GENERAL JOHN POPE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 04/29/1881 - HFSID 286168
Sale Price $1,020.00
His reputation shredded after an 1879 Board of Inquiry blamed him, not his chosen scapegoat, for the Union military disaster at Second Manassas, Pope presses for an early meeting with his brother-in-law, a judge and Civil War historian.
Autograph Letter signed: "Jno Pope", 3 pages on 2 sheets, 5x8. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1881 April 29. Letterhead "Headquarters Army of the Missouri" to Judge Manning F. Force. "I have learned indirectly from someone that you will not be present at the meeting of the Army of the Tennessee on the 10th & 11th May. Can this be so? I have counted so much on seeing you there that it is a great disappointment to hear that you even think of not coming. Things are so unsettled in Washington that I cannot now make any arrangements for the summer but I hope to do so before the meeting. Of course, if I remain here I expect you to go to the mountains with us and I also hope Ned Wright will go. If you should see him will you please tell him I will write to him as soon as matters are settled. In the meantime I hope you will reconsider any purpose you had not to come. As I hope to have a talk with you at the meeting I will postpone some things I need to talk to you about until I see you. Affectionately yours". John Pope (1822-1892) fought with distinction at Monterrey and Buena Vista in the Mexican War. As Commander of the Army of the Mississippi in the Civil War, he captured New Madrid and took part in the move on Corinth. These successes in the West brought him the command of the newly organized Army of Virginia (June 1862), and he was named Brigadier General in the regular army. Outwitted by Robert E. Lee and badly defeated at Second Manassas (August 28-30, also called Second Bull Run), Pope blamed subordinate commander Fitz John Porter for the debacle. Porter was court martialed and dismissed from the army (January 1863), but Pope was relieved of his command in September 1862 and sent to duty on the Western frontier. In 1879, a Board of Inquiry headed by General John Schofield exonerated Porter, blaming Pope for the defeat and concluding that Porter's actions had saved the Union Army from an ever greater defeat. Manning F. Force (1824-1899) was Pope's brother in law, an Ohio judge, and a close personal friend of President Rutherford B. Hayes, who had just left office when this letter was written. Force would later be awarded the Medal of Honor (1892) for leading an assault on the Confederate defenses of Atlanta, and he wrote extensively on the military history of the Civil War. Though discredited by the Board of Inquiry, Pope was still in military service (a major player in Indian affairs), and must have been eager to enlist the support of his respected friend and in-law. Promoted to Major General in 1882, Pope retired in 1886. Lightly toned. 2 horizontal 1 vertical fold crease. Otherwise fine condition.
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