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Halleck took fcharge of the disorganized department, Pope was placed in command of the District of Central Missouri. He was afterwards sent to Southeastern Missouri. The cruel disj position of the man, of which his rude manners, and a vulgar bearded face, with coarse skin, gave indications, found an abundant field for gratification in this unhappy State. His proceedings in Missouri will challenge a comparison with the most infernal record ever bequeathed by the licensed murderer to the abhorrence of mankind. And yet, it was his first step in blood—the first opportunity he had ever had to feast his eyes upon slaughter and regale his ears with the cries of human agony.
Having been promoted to the rank of Major-General, Pope was next appointed to act at the head of a corps to co-operate with Halleck in the reduction of Corinth. After the evacuation of Corinth by Gen. Beauregard, Pope was sent by Halleck to annoy the rear of the Confederate army, but Beauregard turned upon, and repulsed his pursuit. The report of Pope to Halleck, that he had captured 10,000 of Beauregard's army, and 153000 stand of arms, when he had not taken a man or a musket, stands alone in the history of lying. It left him without a rival in that respectable art.
Such was the man who took command of the enemy's forces in Northern Virginia. His bluster was as excessive as his accomplishments in falsehood. He was described in a Southern newspaper as "a Yankee compound of Bobadil and Munchausen." His proclamation, that he had seen nothing of his enemies "but their backs," revived an ugly story in his private life, and gave occasion to. the witty interrogatory, if the gentleman who cowhided him for offering an indignity to a lady was standing with his back to him when he inflicted the chastisement. The fact was that Pope had won his baton of marshal by bragging to the Yankee fill. He was another instance, besides that of Butler, how easily a military reputation might be made in the North by bluster, lying, and acts of coarse cruelty to the defenceless. On what monstrous principles he commenced his career in Virginia, and what orders he issued, are still fresh in the public memory.
"I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases, (said Pope to his army,) which I am sorry to find much in vogue among you. I hear constantly of taking strong positions and holding them; of lines of retreat and bases of supplies. Let us discard such ideas. The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is the one from which he can most easily advance upon the enemy. Let us study the probable line of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of itself. Let us look before and not behind. Disaster and shame lurk in the rear."
On establishing his headquarters at Little Washington, the county seat of Rappahannock, Pope became a source of mingled curiosity and dread to the feeble villagers. They were in a condition of alarm and anguish from the publication of his order, to banish from their homes all males who should refuse to take the Yankee oath of allegiance. Dr. Bisphaw of the village was deputed to wait upon the Yankee tyrant, and ask that the barbarous order be relaxed.
He painted, at the same time, the agony of the women and children, and stated that the effect would be to place six new regiments in the rebel service. "We can't take the oath of allegiance," said the Doctor, "and we won't—man, woman or child—but we will give a parole to attend to our own business, afford no communication with the South, and quietly stay upon our premises."
"I shall enforce the order to the letter," said General Pope. "I did not make it without deliberation, and if you don't take the oath you shall go out of my lines."
In the short period in which Pope's army was uninterrupted in its career of robbery and villainy in Northern Virginia, every district of country invaded by him or entered by his marauders was ravaged as by a horde of barbarians. This portion of Virginia will long bear the record and tradition of the irruption of the Northern spoilsmen. The new usage which had been instituted in regard to protection of Confederate property, and the purpose of the Washington government to subsist its troops upon the invaded country, converted the "Army of Virginia" into licensed brigands and let loose upon the country a torrent of unbridled and unscrupulous robbers. The Yankee troops appropriated remorselessly whatever came within their reach. They rushed in crowds upon the smokehouses of the farmers. On the march -through a section of country, every spring-house was broken open; butter, milk, eggs and cream were engulphed; calves and sheep, and, in fact, anything and everything serviceable for meat, or drink, or apparel, were not safe a moment after the approach of the Yankee plunderers. Wherever they camped at night, it would be found the next morning that scarcely an article, for which the fertility of a soldier could suggest the slightest use, remained to the owner. Pans, kettles, dishcloths, pork, poultry, provisions and everything desirable had disappeared. The place was stript, and without any process of commissary or quartermaster. Whenever the. Yankee soldiers advanced into a new section the floodgates were immediately opened and fae simile Confederate notes (this spurious currency being manufactured in Philadelphia and sold by public advertisement for a few cents to Yankee soldiers) were poured out upon the land.* They were passed indiscriminately upon the unsuspecting inhabitants, poor as well as rich, old and young, male and female. In frequent instances, this outrage was perpetrated in return for kind nursing by poor, aged women.
