This Week in the Civil War - #866
On July 1, 1864 Union General Irwin McDowell assumed command of the Department of the Pacific, a far inferior position for the officer who commanded Union troops at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861. After his defeat at Bull Run, McDowell remained a division commander first under George McClellan and then under John Pope. McDowell was blamed for the Union fiasco at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862 but escaped culpability by testifying against General Fitz John Porter, whom Pope court-martialed for insubordination. As a result of his testimony, McDowell spent the following two years in exile from the leadership of the Army. After July 1864 Irwin McDowell would spend the remainder of the war in California, effectively isolated from further battlefield command.