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Summary

Although he took command of the Army of the Potomac only three days before the first shots were fired at Gettysburg, Union general George G. Meade guided his forces to victory in the Civil War's most pivotal battle. Commentators often dismiss Meade when discussing the great leaders of the Civil War. But in this long-anticipated book, Kent Masterson Brown draws on an expansive archive to reappraise Meade's leadership during the Battle of Gettysburg. Using Meade's published and unpublished papers along with a variety of other sources, Brown highlights how Meade's rapid advance of the army to Gettysburg on July 1, his tactical control and coordination of the army in the desperate fighting on July 2, and his determination to hold his positions on July 3 insured victory. 

Brown argues that supply deficiencies, brought about by the army's unexpected need to advance to Gettysburg, were crippling. In spite of that, Meade pursued Lee's retreating army rapidly, and his decision not to blindly attack Lee's formidable defenses near Williamsport on July 13 was entirely correct in spite of subsequent harsh criticism. Combining compelling narrative with incisive analysis, this finely rendered work deepens our understanding of the Army of the Potomac as well as the machinations of the Gettysburg Campaign, restoring Meade to his rightful place in the Gettysburg narrative.

©2021 The University of North Carolina Press (P)2021 Tantor

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  • Benjamin Casey
  • 18-01-22

From the General’s POV

An excellent analysis of the battle of Gettysburg from the Union Side . This book was strong because it stuck to its topic. A lot of civil war battle books are simply a stringing together of good ole boy stories with a loose overall narrative. Not this work , it sticks to Meade and his POV . The pre and post battle were covered with new (2021) well researched insights . I especially liked the research into the supply of the army of the Potomac and Meads’ strategy going into Gettysburg .

If you are a big fan of the genre you will also find fascinating the author directly calling out some prominent civil war writers on poor Gettysburg and Meade research .

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  • Marcos W Soria
  • 10-01-22

Radical Republicans

Excellent book....more books on Meade are needed....Lincoln tried this same path with Grant....Grant remained silent and Lincoln got the message....Lee was a force to recon with....even a wounded Lee was dangerous.....