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dreammachine

Favorite Union General

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As a True Southerner and devout historical student of the War Between The States Period of our great nation, one thing that I have found myself doing a little more and more each year and that is studying the Union Generals in a more honest and personal detail.  One of my favorite Union Generals is Major General George Meade who successful led  the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Gettysburg and defeated the Army of Northern Virginia - who was led by in my humble opinion the greatest army general that has ever lived in the USA/CSA.  But, please allow me to get back to my original post here about Major General George Meade.  After thinking that he was going to be arrested after General Burnside was removed as Commander of the Army of the Potomac, instead he was promoted to it's commander and had the uneasy task of not only finding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, but also go up against the "Invincible General Robert E. Lee"!!!  This had to be unnerving in itself, but MG Meade slowly put his army in motion and once arriving at the small town of Gettysburg, PA and seeing that his leading elements of his army had been driven out of town, decided to stay put on the high ground and build his defense in a "fish-hook-like-shape" and this turned out to be the master move of the whole battle.  After fighting the Confederate Army to a standstill, MG Meade retains his high ground and he and General Lee both study and wait on each other to make a move on the 4th day and neither one does as both armies have been bleed just about dry.  General Lee pulls out in the night during the 4th day and goes back into Maryland/Virginia.  After the battle, everyone from the President of the USA start criticizing MG George Meade for not aggressively following the Confederate Army and destroying it while it was stretched out going back into Virginia.  MG Meade did send some cavalry after the Confederate Army, but the rain had started falling hard and it was turning the roads into a mud-bog and would have really produced no great effect for his troops as they were basically exhausted from fighting a Confederate Army for three hot days in July that gave almost as good as it got and the battle could have easily turned several times if not for the cool handling of his divisions by MG George Meade.   After reading the Battle of Gettysburg more times than I can count, the one thing that always remains constant during the very hectic times of this great battle was the great leadership of MG George Meade, even though he would be severely rebuked by President Lincoln and others in the Northern Cabinet that Major General George Meade offered his resignation.  This would have been a terrible mistake for the Union Govt at the time as they did bring Major General U.S. Grant to come east and be the "Over-All Commander of All Union Armies", General Grant did have enough sense to realize that Major General George Meade was a "Rock Solid Soldier" and one he could count on in battle and this was never proven more than when MG Grant drove the Army of Potomac towards Richmond, VA in battle after battle - and actually losing more men killed in the Union Army than General Lee had in his Confederate Army and General Grant never defeated General Lee and had to be "consoled and challenge to give up some of his headlong - murderous charges straight into the Confederate Fortifications - several times to insure that the Union Army of the Potomac would survive.  Grant gets all the glory at the eventual surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, but it was Major General George Meade that put all the pieces of the puzzle together to make it happen and keep peace in an army that was about to have an inter-revolt due to the high volume of deaths within the ranks of the Union Army on their drive to take Richmond/Petersburg.  Major General George Meade - truly a Northern Hero who does not get his due credit for making this happen.

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I thought you would say William T Sherman, LOL. 

 

I have always felt Meade had a relatively cool head. I liked Hooker as a division and corps commander, but he was very rash. His plan at Chancellorsville was actually really good and he had Lee exactly where he wanted him, but lost faith and inexplicably pulled back his troops instead of continuing the attack, allowing Lee the offensive. And the result was not good for Hooker. 

General McPherson in the West would have been good, but he was killed at Raymond or Jackson? Somewhere before the seige of Vicksburg. 

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