By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
July 12, 2012
With Maj. Gen. George McClellan and the Army of the Potomac retreating from Gen. Robert E. Lee’s attacks on the Peninsula, a number of disparate Union commands in northern Virginia were consolidated as the Army of Virginia. Major Gen. John Pope was Lincoln’s choice to command the newly-formed Army. Pope had built a reputation as a hard fighter in the west having captured New Madrid Missouri in March 1862 and Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River the following month.