More Reviews (April 16, 1864)

The headquarters of Joseph B. Carr in Culpeper, Virginia. Carr commanded the 3rd division of the III Corps but was transferred to the Army of the James just before the Overland Campaign began (Library of Congress).

The headquarters of Joseph B. Carr in Culpeper, Virginia. Carr commanded the 3rd division of the III Corps but was transferred to the Army of the James just before the Overland Campaign began. You can read more about this building and its fate here (Library of Congress).

General Grant returned yesterday. The papers will tell you I was present the other day when [Winfield Scott] Hancock reviewed Birney’s division, and the next day, when he reviewed [Joseph B.] Carr’s and [John] Gibbon’s divisions. These troops all looked splendidly, and seemed, officers and men, in fine spirits.

The reorganization, now that it is over, meets with universal approbation, and I believe I have gained great credit for the manner in which so disagreeable an operation was made acceptable to those concerned. Even General [David] Birney, of the smashed up Third Corps, is, I believe, reconciled.

How much I should like to see you all. At times I feel very despondent about the termination of this war and the prospect of my return, but I try to keep up my spirits and hope for the best.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 190. Available via Google Books.

A Review (April 13, 1864)

The home of John Minor Botts, site of the II Corps review that Theodore Lyman writes about (Library of Congress).

The home of John Minor Botts, site of the II Corps review that Theodore Lyman writes about (Library of Congress).

Theodore Lyman writes home on April 13, 1864, and describes his first impressions of Winfield Scott Hancock and Philip Sheridan. We have encountered John Minor Botts before. David Birney now commands a division in Hancock’s II Corps. The brigade commanders are Hobart Ward and Alexander Hays.

Philip Sheridan was the army’s new head of cavalry. He and Meade will develop a rancorous relationship. “Little Phil” had commanded cavalry for a grand total of only about three months during his military career, but he had served under Grant in the West and the new general in chief liked his aggressive nature. “He was brusque, demanding, profane, and unforgiving,” wrote biographer Roy Morris Jr. “He was also hardworking, patriotic, uncomplaining, and brave.” He was a hard fighter on the battlefield and was equally aggressive at furthering his own reputation.

Philip Sheridan (Library of Congress).

Philip Sheridan (Library of Congress).

We went to a review of Birney’s Division near J. M. Bott’s house. The two brigades are under H. Ward and Alex. Hays. About 5000 men were actually on the ground. Here saw General Hancock for the first time. He is a tall, soldierly man, with light-brown hair and a military heavy jaw; and has the massive features and the heavy folds round the eye that often mark a man of ability. Then the officers were asked to take a little whiskey chez Botts. Talked there with his niece, a dwarfish little woman of middle age, who seems a great invalid. She was all of a tremor, poor woman, by the mere display of troops, being but nervous and associating them with the fighting she had seen round the very house. Then there was a refreshment at Birney’s Headquarters, where met Captain Briscoe (said to be the son of an Irish nobleman, etc., etc.); also Major Mitchell on General Hancock’s Staff. The Russ was delighted with the politeness and pleased with the troops. Introduced to General Sheridan, the new Chief of Cavalry — a small, broad-shouldered, squat man, with black hair and a square head. He is of Irish parents, but looks very like a Piedmontese. General Wilson, who is probably to have a division, is a slight person of a light complexion and with rather a pinched face. Sheridan makes everywhere a favorable impression.

Theodore Lyman’s letter is from Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, pp 80-1. Edited by George R. Agassiz. Boston, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1922. Available via Google Books.

General-in-Chief (April 13, 1864)

Meade's staff at the general's headquarters at Brandy Station in April 1865. Andrew Humphreys stands facing left in the center (Library of Congress. Click to enlarge).

Meade’s staff at the general’s headquarters at Brandy Station in April 1865. Andrew Humphreys stands facing left in the center (Library of Congress. Click to enlarge).

When it comes to Meade’s relationship with Ulysses S. Grant, so far, so good. Before getting to Meade’s letter, here is what Grant communicated to Meade regarding his plans, in an order written on April 9:

“For information and as instruction to govern your preparations for the coming campaign, the following is communicated confidentially for your own perusal alone.

“So far as practicable all the armies are to move together, and towards one common centre. Banks has been instructed to turn over the guarding of the Red River to General Steele and the navy, to abandon Texas with the exception of the Rio Grande, and to concentrate all the force he can, not less than 25,000 men, to move on Mobile. This he is to do without reference to other movements. From the scattered condition of his command, however, he cannot possibly get it together to leave New Orleans before the 1st of May, if so soon. Sherman will move at the same time you do, or two or three days in advance, Jo. Johnston’s army being his objective point, and the heart of Georgia his ultimate aim. If successful he will secure the line from Chattanooga to Mobile with the aid of Banks.

“Sigel cannot spare troops from his army to reinforce either of the great armies, but he can aid them by moving directly to his front. This he has been directed to do, and is now making preparations for it. Two columns of his command will make south at the same time with the general move; one from Beverly, from ten to twelve thousand strong, under Major-General Ord; the other from Charleston, Va., principally cavalry, under Brig.-General Crook. The former of these will endeavor to reach the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, about south of Covington, and if found practicable will work eastward to Lynchburg and return to its base by way of the Shenandoah Valley, or join you. The other will strike at Saltville, Va., and come eastward to join Ord. The cavalry from Ord’s command will try to force a passage southward, if they are successful in reaching the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, to cut the main lines of the road connecting Richmond with all the South and South-west.

“Gillmore will join Butler with about 10,000 men from South Carolina. Butler can reduce his garrison so as to take 23,000 men into the field directly to his front. The force will be commanded by Maj.-General W. F. Smith. With Smith and Gillmore, Butler will seize City Point, and operate against Richmond from the south side of the river. His movement will be simultaneous with yours.

“Lee’s army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also. The only point upon which I am now in doubt is, whether it will be better to cross the Rapidan above or below him. Each plan presents great advantages over the other with corresponding objections. By crossing above, Lee is cut off from all chance of ignoring Richmond and going north on a raid. But if we take this route, all we do must be done whilst the rations we start with hold out. We separate from Butler so that he cannot be directed how to co-operate. By the other route Brandy Station can be used as a base of supplies until another is secured on the York or James rivers.

“These advantages and objections I will talk over with you more fully than I can write them.

“Burnside with a force of probably 25,000 men will reinforce you. Immediately upon his arrival, which will be shortly after the 20th inst., I will give him the defence of the road from Bull Run as far south as we wish to hold it. This will enable you to collect all your strength about Brandy Station and to the front.

“There will be naval co-operation on the James River, and transports and ferries will be provided so that should Lee fall back into his intrenchments at Richmond, Butler’s force and yours will be a unit, or at least can be made to act as such. What I would direct then, is that you commence at once reducing baggage to the very lowest possible standard. Two wagons to a regiment of five hundred men is the greatest number that should be allowed, for all baggage, exclusive of subsistence stores and ordnance stores. One wagon to brigade and one to division headquarters is sufficient and about two to corps headquarters.

“Should by Lee’s right flank be our route, you will want to make arrangements for having supplies of all sorts promptly forwarded to White House on the Pamunkey. Your estimates for this contingency should be made at once. If not wanted there, there is every probability they will be wanted on the James River or elsewhere.

“If Lee’s left is turned, large provision will have to be made for ordnance stores. I would say not much short of five hundred rounds of infantry ammunition would do. By the other, half the amount would be sufficient.”

This is what Meade’s aide, Theodore Lyman, wrote about Grant on April 12: “Grant is a man of a good deal of rough dignity; rather taciturn; quick and decided in speech. He habitually wears an expression as if he had determined to drive his head through a brick wall, and was about to do it. I have much confidence in him.”

Grant has not given an order, or in the slightest degree interfered with the administration of this army since he arrived, and I doubt if he knows much more about it now than he did before coming here. It is undoubtedly true he will go with it when it moves, and will in a measure control its movements, and should success attend its operations, that my share of the credit will be less than if he were not present. Moreover, whilst I have no doubt he will give me all the credit I am entitled to, the press, and perhaps the public, will lose sight of me in him. Nevertheless he is so much more active than his predecessor, and agrees so well with me in his views, I cannot but be rejoiced at his arrival, because I believe success to be the more probable from the above facts. My position before, with inadequate means, no power myself to increase them, and no effort made by others to do so, placed me in a false position, causing me to be held responsible, when in fact I could do nothing. My duty is plain, to continue quietly to discharge my duties, heartily co-operating with him and under him.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 189. Available via Google Books.

Birney (April 11, 1864)

David Bell Birney.

David Bell Birney.

David Bell Birney was not a Meade ally. He had been born in the South, but a hatred of slavery motivated his father to pack up the family and move north. Birney took up the law and was practicing in Philadelphia when war broke out. As Theodore Lyman wrote, Birney “was a pale, Puritanical figure, with a demeanor of unmovable coldness; only he would smile politely when you spoke to him. He was spare in person, with a thin face, light-blue eye, and sandy hair.”

The bad blood between Meade and Birney stretched back to Fredericksburg, at least. When Meade’s brigade broke through the southern lines south of town, Meade sent to Birney for support. Birney replied that he could not move forward until he received word from John Reynolds to do so. This outraged Meade. He sent another officer to Birney with another demand for reinforcements. Birney again refused. Now Meade galloped over himself. He had his recent commission as a major-general in his pocket, and that meant he outranked Birney. “General, I assume the authority of ordering you up to the support of my men,” he said, according to one account. According to another, Meade said much more, in language strong enough to “almost make the stones creep.”

Birney later testified before Congress that he received only one message from Meade and in his official report he said he responded “immediately.” However, in a letter to a friend that Birney wrote shortly after the battle, he said that when a reporter from the New York Herald urged him to send some of his artillery to help Meade, “I told him the Reserves might run and be damned, that not a gun should leave my Division.”

Birney led a division of the III Corps at Gettysburg and took corps command after Daniel Sickles was wounded.

To help speed Meade’s departure from the army, Birney decided to cast his lot with Hooker and Sickles. “Meade is a fraud,” he had written to a friend in March. “We must have Hooker back to this army and I believe he will be sent to us!” he wrote. He also had great hopes for the future of Dan Sickles. “Sickles will I think command this army and in time will be President,” he had predicted back in October. So when Birney testified before the committee, he claimed that on July 5 he had wanted to attack the retreating Confederates but received an order not to do so. That was just the kind of example of timidity the congressmen were seeking. No matter that such an order never appeared in any official record, nor had Birney mentioned this incident in his official report.

Following elimination of the III Corps, Birney received a division in the II Corps under Hancock. He realized he had backed the wrong horse. “Grant killed the demonstration for Hooker, that was assuming shape, and would have ended in the decapitation of Meade,” he noted in a letter on April 5.

There is no doubt General Birney is scared at the turn things have taken in the Sickles matter, for I received a note from Hancock, the other day, saying Birney had been to see him, disclaiming being a partisan of Sickles, and saying he would like to come and see me to explain matters, but did not like to do so without some intimation on my part that it would be agreeable. I replied to Hancock that I was not aware of there being any occasion for explanation on the part of General Birney, as I had heard nothing except what I had seen in the papers about his testimony, and that he had denied in writing. At the same time I was always ready to see General Birney whenever he chose to do me the honor to call.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 189. Available via Google Books.

That Crazy Old Man (April 8, 1864)

Count Adam Gurowski (via Wikipedia).

Count Adam Gurowski (via Wikipedia).

In this letter from April 8, Meade mentions one Gurowsky, whom he describes as “that crazy old man.” Adam Gurowski was indeed one of the eccentric characters who enlivened Washington during the Civil War. (You can read more about him here.) His emotional and sometimes almost unhinged behavior on the city streets even made President Lincoln eye him as a potential assassin. A Polish count, Gurowski had come to the United States in 1849 after a life of radical (and inconstant) political agitation. As the Civil War approached the excitable Polish count allied himself with the Radical Republicans. Once the war began he pestered Lincoln with numerous hectoring letters about war policy. “He was the perfect radical type, an uncompromising Puritan in the fold,” wrote Leroy H. Fischer in the article linked above. As such, George McClellan—whom Gurowski described as “that half ass half traitor”—and anything associated with him, including Meade, would have been anathema.

The fair that Meade mentions is the Great Central Sanitary Fair, held in June 1864 to raise money for the Sanitary Commission, which provided care for wounded soldiers. In his book Philadelphia and the Civil War, Anthony Waskie described the fair as “probably the greatest purely civic act of voluntary benevolence ever attempted in Philadelphia.” By the time it closed on June 28 the fair had raised $1,261,822.55.

The New York Tribune of yesterday informs the world it has been positively ascertained that I am and have been in constant correspondence with McClellan, and that this fact has destroyed all my chances for nomination as major general in the regular army, but it is not believed it will remove me from command. I know where this canard comes from. Grant told me that he had received several visits and innumerable letters from that old crazy man Gurowsky, all to the effect that I was completely under the influence of McClellan, and in constant correspondence with him, and urging Grant to relieve me. I saw Historicus’s last effort, and was greatly amused at the very powerful position that he assigned me in the despotism he asserts I have exercised in the face of the lieutenant general and others. I am sure I ought to be flattered that I am allowed to exercise such powers. It is a redeeming trait in the powers that be, and in my countrymen, that the base and persistent attacks on me have so signally failed, principally from the bad standing of my assailants. As to my being nominated for the regular army, I never dreamed of it, though I always believed the secret of some of the attacks on me was to remove a rival from some one who did want and expected to be nominated.

The Philadephia fair's dining saloon, in one of the temporary buildings erected in Logan Square (Library of Congress).

The Philadephia fair’s dining saloon, in one of the temporary buildings erected in Logan Square (Library of Congress).

I think it a pity Philadelphia was so late in getting up its fair. The subject will be so thoroughly exhausted that people will be tired with such matters. Still, there seems to be great spirit evinced by those who have it in charge.

I have now as a guest Lieutenant Colonel Strave, of the Russian Engineers, who seems a young man of intelligence. He came down with letters from Mr. Seward and Mr. Stanton.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), pp. 188-9. Available via Google Books.

Reputation (April 6, 1864)

The Army of the Potomac's head of artillery, Henry Hunt. He said he would have known if Meade had been planning a retreat from Gettysburg (Library of Congress).

The Army of the Potomac’s head of artillery, Henry Hunt. He said he would have known if Meade had been planning a retreat from Gettysburg (Library of Congress).

Henry Hunt, the Army of the Potomac’s head of artillery, was one witness who testified in Meade’s favor for the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. Since moving his ammunition trains was an important logistical consideration when moving the army, Hunt said he would certainly have known if Meade was planning a retreat from Gettysburg. Hunt had also met with Daniel Sickles at Gettysburg on July 2 before that III Corps commander moved his men forward. Sickles had told Hunt he wanted to move out of the general depression along the Union line where Cemetery Ridge ceased being a ridge, and take a position on the higher ground alongside the Emmitsburg Road. He had been especially concerned about a peach orchard that would offer Confederate artillery an excellent position to wreak havoc on the Union line. Hunt had agreed that the forward line had some advantages but felt it also had some serious drawbacks. Then Hunt had heard firing from the direction of Cemetery Hill and prepared to ride off and investigate. Sickles had asked him if he should move his troops forward. “Not on my authority; I will report to General Meade for instructions,” replied Hunt. He found Meade and told him that Sickles’s proposed line had favorable offensive possibilities but that he would not recommend it. Sickles had moved forward without permission.

David Birney had been one of Sickles’ division commanders at Gettysburg and took corps command after Sickles was wounded. He had no love for Meade and sought to see him replaced by either Joe Hooker or, even better, Dan Sickles.

General Grant returned yesterday, and I have seen him to-day. Nothing new or important has transpired.

General Hunt has been up to Washington and before the committee. He says, after questioning him about the famous order of July 2, and his telling them he never heard of it, and from his position and relations with me would certainly have heard of it, they went to work and in the most pettifogging way, by a cross-examination, tried to get him to admit such an order might have been issued without his knowing anything about it. This, after my testimony, and that of Warren, Hancock, Gibbon and Hunt, evidently proves they are determined to convict me, in spite of testimony, and that Butterfield’s perjury is to outweigh the testimony of all others. I suppose you have seen the last effusion of Historicus. There is no doubt now about the author, as he quotes a private letter from [David Bell] Birney, which could not have been written to any one but Sickles. The best joke is that Barnes, it is said, has a letter from Birney, denying that he ever made any statements of the kind quoted in his letter to Historicus. Is it not too bad that one’s reputation should be in the hands of such men?

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), pp. 187-8. Available via Google Books.

Pure Inventions (April 4, 1864)

Ulysses S. Grant, in a print based on an illustration by Thomas Nast (Library of Congress).

Ulysses S. Grant, in a print based on an illustration by Thomas Nast (Library of Congress).

George Meade was never a fan of the press and here he vents a bit about the false stories being told about Ulysses S. Grant.

If you believe all you see in the papers about Grant, you will be greatly deceived. All that I have seen are pure inventions. I mean such stories as his being opposed to reviews, balls, etc., having given orders to stop them; of inviting soldiers into his car; of announcing his displeasure at the luxury of the officers of the Army of the Potomac, that all he wanted was soldiers’ fare, pork and beans; of the enthusiasm with which he is received by the soldiers, etc., etc. All these are humbugs, and known to the writers to be without foundation, but are persistently put forth for some purpose unknown. When he first came down he said he wished to keep out of Washington as much as possible, and it was his intention while in this part of the country to remain with my army, and he asked me where he could find a good house for his headquarters. I told him his only chance was either in Warrenton or Culpeper; that the former was rather out of the way, and that I thought he could readily get one in the latter place, which he did; whereupon the newspapers announced him as establishing his headquarters eight miles nearer the enemy than even I did. Not content with puffing him, they must have a fling at me. Grant is very much annoyed at the foolish way they are mentioning his name; but it is a matter he cannot very well notice. As I have before told you, he is very well disposed towards me, and has talked very freely and properly about my particular friends Hooker, Sickles and Butterfield.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 187. Available via Google Books.

Before the Committee (April 2, 1864)

The United States Capitol Building in July 1863 (Library of Congress).

The United States Capitol Building in July 1863 (Library of Congress).

Meade continues to chew over his difficulties in Washington. For the letter he mentions (and Lincoln’s response), see the correspondence regarding Historicus. Pennie is his son Spencer.

I left Washington this morning, bidding dear Pennie good-bye at the hotel, which he was to leave half an hour after me. He has had a pretty pleasant time, and his visit has been a source of great happiness to me.

I enclose you a letter I addressed the Department, with an autograph reply from the President. I feel quite sure the President meant to be very kind and complimentary in paying me the distinguished honor of writing a reply in his own hand, and under this conviction I am bound to be satisfied. You will perceive, however, that the main point of my request is avoided, namely, my desire that the letter of Historicus should be submitted, with my letter, to General Sickles, and if he acknowledged or endorsed it, then I wished a court of inquiry, not otherwise. However, Mr. Stanton told me the true reason, which was that it was concluded submitting the letter to Sickles was only playing into his hands; that a court of inquiry, if called at my request, although it might exonerate me, yet it would not necessarily criminate him; and that, on the whole, it was deemed best not to take any action. [Daniel] Butterfield, I hear, was very bitter in his testimony, and made wonderful revelations. I went before the committee yesterday and replied only to his assertion that I instructed him to draw up an order to retreat. This I emphatically denied; also denied any knowledge of his having drawn up such an order; presented documentary evidence to show that, if I had any such idea, that my orders and despatches were contradictory, and referred to numerous officers who ought to have and would have known if I entertained any idea of the kind.

Michigan's Senator Zachariah Chandler. (National Archives.)

Michigan’s Senator Zachariah Chandler. (National Archives.)

I find I have three warm friends on the committee—[Moses] Odell of New York, [Daniel] Gooch of Massachusetts, and [Benjamin] Harding of Oregon. It is believed [Bnjamin] Wade, of Ohio, is favorably inclined. If either he or one of the others should prove so, it would make a majority in my favor. Old Zach Chandler is my bitterest foe and will show me no quarter. While going up to Washington I had a long and satisfactory talk with Grant, who has expressed himself and acted towards me in the most friendly manner. Among other things he said he heard Horace Greeley had been in Washington, demanding my removal, and that [George] Thomas be brought here. Grant said, if he saw Greeley he should tell him that when he wanted the advice of a political editor in selecting generals, he would call on him. The President, Secretary, indeed every one I met, were civil and affable to me.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), pp. 186-7. Available via Google Books.

A Strong Denial (April 1, 1864)

Daniel Butterfield has one of the most elaborate tombs in the Military Academy at West Point's cemetery. Unlike Meade, Butterfield did not go to school here (Tom Huntington photo).

Daniel Butterfield has one of the most elaborate tombs in the Military Academy at West Point’s cemetery. Unlike Meade, Butterfield did not go to school here (Tom Huntington photo).

Meade’s troubles in Washington continue, as he testifies before the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War about Daniel Butterfield’s accusations that Meade had asked him to prepare orders for the retreat of the army from Gettysburg. While Meade was willing to admit he may have asked Butterfield to familiarize himself with the local roads in case a retreat became necessary, he strongly denied that he had anything else in mind. He vehemently refuted Butterfield’s implications that he had planned to retreat from Gettysburg. “I utterly deny, under the full solemnity and sanctity of my oath, and in the firm conviction that the day will come when the secrets of all men shall be made known—I utterly deny every having intended or thought, for one instant, to withdraw that army, unless the military contingencies which the future should develop during the course of the day might render it a matter of necessity that the army should be withdrawn,” he said.

I came up yesterday with Grant, am going to-day before the committee to answer Dan Butterfield’s falsehoods. Shall return tomorrow. I am all right, and every one is most civil to me. I will write more fully on my return.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 186. Available via Google Books.

Gettysburg in the Rain

meade statue

Meade's display in the Gettysburg visitor center museum (Tom Huntington).

Meade’s display in the Gettysburg visitor center museum (Tom Huntington).

It was gray and drizzly yesterday but my wife, Beth Ann, and I decided to head down to Gettysburg anyway. It was not a day for hiking around the battlefield, so we stuck to the visitor center instead. Beth Ann had never been through the new museum and Cyclorama and I had not had a chance to see the temporary “Treasures of the Civil War” exhibit. Despite the weather we found the parking lot at the visitor center to be pretty full, and plenty of people inside (although it wasn’t nearly as crowded as it was in July). I checked the bookstore to make sure they had plenty of copies of Searching for George Gordon Meade and Guide to Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments on hand. (They did.) Then we watched the movie and took in the Cyclorama program.

I’m still blown away by the Cyclorama. It remains an impressive achievement, even in this era of CGI. The level of detail in the painting is magnificent. We spotted Meade off in the distance and one of the staff members on hand pointed out John Gibbon, Winfield Scott Hancock, Alexander Webb, and other generals. I was not convinced about the identify of Henry Hunt, though, because the figure indicated did not have Hunt’s beard–but what do I know? The man also showed us the figure of Abraham Lincoln that artist Paul Philippoteaux had inserted into his huge canvas. We all know that Lincoln wasn’t really on the battlefield (if memory serves, he was busy fighting a trainload of vampires at the time) but Philippoteaux wanted to include the late president as a symbolic gesture.

Then it was on through the museum and finally to the “Treasures” exhibit. I had wanted to see this small display for some time because it includes a bunch of Meade artifacts, including his glasses, boots, hat, and frock coat. It also had the gorgeous, jewel encrusted sword that the Pennsylvania Reserves had presented to him in August 1863. It was a beautiful object, indeed, though I had to agree with Meade’s assessment that “It seems a pity, though, to waste so much money on an article that from its great value is actually rendered useless.”

Meade's presentation sword (Tom Huntington).

Meade’s presentation sword (Tom Huntington).

After some beers at the Reliance Mine Saloon and dinner at Gettysburg Eddie’s, it was time to head home through a driving rain. All in all, not a bad way to spend a day.

The general and his glasses (Tom Huntington).

The general and his glasses (Tom Huntington).

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