* Tbe Northern trade in this counterfeit money was open and undisguised; enticing advertisements of its profit were freely made in the Northern journals, and circulars were distributed through the Federal army proposing to supply the troops with "rebel" currency almost at the price of the paper on which the counterfeit was executed. We copy below one of these circulars found on the person of a Yankee prisoner; the curiosity being a court paper in the possession of Mr. Commissioner Watson, of Richmond:
"$20 Confederate Bond!! I have this day issued a Fac-simile $20 Confederate Bond—making, in all, fifteen different Fac-simile Rebel Bonds, Notes, Shinplasters and Postage Stamps issued by me the past three months.
Trade supplied at 50 cents per 100, or $4 per 1000. All orders by mail or express promptly executed.
Jgig60 All orders to be sent by mail must be accompanied with 18 cents in postage stamps, in addition to the above price to prepay the postage on each 100 ordered. Address, S. C. Upham.
403 Chesnut Street, Philadelphia.
N. B. I shall have a $100 Rebel Note out this week."
These spurious notes passed readily, and seemed to be taken gladly for whatever was held for sale. Bank notes and shinplasters were given for change. Horses and other valuable property were often purchased with this bogus currency. A party of Yankee soldiers entered a country store, fortified with exhaustless quantities of Philadelphia Confederate notes, and commenced trade. Forty pounds of sugar was first ordered, and the storekeeper, pleased with the sudden increase of business, called in his wife to assist in putting up the order in small parcels. Seventy-five cents a pound was the cost. That was a small mutter. Matches were purchased. Twentyfive cents per box was the charge. Tobacco also found a ready market. Each man provided himself with a straw hat; but the crowning act of all was the abstraction from the till of money already paid to the dealer for his goods, and the purchase of more goods with the same spurious medium.
Such acts of villainy and the daily robberies committed by Pope's soldiers were very amusing to the Northern people, and gave them a stock of capital jokes. "I not long ago saw," -wrote a correspondent of a Yankee newspaper, "a dozen soldiers rushing headlong through a field, each anxious to get the first choice of three horses shading themselves quietly under a tree. The animals made their best time into the farthest corner of the field with the men close upon them, and the foremost men caught their prizes and bridled them as if they had a perfect immunity in such sort of things. A scene followed. A young lady came out and besought the soldiers not to take her favourite pony. The soldiers were remorseless and unyielding, and the pony is now in the army."
It is not within the design of these pages to pursue the stories of outrage, villainy and barbarism of ths enemy's armies in Virginia; but with what we have said intended only to show the spirit of that army and the character of its leader, we shajl hasten to describe the series of events which, at last, confronted it with an army of avengers on the historic Plains of Manassas, and'culminated there in a victory, which liberated Virginia from its invaders, broke the "line of the Potomac" from Leesbarg to Harper's Ferry, and opened an avenue for the first time into the territory of the North.
THE BATTLE OF CEDAR MOUNTAIN.
The Northern newspapers declared that Pope was right when he said that he was accustomed to see the backs of his enemy, and were busy in assuring their readers that his only occupation was to chase "the rebel hordes." It was said that he had penetrated as far as Madison Court-house without seeing any enemy. The Southern troops, it was prophesied, would keep on their retreat beyond the Virginia Central railroad. Pope's army was now as far in the interiour, by overland marches, as any of the Yankee troops had ever been. The position of his advance was described as about ten miles east of Port Republic, with an eye on the Shenandoah Valley; and it was boasted that the second Napoleon of the Yankees had already complete possession of the country north of the Rapidan river, and only awaited his leisure to march upon Richmond.
These exultations were destined to a sharp and early disappointment. The Confederate authorities in Richmond knew that it was necessary to strike somewhere before the three hundred thousand recruits called for by the Washington government should be brought to the field to overwhelm them. It was necessary to retain in the strong works around Richmond a sufficient force to repulse any attack of McClellan's army; but at the same time the necessity was clear to hold Pope's forces in check and to make an active movement against him. The execution of this latter purpose was entrusted to