Mrs. General Meade


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,674
Location
Central Pennsylvania
We're given such a good look at Meade through all these letters to his wife- they've been published, re-published, examined and used to enlighten. The thing is, we never hear about the woman who was so close to her husband and apparently so involved with his life he kept her close. This face you've put on the letters is wonderful, thank you.
 

DBF

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
1,139
While researching a trivia question on General George Meade, I stumbled on a website filled with interesting letters that Meade sent to his wife. It is no secret that if he was going to be honest with anyone, it would be with the only person he felt he could trust, Mrs George G. Meade (as he addresses her in the letters). I pulled out a a few of my favorites that I felt showed his personality - his humor or lack of it in some cases, and how he really felt about the “The Old Snapping Turtle” nick-name that he had acquired. The first snippet is from a March 15, 1866 letter and he unloads on “The Rock of Chickamagwa” (the letter explains the unique spelling) - - -

You may recall, when we were at West Point, meeting Mrs. Thomas, who was at the hotel? He was then in Texas, and she was expecting him home She was a tall good-natured woman, and was quite civil to us. Thomas is quite well thought of amongst the army, at least the better elements of it such as Rosecrans and myself,

It is a matter of record that his performance at Chickamauga, which he persists in mispronouncing as Chickamagwa, was sufficient to have him christened “The Rock of . . .”. The fact is that Old Thom, as we prefer to call him, was about to be stampeded by Old Pete in the same fashion as Old Rosie before him. He was providentially saved as the final moment by the unlooked for arrival of young Steedman, while Thomas was still casting aside his telescope and complaining of water in the eyes because he feared they were rebels. How tragic that a person of far greater achievement, and especially as it may be a person victorious in decisive battle outside a small south-central Pennsylvania college town, might acquire a lesser name such as “Old Snapping Turtle”.

In a letter dated, November 4, 1861 from Camp Pierpont, Virginia, he writes his wife and this time he has Dan Sickles in his sights - - -

“He murdered the son of Francis Scott Key outside the White House and then prevailed upon Stanton, the same that became our attorney general, to plead mitigation on the grounds of temporary insanity.

There appears nothing temporary about it as he was and remained a New York democrat. May God never allow such a creature enter the White House as president, nor yet as vice president for fear of the next assassination.”

But one letter, dated August 9, 1864 from Army Headquarters, is my favorite as I found it amusing (Meade did not!!), and it’s an incident which I would have loved have seen. His target is General Gouverneur Warren, - - -

“. . . at supper last Wednesday, Warren made an obscure remark that Sherman and Sheridan were Grant’s favorites simply because their names commenced with the ‘sh’ sound that Grant found so congenial. Upon my enquire, nothing would do for Warren but to sit at table muttering “shertainly shir’, which convulsed the table, but left me nonplussed, as to my knowledge, Grant does not number a speech impediment among his weaknesses.”

http://clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com/articles/comment/meade.htm
 
Last edited:

Northern Light

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
10,725
While researching a trivia question on General George Meade, I stumbled on a website filled with interesting letters that Meade sent to his wife. It is no secret that if he was going to be honest with anyone, it would be with the only person he felt he could trust, Mrs George G. Meade (as he addresses her in the letters). I pulled out a a few of my favorites that I felt showed his personality - his humor or lack of it in some cases, and how he really felt about the “The Old Snapping Turtle” nick-name that he had acquired. The first snippet is from a March 15, 1866 letter and he unloads on “The Rock of Chickamagwa” (the letter explains the unique spelling) - - -

You may recall, when we were at West Point, meeting Mrs. Thomas, who was at the hotel? He was then in Texas, and she was expecting him home She was a tall good-natured woman, and was quite civil to us. Thomas is quite well thought of amongst the army, at least the better elements of it such as Rosecrans and myself,

It is a matter of record that his performance at Chickamauga, which he persists in mispronouncing as Chickamagwa, was sufficient to have him christened “The Rock of . . .”. The fact is that Old Thom, as we prefer to call him, was about to be stampeded by Old Pete in the same fashion as Old Rosie before him. He was providentially saved as the final moment by the unlooked for arrival of young Steedman, while Thomas was still casting aside his telescope and complaining of water in the eyes because he feared they were rebels. How tragic that a person of far greater achievement, and especially as it may be a person victorious in decisive battle outside a small south-central Pennsylvania college town, might acquire a lesser name such as “Old Snapping Turtle”.

In a letter dated, November 4, 1861 from Camp Pierpont, Virginia, he writes his wife and this time he has Dan Sickles in his sights - - -

“He murdered the son of Francis Scott Key outside the White House and then prevailed upon Stanton, the same that became our attorney general, to plead mitigation on the grounds of temporary insanity.

There appears nothing temporary about it as he was and remained a New York democrat. May God never allow such a creature enter the White House as president, nor yet as vice president for fear of the next assassination.”

But one letter, dated August 9, 1864 from Army Headquarters, is my favorite as I found it amusing (Meade did not!!), and it’s an incident which I would have loved have seen. His target is General Gouvernor Warren, - - -

“. . . at supper last Wednesday, Warren made an obscure remark that Sherman and Sheridan were Grant’s favorites simply because their names commenced with the ‘sh’ sound that Grant found so congenial. Upon my enquire, nothing would do for Warren but to sit at table muttering “shertainly shir’, which convulsed the table, but left me nonplussed, as to my knowledge, Grant does not number a speech impediment among his weaknesses.”

http://clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com/articles/comment/meade.htm
Thanks so much for adding this DBF. It seems to me that while Meade had a dry sense of humour of his own, he did not appreciate silly humour like Warren's. Who knew that Warren of all people had a sense of humour, such as this was?
I especially like Meade's comments about Dan Sickles, that made my day!
 


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top