boat and transports were sent to him from above. This enabled him to cross the river, and to bag the entire rebel army at Island No. 10. General Pope was subsequently ordered to reinforce General Halleck at Corinth. His was the first corps to enter the place after the evacuation, and he pursued the flying force of Beauregard for forty miles, capturing large stores of ammunition and a large number of prisoners.

In May last General Pope was called from the West to Washington, and placed in command of the Army of Virginia, which consisted of three corps d'armee, under Generals McDowell, Sigel, and Banks. On assuming the command General Pope issued the following stirring address to his army:


By special assignment of the President of the United States I have assumed command of this army.

I have spent two weeks in learning your whereabouts, your condition, and your wants; in preparing you for active operations, and in placing you in positions from which you can act promptly and to the purpose.

I have 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 found, whose policy has been attack, and not defense. In but one instance has the enemy been able to place our Western armies in a 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 am sure you long for an opportunity to win the distinction you are capable of achieving. That opportunity I shall endeavor to give you.

Meantime, I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases which I am sorry to find much in vogue among you.

I hear constantly of taking strong positions and holding them—of lines of retreat and of bases, of supplies. Let us discard such ideas. The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the enemy. Let its study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before, and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance.

Disaster and shame lurk in the rear.

-Let no act on this understanding, and it is safe to predict that your banners shall be in-scribed with many a glorious deed, and that your names will be dear to your countrymen forever.   JOHN POPE Major-General Commanding.

General Pope advanced without delays, concentrating his forces on the Rappahannock, and located his head-quarters at Warrenton, Virginia. From this point the army gradually advanced toward Richmond, the cavalry under the direction of General Hatch actively scouting and making the country too hot for spies or guerillas. On the 2d of August the reconnoitring column crossed the Rapidan, pushed forward to Orange Court House, took possession of the town, then in the possession of the rebel cavalry under Robertson. Eleven of the rebels were killed and fifty-two taken prisoners, among whom were a major, two captains, and two lieutenants. The Union loss was but two killed and three wounded. The rebels left their wounded behind. The railroad track and telegraph line between Orange Court House and Gordonsville were destroyed. Another party shortly after destroyed Frederick Hall Station and the railroad line for several miles between Richmond and Gordonsville. On the 9th of August the famous battle of Cedar Mountain was fought; by General Banks's corps of General Pope's army. The severity of the contest, and the bravery with which it was fought, are still fresh in our readers' minds. We need but allude to it. The rebels retreated under cover of the darkness of the night of the 11th, and General Pope took possession of the ground formerly held by them. General Pope followed up the battle by pursuing the rebels across the Rapidan with his cavalry and a small infantry force, occasionally engaging them. He next pushed on his whole army to the Rapidan, General Sigel's corps driving back the rebels every time they attempted to cross that river.. The rebels, under General Lee, in strong force, next began to move on General Pope in front, while Jackson attempted to out-flank him. He, however, managed to de-feat their plans for the time by organizing a fighting retreat, during which General Sigel's corps acted brilliantly. At last, however, Jackson succeeded in getting into his rear, and Pope was surrounded. But he brilliantly released himself from the difficulty by cutting his way through the rebels and forming a junction with the Union troops in his rear.

During Pope's administration of his new department he has made himself remark-able by the energy of his movements and the determination evinced in his general orders. The rebels became so furious with him that they denounced him by general order, in which they declared that if he or any of his officers were taken prisoners, they would be treated as common felons. Instead of being cowed by such an announcement, it, only added vigor to his al-ready vigorous plans.

'We publish on page 581 three illustrations from the army of Virginia, sketched by our special artist, Mr. Davenport. The following account of the skirmish at Free-man's Ford, in which General Bohlen lost his life, will be found interesting:

When the artillery attack on Sigel bad hulled a little, the brave General determined to feel the rebel strength opposite his position. Accordingly he ordered General Carl Schurz to reconnoitre with his division, and, if possible, to cross the river. Schurz's division comprises two brigades, of which he took only the first, General Bohlen, for the reconnoissance. The Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania was sent over first, the men wading breast-deep through the water, bolding their pieces and ammunition above 'their heads to keep them dry.

Schurz's crossing was unopposed. He kept on up the opposite bank, and out upon the level ground, and went more than it mile before his pickets carne face to face with the enemy's. They had no choice but to face about and attack Schurz in his own position, which they did in force.

The fight, on this trans-Rappahannock field was hotly contested-as you may well imagine from the fact that it commenced at about 9 A.M. and lasted until 6 o'clock in the evening! But up to  5 o'clock, when I passed that way, Sigel bad not lost above 50 or 00 in killed and wound-ed. But one brave man and true patriot had gone to his account—Brigadier-General Bohlen, of Philadelphia, commanding the First Brigade, Third Division, Sigel's Army Corps, had fallen while at the head of his command ho was waving his sword and cheering on his men.


John Pope

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