In January 1861, Pope served as a escort for the new President-elect Abraham Lincoln. In May 1861, he received the rank of brigadier general, and served as a recruiter in Illinois. In December 1861, Pope defeated Confederate forces at Blackwater, Missouri. He subsequently received a promotion to major general, and was appointed commander of the Army of the Mississippi. In March 1862, Pope led his new army to capture New Madrid, and Island No. 10, in Missouri. During the Corinth campaign, his army served as the left wing of the Union attack force. In June 1862, he was brought east to the Shenandoah Valley to organize forces to defend Washington. Pope did not foster good relations with his subordinates in this position, and he sought to blame them for his mistakes. Subsequently, his failure in the Battle of First Manassas contributed to his removal to the Department of the Northwest, during which time he served in the uprising of the Sioux in Minnesota until the end of the war.