General Pope and the assistant secretary of war.
A correspondent of the N. Y. Tribune says
I heard, while at Pillow
, an anecdote of General Pope
--an officer of ability, but sometimes a very unpleasant man, with a pompous and hectoring manner — which will bear repetition.
While at his headquarters, the general was approached by a rather small, plain-looking, and entirely unassuming man, in citizen's attire, with the question: “Are you General Pope
“ That is my name,” was the answer, in rather a repelling tone.
“ I would like to see you, then, on a matter of business.”
“Call on my adjutant, sir
He will arrange any business you may have.”
“ But I wish to have a personal conversation with you.”
“See my adjutant,” in an authoritative voice.
“Did I not tell you to see my adjutant?
Trouble me no more, sir ;” and Pope
was about walking away.
“My name is Scott
, general,” quietly remarked the small, plain man.
“ Confound you!
What do I care,” thundered Pope
, in a rising passion, “if your name is Scott
, or Jones
, or Jenkins
, or Snooks
, for the matter of that?
See my adjutant, I tell you, fellow!
Leave my presence!”
“I am,” continued the quiet man, in his quiet way, “the Assistant Secretary of War
What a revolution those simple words made in the general's appearance and manner!
His angry, haughty, domineering air was dispelled in a moment, and a flush of confusion passed over his altered face
“ I beg your pardon, Mr. Scott
, I had no idea whom I was addressing.
Pray be seated; I shall be happy to grant you an interview at any time.”
Possibly a very close observer might have seen a faint, half contemptuous smile on the Secretary
's lips; though he said nothing, but began to unfold his business without comment.
After that unique interview, Pope
and the Assistant Secretary
were very frequently together, and I venture to say the latter had no reason subsequently to complain of the general's rudeness.