An important lost look at the Civil War by one of the most complex commanders of the Union army. General John Pope wrote the dispatches that make up this volume 21 years after the close of hostilities, for the National Weekly, a news magazine published in Washington D.C. The reports, which grew to be published over five years (and numbered 29 installments), detailed all of Pope's reminiscences of the war. Although written in a frank and accessible style, they were soon forgotten until Cozzens (The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka and Corinth, 1997) and Girardi, an amateur Civil War historian, ran across them while scanning microfilmed reels of the weekly. This book covers such topics as the Second Battle of Bull Run (at which questions of Pope's conduct would create a blemish that would stain his service record for 20 years), Lincoln's leadership, the early and late days of the war, Secretary of War Stanton, and just about all of the notable figures Pope would encounter throughout the war. While readable, the writing does tend to the ponderous, and occasionally details are repeated again and again. Still, Pope offers an intriguing eyewitness account of the battles of the Civil War, informed by an insider's knowledge of strategy, conditions, and events. Cozzens offers a succinct introduction and places the events related in the memoir within their proper context. An essential firsthand account to join the ranks of the those of Sherman and Grant.