|View single post by PvtClewell|
|Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 02:12 pm||
|What, no takers? I'll try.
I think Meade was the right man at the right time. His performance at Gettysburg was remarkable, given that he took command of the AofP just three days before the battle and while in pursuit of Lee.
He was also effective in subordinate roles, such as South Mountain. At Fredericksburg, his division was the only one to pierce the Confederate lines and failed probably only because his breakthrough was not supported.
His star diminished immediately after G-burg because he did not strenuously pursue Lee, but I can find no fault in that because his army was just as battered as Lee's.
When Grant assumed overall command in March 1864, Meade was still in command of the AofP, which I think caused an unwieldy command structure which ultimately manifested itself at Cold Harbor.
Meade's famous temper worked against him, too. He hated reporters. After Cold Harbor, he was criticized in the Philadelphia Inquirer by correspondent Edward Crapsey. Meade had provost marshall Marsena Patrick expel Crapsey from the army. Crapsey was tied to a mule, facing the tail, with a sign that said "Libeler of the Press' on his back and escorted out of camp to the tune of 'Rogue's March.'
The media retaliated by never mentioning Meade's again unless he could be tied to a Union defeat.
All in all, I'd say that Meade was a true professional soldier who did the best he could under trying circumstances. He probably deserves more study than he receives.