The Army of Northern Virginia: Lee's Army in the American Civil War, 1861-1865

By Philip Katcher | Go to book overview

The Second Manassas Campaign

General John Pope made the Union's next attempt to take the war to Virginia. In late August 1862, Lee responded by dividing his army, sending Jackson in a march around Pope's flank and setting the scene for another Confederate victory along Bull Run Creek.

On June 27, 1862 Lincoln, despairing that McClellan had the spirit to force his way into Richmond, brought a winning general, MajorGeneral John Pope, from the Mississippi to take command of a new formation called the Army of Virginia. This included troops in the Valley, from the Mountain Department and the Department of the Shenandoah, and the troops in front of Washington, known as the Department of the Rappahannock. In all, Pope had about 45,000 men under his command. He was ordered to move overland toward Richmond to take pressure off the Army of the Potomac on the Virginia peninsula.

Pope later said he wasn't happy with the assignment, realizing that it “naturally occasioned dissatisfaction among a number of officers of high rank and no doubt a good deal of severe comment was indulged on.” Frémont, now assigned to serve under an officer junior in rank to him, asked to be, and was, relieved. The other generals remained and largely performed to Pope's satisfaction. McClellan, however, was furious, feeling that he was being abandoned by Washington and seeing his grasp of fame-and a future presidential bid-slip away.

Pope promptly went about using his pen to get himself into hot water. He issued an order, from his “headquarters in the saddle” (which prompted wags on both side of the lines to wonder about a “general who doesn't know his

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