“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Washington in Rappahannock County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Union Army of Virginia

Pope's Pronouncements

Union Army of Virginia Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 17, 2021
1. Union Army of Virginia Marker
In July and August 1862, 30,000 men in two corps of Gen. John Pope's newly formed Union Army of Virginia camped across much of Rappahannock County. Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson had recently defeated them during Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign. They included Gen. Nathaniel's P. Banks's 2nd Corps, which camped on this ground, and Gen. Franz Sigel's 1st Corps at Sperryville, Woodville, and Thornton Gap. Gen. Irwin McDowell's 3rd Corps camped near Warrenton.

Pope himself arrived here late in July 1862, after uttering pronouncements that irritated his foes, many of whom were not in the Confederate army. On taking command early in July, he pompously proclaimed to his officers and men, "Let us understand each other. I have come to you from the West, where he have always seen the backs of our enemies." Indeed, Pope had been successful at New Madrid and Island No. 10, helping secure the upper Mississippi River for the Union. His attitude, however, failed to endear him to his army. When he announced that his headquarters would be "in the saddle," wits retorted that his headquarters were where his hindquarters belonged.


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also announced that his army "will subsist upon the country in which their operations are carried on," and that "if any person, having taken the oath of allegiance [to the Union], be found to have violated it, he shall be shot, and his property seized and applied to the public use." Although Pope was implementing President Abraham Lincoln's policies to bring "hard war" to the South, Pope bore the brunt of Confederate outrage.

John Pope (1822-1892) alienated so many of his contemporaries with his bombast that his good qualities, such as giving a field command to the outstanding cavalryman Gen. John Buford, are often overlooked. Grief over the death of his infant daughter just as he took command likely affected his behavior. Pope was relieved after his defeat at the Second Battle of Manassas and reassigned to the West, where he acquitted himself well in combat with the Indians. As commander in Atlanta during Reconstruction, he promoted the interest of freedmen. Reassigned to the West, he at times proposed to "utterly exterminate" the Sioux but he also supported the better treatment of Indians.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil RightsNative Americans

Union Army of Virginia Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 17, 2021
2. Union Army of Virginia Marker
War, US CivilWars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is August 1862.
Location. 38° 42.859′ N, 78° 8.834′ W. Marker is in Washington, Virginia, in Rappahannock County. Marker is at the intersection of Library Road (County Road 683) and Old Mill Road, on the left when traveling east on Library Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3 Library Rd, Washington VA 22747, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Union Army of Virginia 2nd (Banks's) Corps Encampment (here, next to this marker); Banks's Camp (here, next to this marker); Charles C. Nordendorf (here, next to this marker); Rappahannock County in the Civil War (here, next to this marker); Rappahannock People Before and During the Civil War (here, next to this marker); The Rappahannock Old Guard (here, next to this marker); Washington, Virginia (within shouting distance of this marker); A Tale of Two Mills (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Washington.
Additional keywords. genocide, Civil Rights
Credits. This page was last revised on April 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 18, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 178 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 18, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Feb. 21, 2024