- Jul 30, 2018
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.
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.
Captain Meade Jr. and fellow staff officers
- Find a Grave
- The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army
- Wikipedia on 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment