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George Gordon Meade (American National Biography)

Scholarship

Herman Hattaway and Michael D. Smith, "Meade, George Gordon," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00697.html.

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.
How to Cite This Page: "George Gordon Meade (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/20266.