George G. Meade Facts

George G. Meade Facts
George Meade was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War who was known for achieving some spectacular, such as at Gettysburg. With that said, Meade was also known for failing to follow up his important victories by allowing his enemies to retreat and keep their armies intact. Meade was born George Gordon Meade on December 31, 1815 in Cadiz, Spain to Richard and Margaret Meade. His father was a wealthy American merchant who was beset by financial problems and died while George was a teenager. Like most generals on both sides of the Civil War, George attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and graduated in 1835. Meade married Margaretta Sergeant, who came from an influential Pennsylvania family, in 1840. The couple would have seven children
Interesting George G. Meade Facts:
Although born in Spain, Meade's family were generational Pennsylvanians.
Meade's first combat experience was in the Second Seminole War (1835-1842) in Florida.
Like most of his contemporaries in the Civil War, Meade served as a lieutenant during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).
George's brother, Richard Worsam Meade II (1807-1870) was an admiral in the United States Navy and a naval commander for the Union Navy during the Civil War.
On August 31, 1861, Meade was made a brigadier general in the Union Army.
During the Battle of Glendale (June 30, 1862) in eastern Virginia, Meade was shot in the arm, the leg, and the back.
Although the Union forces lost at the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28-30, 1862) in northern Virginia, Meade's brigade allowed the Union army to make an orderly retreat, keeping the army intact.
Meade was promoted to commander of the Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863, replacing Joseph Hooker.
Although he defeated Lee at Gettysburg, President Lincoln, other Union officers, and the northern press criticized Meade for not pursing Lee's vulnerable army.
Meade was known for having a bad temper and was particularly contemptuous of the press, which is probably one of the reasons his reputation suffered after his death.
Meade was constantly plagued by disloyal subordinate officers, such as major general Daniel Sickles, who remained loyal to Hooker.
When Ulysses Grant was made commander of the entire Union Army in March 1864, he largely micromanaged Meade for the remainder of the war.
One of Meade's biggest failures during the Civil War was at the Battle of the Crater (July 30, 1864) in Petersburg, Virginia: Meade overruled general Burnside's plan of using better trained black soldiers, which resulted in an overwhelming Confederate victory.
After the war, Meade retired to Philadelphia where he worked as the commissioner of Fairmount Park.
Meade died on November 6, 1872 in Philadelphia at the age of fifty-six from pneumonia.
The United States Army base Fort Meade Base is named for George Meade.

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