George Meade was a United States Army major general who commanded the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War from 1863 to 1865.
He fought in many of the key battles of the Eastern theater and defeated the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia led by General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Meade was born in Cádiz, Spain, to a wealthy Philadelphia merchant family and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1835. He fought in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican–American War. After the war, he served in the Army Corps of Engineers and was stationed in the West.
In 1861, Meade was commissioned as a brigadier general in the Union Army and fought in the Peninsula Campaign. He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Glendale in June 1862 but returned to duty in time to participate in the Second Manassas Campaign.
Promoted to division command at the outset of the Maryland Campaign in September 1862, Meade performed well at the battles of South Mountain and Antietam.
In June 1863, Meade was appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac after Joseph Hooker was relieved following the Battle of Chancellorsville.
Meade took command of the army just days before the Battle of Gettysburg, which was the largest battle ever fought in North America. Meade's skillful leadership and the bravery of his troops led to a decisive Union victory.
Meade continued to command the Army of the Potomac for the rest of the war. He fought in the Battles of Bristoe Station, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. He was promoted to major general in the regular army in August 1864.
After the war, Meade served as commander of the Military Division of the Atlantic and the Military Division of the South. He retired from the army in 1872 and died in Philadelphia two years later.
Meade was a highly respected general who was known for his calm demeanor and his ability to make sound decisions under pressure. He was also a skilled tactician and strategist. Meade's victory at Gettysburg was a major turning point in the Civil War and helped to ensure the Union's victory.
Read Article: Famous Civil War Generals
George Meade came from a large family. His father was an Admiral and eventually a merchant in Spain.
His grandfather fought in the American Revolution and left a legacy that would be followed.
The Meade family became a prominent military family and would serve throughout many wars, which would include the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War. Future generations would participate in the Spanish-American War, World War 1, and World War 2.
He and his wife had several children, but George Meade would die at a younger age. Unfortunately, it seemed to be a trend in the Meade Family.
Family Tree Chart
Richard Worsam Meade (1778 - 1828) - He was born during the Revolutionary War and the son of a Revolutionary War veteran. He went on to marry and have many children. He would become a merchant in Spain.
Margaret Coats Butler (1782 - 1852) - Her parents are unknown, but she married and had many children with her husband. She passed away 9 years prior to the Civil War.
Margaret Meade (1814 - 1886) - She married George Meade, and the two would go on to have seven children. She outlived her husband by 14 years.
John Sergeant Meade (1841- 1865) - He died at the end of the Civil War. There is no record of marriage or children.
George Meade (1843 - 1897) - He served in the Civil War and would marry afterward. He would have 5 children prior to his untimely death.
Margaret Butler Meade (1845 - 1905) - She died in her 60s, and there is no record of marriage or children. She is buried with her sister Henrietta.
Spencer Meade (1850 - 1911) - He became the superintendent of the Pennsylvania railroad. He married and had one child.
Sarah Wise Meade (1851 - 1913) - She married, had many children, and produced many descendants. She died in her 60s.
Margaret Butler Meade (1853 - 1944) - She lived until she was 90 years of age and never married. She was buried next to her sister, who died almost 40 years prior to her.
William Meade (1855 - 1891) - He died at 36 years old. There is no record of marriage or children. He, like many of the Meade men, died at a young age.
Henrietta Constantia Meade (1801 - 1831) - She died at a young age, but prior to her death, she married and had one child.
Charlotte Hustler Meade (1803 - 1843) - She lived until she was 40 years of age and married. She and her husband had four children.
Elizabeth Mary Meade (1805 - 1872) - She married Alfred Ingraham on June 19, 1827. After living for a time in Kentucky, they resided in Port Gibson, Clairborne County, Mississippi. When the Civil War came, she supported the Confederacy and two of her children, Pvt. Frank Ingraham and Private Edward Ingraham died fighting the Union.
Richard Worsam Meade (1807 - 1870) - He was the brother of General George Meade and would serve as a Captain in the Civil War. He had six children, with some of his sons fighting in the Civil War.
Margaret Gordon Meade (1808 - 1887) - She lived into her late 70s but did not marry or have any children.
Maria Del Carmen Meade (1810 - 1877) - She would marry and have many children. She died in her late 60s. She would have many descendants.
Salvadora Meade (1812 - 1886) - She was one of the younger siblings. She married, but there is no record of any children.
Robert Leamy Meade (1817 - 1841) - Similar to some of the other siblings in that he died young married, but had no children.
Infant Daughter Meade (1821) - Died at Birth
Marianne M. Meade (1823 - 1857) - Wife of Thomas B. Huger and daughter of Richard W. & Margaret Coats Meade. She was the sister of General George Gordon Meade of the Union Army. Her husband was Lieutenant Thomas B. Huger, who was mortally wounded on April 24, 1862, while battling Federal Navy ships near Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip near New Orleans. She had two children.