Pope, John was born on March 16, 1822 in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. Son of Nathaniel and Lucretia (Backus) Pope.
Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1842.
Brevetted First lieutenant United States Army, 1846, served under General Taylor in Mexican War. Commissioned captain, 1847. Chief topographical engineer Department of New Mexico, 1851-1853.
Commissioned First lieutenant, 1853, captain, 1856. Mustering officer at Chicago, 1861. Promoted brigadier general United States Volunteers, 1861.
Commanded Army of the Mississippi for opening of river 1862. Major general United States Volunteers, 1862. Organized and concentrated all separate forces in region of Rappahannock and Shenadoah into Army of Virginia.
Commissioned brigadier general United States Army, 1862. Defeated in 2d Battle of Manassas, relieved of command, 1862. Brevetted major-general United States Army, 1865.
Commanded 3d Military District (Georgia, Alabama, Florida), 1867, Department of the Lakes, 1868-1870, Department of Mississippi, 1870-1883, Department of California and Division of Pacific, 1883-1886. Commissioned major general, 1882.
Married Clara Pomeroy Horton, September 15, 1859, 4 children.