His father's aide - George Gordon Meade, Jr.

luinrina

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Meade, George Jr.jpg

George Gordon Meade, Jr. was born on November 2, 1843 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as second child and son of (future General) George Gordon Meade and his wife Margaretta Sergeant Meade.

Following his father's footsteps, George entered West Point in 1860 but left again after only two years on grounds of having had an excess of demerits.

In September 1862, he enlisted as private in the 8th Pennsylvania (Militia) Infantry, company G, thus serving during the Maryland Campaign. The threat of Lee's invasion over, he along with his comrades were discharged again about ten days later.

He then joined the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry (also known as "Rush's Lancers") as 2nd Lieutenant of Company C on November 20, 1862.

6th_Pennsylvania_Cavalry.jpg

from Wikipedia


His participation in the battle of Fredericksburg was limited; the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry was assigned to the Provost Guard of the Center Grand Division and guarded the pontoon bridges. Before the Fredericksburg campaign, Brig. Gen. George Bayard offered to add George to his staff, but General Meade declined. "I certainly think it is better for a young officer to serve with his regiment before accepting a staff appointment."

He missed the Battle of Chancellorsville, his regiment instead participating in Stoneman's Raid behind Confederate lines to destroy Lee's supply line. For the raid, Rush's Lancers were attached to Buford's Reserve Brigade. Because of bad weather, George took sick with the measles and was sent home to recuperate.

On May 22, 1863 Meade Jr. was promoted to Captain and joined his father's staff as aide-de-camp after returning from sick leave. On June 3, 1863 General Meade wrote to his wife that

George made his appearance this morning; he seems quite delighted with the change in his position, and particularly tickled at being made a captain.

At Gettysburg, it was George who brought General Sickles the order to return to his original position, after the III Corps had moved out from Cemetery Ridge.

George continued as his father's aid until the close of the war and beyond, with the exception of nine months in 1870 where he served in Dakota Territory during an Indian outbreak. George was commissioned 1st Lieutenant of the U.S. Army in November 1865 and captain in July 1866. "For gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Gettysburg" he was brevetted major in the regular army and "for gallant and meritorious services in the campaign ending in the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia" he was made Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel.

In 1874, after his father's death in 1872, George left the army and became a successful stock broker.

He died on February 2, 1897, aged only 53 years. He is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, like his father.


George Meade Jr._staffers.jpg

Captain Meade Jr. and fellow staff officers
From pinterest


Sources:
- Find a Grave
- The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army
- https://searching4meade.com/tag/6th-pa-cavalry/
- Wikipedia on 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment
-
https://www.pa-roots.com/pacw/1862militia/index.html
 

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luinrina

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George Meade Jr. at West Point

Meade Jr. at West Point.jpg



Letter to John W. Chester:

West Point May 5th
Dear Johnny,
I received your very acceptable letter, a day or two ago, and as this is Sunday night and we haven’t much to do, I thought I would drop you a line or two and particularly as to your coming here. The 1st class have been put through their final examination and are now only awaiting orders to leave here forever and the 2nd class commence their final examination next week and they are to be shipped as soon as possible which will leave four vacancies at Michigan, why can’t you get one? Never (mind) if you don’t live in the same district, ¾ of the men who come here don’t live in the district from which they are appointed. Williams place has been filled by Whittemore, Lord only knows who he is, I don’t. Our class will be 3rd class men now, in less than ten months and as they are going to change the course to 4 years, I hope we won’t have to stay here all our life. George was up here for a few hours but I suppose you have seen him since. Do you ever hear from anyone in Detroit? I suppose you know all the Meade’s have taken them from the goodly city. I hear from Hunter Neill occasionally, he must be having a good time by himself. Capt. Benton has been ordered to Washington. You might stop here on your way home, in your summer’s leave of absence, for of course you go through N.Y. There is but 38 men left in my class out of 87. That is rather a falling off for one year. I must stop now for the good reason that I have nothing more to say. Remember me to any one at your place that I know.
Your obdt. Friend,
George Meade
Cadet U.S.M.A.

Meade Jr._West Point letter.jpg



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#4
Very informative, well done.
I just happened to be reading an old Blue & Gray Magazine on West Point, and included in the article was this reference to the younger Meade.
"Though the elder Meade had finished in the top third of his class, young George seemed to have a problem academically and even more so with demerits, and as a plebe he managed after a late-night escapade to reach the maximum 200. Restricted from taking final exams in his second year because of excess demerits, he had to leave the Academy, and with a little help from his father found a spot in the ranks of the famed 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, known as Rush's Lancers".
 

luinrina

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Thanks for that snippet, @skirmisher ! I've become quite interested in both father and son and have been looking for more info about Meade Jr. especially (his father being so well known is much easier to research). I've also only skimmed The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army; will have to read it more carefully because surely there are gems hidden in General Meade's letters home to his wife.


For more pictures of Meade Jr. with his father and other officers, see e.g.
 



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