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George Meade

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George Gordon Meade, (1815-1872) was a Major General for the United States during the American Civil War.

Meade was born December 31, 1815, in Cadiz, Spain, the son of an American merchant. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1835. After a brief career as a civil engineer, he returned to the military as a topographical engineer and saw action in the Mexican-American War.

Meade was appointed a Brigideer General at the start of the Civil War. Military historians regard his early strategies and actions well, but Meade was often held back by his more timid commanders George McClellan and Joseph Hooker. Meade replaced Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac 3 days before the Battle of Gettysburg where he succeeded in driving Robert E. Lee's army back into Virginia, but was criticized for not actively pursuing the Confederates during their retreat.

When General Ulysses S. Grant was appointed commander of the Union forces he had Meade promoted to Major General. Meade served under Grant until Union victory. After the war Meade expressed bitterness towards the popular press, which he thought had tended to credit Grant for every Union success and to blame Meade for every Union setback.

Meade died in Philadelphia on November 6, 1872.

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