Meade of Gettysburg
General George Gordon Meade is best known to history as the commander of the victorious Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, the greatest battle of the Civil War. In his own lifetime meager credit was allotted him for his achievement at Gettysburg, for his long pursuit of General Robert E. Lee into Virginia, and for the furious marches his men were forced into both before and after Gettysburg, until, finally, -in the vicinity of Appomattox Courthouse, he again held the upper hand. And since his death in 1872, frequent criticism has been meted out to him for not following up the victory his troops accomplished. In this account of the man and his achievements, Freeman Cleaves has attempted to sift the truth from War Office archives and records, from private and public documents, to assess fairly the value of his services. The fourth-ranking officer in the Federal Army at the end of the Civil War, Meade was one of that small corps of professional soldiers who ably conducted campaigns both North and South. A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, he was a member of the far-famed Army Topographical Engineers, and served under General Taylor in the Mexican War. Plain-spoken, restless, and impatient, he was a familiar figure close to the front in many major Civil War battles, where his sound generalship won the respect of his troops and fellow officers, though Grant later, almost incomprehensibly, gave preferment to Sheridan. Here, then, is not only a picture of the man in full round, but also a stimulating account of the strategies behind the important Civil War battles in which Meade distinguished himself: the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness Campaign. Every student of Civil War history will want to meet the man who stopped Lee.