The Forgotten Victor of Gettysburg
This is an interesting take on a standard biography. The author travels to various key places in Meade’s life and gives a little travel review between the chapters that are a more conventional biography. It is an interesting change of pace.
Meade is a general that doesn’t get a lot of credit for several reasons – for one thing he was good, but not good enough to win the war himself and so had to play second fiddle to Grant in the final year of the war. But not only should Meade get credit for beating Lee at Gettysburg less than a week after taking over, but then in the fall he managed to sting him a few more times at Bristoe Station, Rappahannock Station and Kelly’s Ford. These losses were as many as a major battle for Lee, with far fewer losses on the US side.
Meade wasn’t the sort to press Lee as hard as Grant did, and did not have the clout to accept the losses that this entailed. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that Meade had had success at every level in the war and deserves a place on the victor’s podium along with Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and Thomas…and not the last place either.