George G. Meade collection
This collection is made up primarily of the papers of General George G. Meade, but also includes papers collected by his wife Margaretta and his son George Meade. Meade's letters to his wife Margaretta, which he wrote during the Mexican-American and Civil wars, make up the bulk of his personal...
|Collection:||George G. Meade Collection|
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Processing Information: This collection merges two groups of Meade family papers (formerly Collections 410 and 1407) into one (Collection 410). While there is a distinct group of George Meade (son of George G. Meade) materials, most of it relates to the life of his father, and so the decision was made to combine the collections and arrange the papers about General Meade into a series called Family.
Some items that were formerly housed in scrapbooks were removed and placed into folders to improve ease of access and care of materials. In particular, the Mexican War letters scrapbook was transferred to Correspondence, but was labeled to reflect the previous grouping. Similarly, Colonel George Meade's scrapbook on Gettysburg was transferred to folders in the Family series and labeled "George Meade letters on Gettysburg." These materials should now be more accessible due to their greater stability.
9.0 Linear feet 11 boxes, 36 volumes, 29 flat files
This collection is made up primarily of the papers of General George G. Meade, but also includes papers collected by his wife Margaretta and his son George Meade. Meade's letters to his wife Margaretta, which he wrote during the Mexican-American and Civil wars, make up the bulk of his personal correspondence, though they contain as much military information as private discussion. These letters elucidate his thoughts about his experiences in the military and reveal aspects of Meade's personality and family relationships.
The Family series provides additional context for understanding Meade's relationships with his wife and children. Included in the Family series are letters responding to Margaretta Meade's call for autographs and photographs for the Sanitary Fair in 1864, correspondence to both Margaretta and George Meade upon the death of General Meade, and letters addressed to George Meade while he was compiling information for his father's biography, The Life and Letters of General Meade, the manuscript of which is also contained in this collection.
The maps and drawings that make up Series 3 of the Meade collection offer a rich perspective on nineteenth century military surveying and cartography. Beginning with Meade's student drawings of fortifications and architectural elements, this series illustrates his growing skill in mapmaking. There are representative maps and drawings from his work on the United States coastal survey, his service on the topographical team during the Mexican-American War, and his service as commanding officer of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. The maps created to track troop movements during the Civil War make up the deepest group of materials in this series. These maps focus on the conflicts in Virginia; some of the campaign maps are printed, but a large number of them have notations in watercolor, ink, or pencil, which illustrate movements of the Union and Confederate forces.
The majority of the collection documents the military career of George G. Meade, from his education as a cadet at West Point through his death in 1872. Meade's military papers include appointments, assignments, commissions, correspondence, orders, field reports, official telegrams, surveys made in Mexico, and excerpts from Meade's diary. In addition to the 31 volumes of official military correspondence and reports, there are also several volumes that document military hearings--one concerns a meeting in St. Louis to discuss promotions of high-ranking military personnel; the other is Meade's testimony about the Battle of Petersburg.
George G. Meade's career in the military began during his student years at West Point, where he studied topographical engineering. He served in the Mexican-American War and went on to become a celebrated Union general in the Civil War, where his son George served under his command. This collection covers all aspects of Meade's career, including his student work, his work as a cartographer while working for the U.S. coastal survey and during the Civil War, and his service as commander of the Army of the Potomac. In addition to his military papers, there are a significant group of letters to Meade's wife Margaretta and their children, which document his family relationships and his feelings about his military service during the Mexican-American and Civil wars. Also included in this collection are letters compiled by Meade's son George while he was writing a biography of his father, titled The Life and Letters of General Meade. The manuscripts for this work make up part of the family papers in the Meade collection.