This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 new measures which were alike odious and fruitless. The railway, with which, in spite of everything, he could not dispense, was frequently obstructed by bands of partisans he had not been able to disperse. Exasperated by their audacity, he held all the families, residing within the circumference of five miles radius from the place where any excesses had been committed, personally responsible for their attacks. Finally, by a general order to which we shall again refer, and which mingled in a deplorable manner political questions with military matters, he required all the in habitants of the country he occupied to take the oath of allegiance, threatening with expulsion such as refused to comply. What should have been done in the first instance, his measure being utterly powerless in this respect, would have been to repair the disorder introduced into his several army corps, by the error of which his predecessors had been guilty during the month of June. A large number of stragglers had ended by deserting into the interior. No distinction appears to have then been made between those present and the absentees in the reports; and Pope found out more than once, at the very moment he was placing hi troops in line, that one-third of the men he had believed at his. disposal were missing. In short, to tell the entire truth, he did not inspire his subordinates with entire confidence. In spite of his faults, Pope was a brave soldier, loyal, disinterested and in defatigable; but it was impossible for the old generals of the army of the Potomac, nearly all of whom had exercised independent commands, to feel well disposed toward this new chief, who had been brought over from the West without having performed any brilliant military exploits to justify the selection. Some of his general orders had contained instructions as to the manner of waging war which had wounded them, and his protracted stay in Washington, before he had shown himself to his army, had prevented him from counteracting these prejudices through his personal influence. He consequently found obedient subordinates, but disposed only to execute his orders literally until they should know him better; this was a great misfortune for the army he was about to command. The month during which the Federal armies had remained inactive had not been wasted by Lee, who found himself placed
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.