Meade, George Gordon

Life Span
Full name
George Gordon Meade
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Free State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Richard Worsam Meade (father), Margaret Coates Butler (mother), Margaretta Sergeant (wife, 1840)
West Point (US Military Academy)
Other Occupation
Relation to Slavery
White non-slaveholder
US military (Pre-Civil War)
Union Army
US military (Post-Civil War)

George Gordon Meade (American National Biography)

The bespectacled Meade resembled more the scholar than the soldier, but being at times short-tempered, he lived up to a popular description of him as a "damned old goggle-eyed snapping turtle." He saw to it that each corps in his army had a gallows or shooting post for "Friday executions." He deserted newspaper correspondents, believing much of their reporting to be inaccurate and to him malicious. Frequently he barred them from his army, only to have them retaliate with still more unfavorable coverage. According to his biographer, Freeman Cleaves, Meade's contributions were so distorted and denigrated by the Radical press that Meade supposed "it soon would be proved that either he was not at Gettysburg at all or that his presence there had been a positive detriment." Press criticism combined with the biased memoirs of grandstanding commanders who had various affiliations with the Army of the Potomac effectively relegate Meade to the background. His reputation has not achieved the high level that it deserves.
Herman Hattaway and Michael D. Smith, "Meade, George Gordon," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
Date Event
- The Army of the Potomac concentrates on Chancellorsville in preparation for an attack on Lee
Union and Confederate armies collide near Chancellorsville in Spotsylvania County, Virginia
"Stonewall" Jackson's flanking movement seizes the initiative in the Battle of Chancellorsville
Lee's Army of Northern Virginia forces back entrenched Union forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville
- The beaten Union Army retreats across the Rappahannock, ending the Battle of Chancellorsville
General George Meade appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Joseph Hooker
- Battle of Gettysburg
At Gettysburg, Union General Daniel Sickles disregards orders and loses much of his III Corps and his right leg
- The retreating Army of Virginia reaches the Potomac and finds it flooded and impassable
- The Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania ends when Lee's troops slip away across the Potomac in the night
The troops of the Pennsylvania Reserve present General George Meade with a valuable sword in recognition of his leadership
In northern Virginia, units of the Army of the Potomac pass in review before their commander, General Meade
The Battle of the Wilderness opens on ground fought over the year before at Chancellorsville
In Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the Battle of the Wilderness continues for a second bloody day
In Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the Battle of the Wilderness ends and Union maneuvering continues
- In fighting around Peeble's Farm, Union forces further tighten to ring around the key town of Petersburg
At Jetersville, Virginia, Sheridan's Union force blocks the Confederate Army's retreat to Danville
In Amelia County, Virginia, Union forces consolidate to block General Lee's retreat towards Danville
In Washington D.C., thousands watch as the victorious Army of the Potomac parades through the city
In a rainy Philadelphia, General George Meade leads Philadelphia's veterans in a welcome home parade
The cornerstone is laid for the Soldiers' Monument at Gettysburg's National Soldiers' Cemetery
Chicago Style Entry Link
Cleaves, Freeman. Meade of Gettysburg. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960. view record
Sauers, Richard Allen. Gettysburg: The Meade-Sickles Controversy. Washington, DC: Brassey's, 2003. view record
Sears, Stephen W. Gettysburg. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Meade, George Gordon," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,