War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0824 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA. AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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the Army, from motives not necessary to investigate, have begun to put forth crude criticism upon a campaign of the plan of which they knew nothing, and which was conducted under orders and information of which they are profoundly ignorant. I am aware that the Government intends in due season to investigate the conduct of several officers connected with that campaign, but in advance I would be obliged to you if (knowing, as yo do, all the facts necessary for a fair judgment) you would answer, so that I can use your reply, two or three questions which I submit herewith, if answer can be made consistently with the public interests:

1st. Was any mistake or blunder of any kind made by me in the conduct of that campaign or was it not conducted with skill and energy?

2nd. Was the withdrawal of the forces into the entrenchments at Washington due to any want of ability, energy, or skill, or any sort of mismanagement on my part, or was it not occasioned by circumstances beyond my control?

3rd. Was such union of the Armies of Virginia, and the Potomac made as early as contemplated or sufficiently early to enable me to make greater or more determined resistance to Lee's advance than I did?

These questions are asked merely to have your personal opinion, as an answer to letters of ill-informed and ill-natured army officers. As your military judgment is unquestioned, and as you are fully acquainted with every fact and all the details of that campaign, your opinion will settle the matter as far as I am concerned.

Very truly, yours,


Major-General, U. S. Army.

WASHINGTON, D. C., November 7, 1862.

Major General JOHN POPE, Sait Paul, Minn.:

GENERAL: Your letter of October 30 is just received. Some of your questions, and especially that in regard to re-enforcement, have been officially reported on by me to the War Department by order of the Secretary of War. what use he proposed making of that report I know not, but presume that he intended at the proper time to make it public. Perhaps he merely intends to make it the basis of a court for me to write any letter for me to write any letter for publication in regard to these matters.

It may be proper for me to add that the proposed inquiry was not based upon any alleged fault in your operations. There is, however, an evident intention to blame for bringing any of McClellan's army from the Peninsula. That is to be made the real point of attack . You will soon hear the opening of the newspaper batteries on me. You, however, may occasionally get a stray shot. We must both be patient; it will all come right in the end. If you were the you would see why silence just now is far the better course.

Yours, truly,