Well, my son, we sent for him to come to Washington and take care of us, and he came.
How the new general came to town.
My artist has drawn you an exact picture of the manner in which this great general entered the capital of the nation. The skies brightened, and the country felt safe again at the thought of having such a hero. Children laughed and gamboled, and said the rebels would get it now Pope had come to town. Dogs ran out, and barked, and snapped for joy. The crowd pressed forward to look at him, and policemen, for once, had enough to do. Fair women waived handkerchiefs and threw him kisses. And many were they who marvelled that so great a soldier had remained so long undiscovered. You see, my son, we are a people much given to excitement, and when we get to heaping honors on a man we do it without mercy. Hence it pleased us much when we saw Pope come to town amidst the beating of drums and the blowing of horns. That was the way he came.
I have spoken of this great general’s modesty, my son. It will also be necessary for me to inform you that he introduced a new idea in war, one worthy of being added to the regulations, and that was that every general should be his own trumpeter, as well as keep a number of trumpeters in his employ.
Then Pope went out to see and have a talk with his army. He also published a grand order to his soldiers, which will stand as a great curiosity in our war literature, as long as the history of the rebellion, for its wisdom astonished the people. He told them the war had been carried on after a strange fashion, which he intended should be changed. He enjoined them, in a word, neither to look to the right nor the left, but to keep straight ahead, with their steel sharp and their powder dry. And when they got near enough to the enemy to see the color of his eye, then deliver their lead right square into his stomach. That was the way war must be carried on. Our army must look only to the front, keep its eye open, and forget that there was such a thing as its rear.
This was highly encouraging to those politicians who said our army must get to Richmond over the shortest road. After what I have said, my son, you will not fail to see what a great general this Pope was. Great generals were not generally generous enough to intrust the care of their rear to the enemy. But this was not all. He established his headquarters in the saddle, and told his soldiers they would always find him there. My opinion has always been, though I have never had much to do with war, that the general who establishes his headquarters in the saddle, was not always to be found when you wanted him. In short, the saddle is a very uncertain locality, and very difficult to find when you have information to convey, and orders to receive; both of which may be necessary during a battle. I rode an hour once to find a general whose headquarters were in the saddle, and did n’t find him after all.