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"His Fame Will Live"

"His Fame Will Live"
Gen. George G. Meade
Image Size 11" x 15"
Release Date: March 2001
Edition size 500: 50 A/P: 25 P/P

Price: Regular Edition of 500: $140.00 Unframed Plus $10.00 Flat shipping:

Price: Regular Edition of 500: $300.00 Handsomely and Professionally Framed Plus $40.00 shipping:

Major General George G. Meade, USA

Taneytown, July 1,1863 1 PM “The enemy are advancing in force on Gettysburg, and I expect the battle will begin today”

Taneytown, July 1, 1863 6 PM “ The First and Eleventh Corps have been engaged all day in front of Gettysburg.
The twelfth, Third and Fifth have been moving up, and all, I hope, by this time on the
field. This leaves only the Sixth, which will move up tonight......... A. P. Hill and Ewell
are certainly concentrating; Longstreet’s whereabouts I do not know. If he is not up tomorrow, I hope with the force I have concentrated to defeat Hill and Ewell. At
any rate I see no other course than to hazard a general battle.”

Gettysburg July 2, 1863 3 PM “I have concentrated my army at this place today.”

Gettysburg, July 2, 1863 8 PM “The enemy attacked me about 4 PM this day, and after one of the severest contests of the war, was repulsed at all points”....... I shall remain in my present position tomorrow, but am not prepared to say, until better advised of the condition of the army, whether my operations will be of an offensive or defensive character.”

Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 8:35 PM “ The enemy opened at 1 PM from about 150 guns, concentrated upon my left and center, continuing without intermission for about three hours, at the expiration of which time he assaulted my left center twice, being upon both occasions handsomely repulsed, with severe loss to him....The enemy left many dead upon the field and a large number of wounded in our hands. The loss upon our side has been considerable. .....The army is in fine spirits”.

It was with these official dispatches to General-in-Chief, Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck, that Gen. George G. Meade described the hectic three day period from July 1 - July 3, 1863. The newly appointed Commander of the Army of the Potomac had skillfully guided his Army during its greatest victory over Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

From the opening shots in the early morning hours of July 1, the Battle of Gettysburg took on a life of its own and one not necessarily of Meade’s own choosing. On the defensive for all 3 days of the battle, Meade strategically pooled his army’s resources and acted quickly and decisively to meet every new and precarious situation. He deployed his reserve troops rapidly whenever and wherever they were needed. On several occasions he placed himself directly into the line of fire, personally placing reserve units to hold back Confederate advances and breakthroughs.1

Gen. Robert E. Lee some years after the war commented, “Meade, in my judgment, had the greatest ability. I feared him more than any man I ever met upon the field of battle.”

Meade would later be criticized for his failure to follow up his victory at Gettysburg with a knockout blow to Lee’s beleaguered army. However, President Lincoln gave Meade his just due for his success at Gettysburg, when he wrote in a letter to O. O. Howard on July 21, 1863.
"A few days having passed, I am profoundly grateful for what was done, without criticism for what was not done”

Meade"s leadership at the Battle of Gettysburg was characteristic of his exemplary service to his country. That alone was enough to secure his rightful place in our Nation’s hall of heroes. Yet his military career and dedication to his country went far beyond those fateful three days in July.

The portrait titled “His Fame will live” was created by referring to several period photographs of the General and with a reliance on several published recollections of Meade.

A London reporter recorded this description of Meade after meeting him in the summer of 1863.“He is a very remarkable looking man- tall, spare, of a commanding figure and presence, his manner pleasant and easy but having much dignity. His head is partially bald and is small and compact, but the forehead is high. He has the late Duke of Wellington class of nose, and his eyes, which have a serious and almost sad expression, are rather sunken, or appear so from the prominence of the curved nasal development. He has a decidedly patrician and distinguished appearance.”

Colonel Haskell described him as “A tall, spare man, with full beard, which, with his hair, originally brown, is quite thickly sprinkled with gray, has a Romanish face, a very large nose, and a white large forehead, prominent and wide over the eyes, which are full and large and quick in their movements,.....”

“Tall and gaunt, scholarly yet knightly in aspect, General Meade on this proudest day of his life bears himself like a true captain who has struggled and has conquered, only victory remains and a fame forever secure.” recalled General Francis A. Walker describing Meade at the Grand Review in Washington on May 23,1865.

General A. S. Webb called him“The soul of honor, the soldier, scholar and gentleman”

One of Meade’s staff officers, Colonel James C. Biddle stated in an address in May of 1888, “He will be remembered with admiration not only for his military achievement...but also for the purity of his character, for his unselfishness, for his freedom from jealousies and envies so common among distinguished soldiers, and for his patient and uncomplaining endurance of injustice.”

General George H. Gordon recorded a description of Meade that accurately portrays his strength of character. Gordon’s words echo those I have previously cited and reinforce the know photographic and portrait images of Meade.
“General Meade was a remarkably fine looking man, with a bright, intelligent countenance, piercing eyes, a face indicating power, straight in figure, but not stiff. His nose entitled him to a place in a gallery of military heroes.

Aside from being records of Meade’s appearance, all of the descriptions speak repeatedly of Meade’s dignity and grace. In this portrait of Meade I tried to evoke the strong character of the General and his air of dignity, which was described by so many of his peers. My focus was on the intensity of his eyes and the prominence of his nose, the two most distinctive and defining features of his face. His uniform and shoulder straps were accurately portrayed to represent the uniform he wore at Gettysburg, now on display at the Civil War Library and Museum of Philadelphia.

After the war and several commands in the South during the reconstruction period, Meade returned to Philadelphia, the City of his youth. He worked on the Fairmount Park Art Association and is primarily responsible for creating Fairmount Park as it exists to this day. In this capacity, George Meade continued to obediently do his duty and serve his country and his City until his death on November 6, 1872. He died at the age of 57 from complications of pneumonia, exaggerated by wounds received in 1862.3 He is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery. Upon learning of his death, General Grant, then President Grant, summed up the respect that he and his peers had for Meade, when he was recorded to say,“That is sad news, but what a calamity it would have been had it occurred during the War!”

In Meade’s obituary, New York Times reporter George F. Williams wrote; “His Fame will live long after him, and his name takes rank among those of heroes of the republic, who stood up nobly in her hour of danger and trouble.”4 George Meade, who won the greatest and most famous battle of the Civil War has long been overshadowed in history by the more romantic and exciting personalities of his peers. “His Fame Will Live” is my tribute to General George Gordon Meade and my attempt to secure General Meade’s heroic and rightful place in the annuls of the War of the Rebellion and the history of the United States of America.

Paul R. Martin III
June, 2000

"The Soul Of Honor"

"Click" on the image above to view "The Soul Of Honor", Meade's equestrian Monument in Fairmont Park, Philadelphia.

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