George Gordon Meade

George Gordon Meade

Cádiz, Provincia de Cádiz, Andalucia, Spain
Death 6 Nov 1872 (aged 56)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section L, Lot 1-7
Memorial ID 702 · View Source
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Civil War Union Army Major General. He is known universally as "The Victor of the Battle of Gettysburg", being in command of the Union's Army of the Potomac during the engagement. Born in Cadiz, Spain, his father was stationed there as a United States Naval Agent at the time of his birth. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1835, placing 19th out of 56. He left the Army in 1836, and returned in 1842 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers. Employed as a military engineer up to and including the Mexican War, he was present at the Battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterrey. In the years between the Mexican and Civil War he served in lighthouse construction projects and coastal surveys, and was promoted to Captain in 1856. From 1857 until 1861 he headed the Great Lakes Survey mission. A few months after the Civil War started he was called east, and promoted to Brigadier General, US Volunteers on August 31, 1861. Given commanded a brigade of Pennsylvania Reserve troops, he led them in the 1862 Peninsular Campaign, and during the Seven Days battles, where he was severely wounded at the Battle of Glendale on June 30, 1862. After partially recovering, he commanded the brigade at the August 1862 Battle of Second Bull Run. Elevated to division commander, he commanded the I Corps's 3rd Division at the Battles of South Mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg, where his troops made a temporary breakthrough of the Confederate lines. Named commander of the Army of the Potomac's V Corps a few days after the battle, he was promote to Major General, US Volunteers on November 29, 1862. He led his Corps at the Battle of Chancellorsville, where he successfully executed the strategic crossing of the Rappahannock River, only to have his and the Army's efforts squandered by General Joseph Hooker's subsequent timidity once the battle started. He received orders to replaced Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863. Just a few days later, the Army of the Potomac was involved in the monumental Battle of Gettysburg. General Meade arrived on the scene the night of July 1st, and made the critical decision to stay and continue the fight. The Confederate forces were subsequently defeated after two more days, and the Battle of Gettysburg has since been argued to be the turning point of the Civil War. General Meade himself was roundly criticized then and now for not pursuing the defeated Confederate forces after the battle. The only further significant independent command decisions for the Army of the Potomac made by General Meade was the aborted Mine Run Campaign in the fall of 1863. When Ulysses S. Grant named Lieutenant General and commander of all Union Army forces, he had his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, and directed Army strategy and operations against General Robert E. Lee. General Meade retained full command of the Army, although strategic decisions were made by Grant. He led the Army in all of the battles from the Wilderness right up until Appomattox, received the Thanks of Congress for his Gettysburg efforts, and ended the war as Major General in the Regular Army. Named commander of the Military Division of the Atlantic, he made his headquarters in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he would involve himself in civic endeavors, include the creation of the city's Fairmount Park. He died while still on active duty at his residence on Delancey Street in Philadelphia, and his elaborate funeral was attended by President Grant, Generals William T. Sherman, Philip Sheridan, Irwin McDowell and many other Civil War figures. His son, George Jr., served as his aide during the Battle of Gettysburg. Today on Cemetery Ridge in the Gettysburg National Military Park stands a huge equestrian sculpture of General Meade, and a similar statue stand in his honor in West Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. The United States Army installation Fort Meade in Maryland is named for him. His legacy is commemorated today by the General Meade Society of Philadelphia.

Bio by: RPD2




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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 702
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Gordon Meade (31 Dec 1815–6 Nov 1872), Find a Grave Memorial no. 702, citing Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .