The Battle Begins (July 1, 1863)

Whitelaw Reid, a correspondent for the Cincinnati Gazette, passed through Taneytown, Maryland, on July 1 and noted the confused activity of an army on the move. “Army trains blocked up the streets,” he wrote; “a group of quartermasters and commissaries were bustling about the principal corner; across on the hills and along the road to the left, as far as the eye could reach, rose the glitter from the swaying points of bayonets as with steady tramp the columns of our Second and Third corps were marching northward.” He found Meade’s headquarters at the Shunk farm. “In a plain little wall tent, just like the rest, pen in hand, seated on a camp-stool and bending over a map, is the new ‘General Commanding’ for the Army of the Potomac.” Reid went on to describe Meade: “Tall, slender, not ungainly, but certainly not handsome or graceful, thin-faced, with grizzled beard and moustache, a broad and high but retreating forehead, from each corner of which the slightly-curling hair recedes, as if giving premonition of baldness–apparently between forty-five and fifty years of age–altogether a man who impresses you rather as a thoughtful student than a dashing soldier–so General Meade looks in his tent.”
It was while at Taneytown on July 1 that Meade issued what became known as his Pipe Creek Circular. The pages of the Official Records with that order are below.
Pipe Creek1
Pipe Creek2

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