How The South Could Have Won the Civil War: The Fatal Errors That Led to Confederate Defeat Click here to purchase from Barnes & Noble. Click here to purchase from

General Pope at Second Manassas 1862

Excerpt from How The South Could Have Won the Civil War, by Bevin Alexander,
page 121

A number of things had gone badly wrong very quickly for John Pope. The Confederates had knocked him off the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers with nothing but guile. His men were running out of food because of the destruction of his supply depot. The force that he had confidently expected to evict from Charlottesville only three weeks before was within twenty miles of the national capital—the very place President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton had told him was his primary job to protect.

General Pope had abandoned a superb strategic position between the two wings of the Rebel army. He had turned his back on the largest part of the Confederate army under Robert E. Lee. He had failed to see that the Rebel force that had struck Manassas Junction was entirely too large for a hit-and-run raiding party and must have some other purpose. And he had directed all his forces on Manassas in a move that required the intended victim there, Stonewall Jackson, to sit forlornly and await his destruction. It is difficult to imagine how General Pope could have gotten any more things wrong—but he did.

<< More 'Civil War' Excerpts << Back to top