Postwar Correspondence between Pope and the Comte de Paris Pertaining to the Second Bull Run Campaign
Headquarters, Department of the Missouri
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, May 29, 1876
To M. Le Comte de Paris
Although the general expectation in this country was, I think, that your history of our civil war would have a strong but natural bias in favor of the general on whose staff you served at the beginning of hostilities, and of the personal friends in high official station who surrounded him (an expectation confirmed by those portions of the work which have been published in the United States), yet I confess that I share the surprise of many other people that this natural sympathy, with which I believe no one finds fault, should have led you, no doubt unconsciously, into errors, contradictions and inconsistencies which cannot fail greatly to impair the value of the work, even considered as merely "Memoires pour Servir."
It is to be hoped, indeed I think it may be counted certain, that when the partisans on all sides of the controverted questions, raised during the war, have had their say, some dispassionate and able writer, in view of the whole subject, will give us as the result, a history of our civil war which shall recite the facts as nearly as human testimony can reach the truth.
As your work is ably written, and by a man much respected in this country, it is very likely to mislead many persons, to the prejudice of the rights and character of men who were engaged in our great conflict.
A history of the campaign of the army under my command in Virginia is now being compiled from all the data, to the minutest details, furnished by the records of both armies, and although it may possibly be thought to have a bias of an opposite character, yet I trust it will furnish data possessing at least equal value for the future historian.
I have not enjoyed the advantage of reading all those parts of your history which have been printed in this country. Indeed I have seen nothing concerning the campaign in which I was myself engaged in Virginia except a short extract concerning the Second Battle of Bull Run published in the Army and Navy Journal of the 27th instant.