View single post by Rebel Yell
 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 05:28 pm
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Rebel Yell

Joined: Sat Feb 9th, 2008
Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 105

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I think that Meade did as well at Gettysburg as he could considering the circumstances in which he found himself. He did not seek command of the AOP and accepted it as any good soldier would obey orders. He had very little time to "adjust" to his new position and he was facing a basically undefeated opponent. The ANV had just mauled the AOP at Chancellorsville and had the morale of troops who considered themselves and their leader to be invincible. Meade, on the other hand, was relatively unknown outside of his division and the AOP had seen many new commanders come and go.

Now Meade was facing a veteran army that had the initiative and was in northern territory, a tough situation for any commander, especially a new one. I feel that his conduct of the battle, despite some tactical errors, was overall quite good. 

It seems that there is much criticism for his "failure" to press the ANV immediately after Gettysburg, but I don't take that view for several reasons. He had just fought and won a three day battle, but even though victorious, the AOP was not in the best shape to conduct immediate offensive operations. He needed supplies, time for the battered units to re-fit and reorganize and command structure to re-build.  And, even though defeated, the ANV was still a formidable foe. As they say, no animal is as dangerous as a wounded one and Meade had the good sense to realize that.

As for the rest of the war, I think the simple fact that Meade retained command of the AOP (even though under Grant) speaks for itself. Yes, he may have made mistakes but what general hasn't???

Jest addin' my two cents...:D

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