George Gordon Meade and the War in the East (Civil War Campaigns and Commanders Series)
by Ethan S. Rafuse
Even though he defeated Robert E. Lee in the Civil War’s greatest battle, George Gordon Meade has never enjoyed a prominent place in the pantheon of Union war heroes. To most students of the Civil War, he is merely the man who was lucky enough to benefit from Confederate mistakes at Gettysburg, but whose shortcomings as a commander compelled Abraham Lincoln to bring in Ulysses S. Grant from the West to achieve victory.
In this, the first book-length study of the general to appear in a generation, Ethan S. Rafuse challenges the notion that Meade was simply the last in a long line of failed Union commanders in the East. Instead, George Gordon Meade and the War in the East offers a balanced, informative, and complete, yet concise, reconsideration of the general’s life and career. It also provides keen analysis of the military and political factors that shaped operations in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and delineates the sources of tension between Washington and the Army of the Potomac high command that played such an important role in shaping the war in the Eastern Theater. This study will appeal to anyone with an interest in Meade and the politics of command in the Civil War, and encourage reconsideration of traditional interpretations of the Union war effort in the East.