Meade, George Gordon

Meade, George Gordon

Meade, George Gordon, 1815-72, Union general in the American Civil War, b. Cádiz, Spain. Graduated from West Point in 1835, he resigned from the army the next year and became a civil engineer. In 1842, Meade reentered the army in the corps of topographical engineers. He served in the Mexican War and on various engineering projects. In the Civil War he was made a brigadier general of volunteers (Aug., 1861). In the Seven Days battles (1862), he was severely wounded at Frayser's Farm (or Glendale), but he recovered in time to lead his brigade ably at the second battle of Bull Run. In the Antietam campaign, in the battle of Fredericksburg (1862), and in the battle of Chancellorsville (1863) he distinguished himself further. Meade took command of the Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863. Several days later he won the important battle of Gettysburg (see Gettysburg campaign). This brought him a brigadier generalcy in the regular army. He was criticized, however, for not following up his victory. Meade commanded the Army of the Potomac until the end of the war, but Ulysses S. Grant really directed his army in the Wilderness campaign and subsequent operations. He was promoted to major general in the regular army on Grant's recommendation in Aug., 1864. After the war Meade commanded various military departments.

See G. Meade, The Life and Letters of General George Gordon Meade (2 vol., 1913); biography by F. Cleaves (1960).

George Gordon Meade Easby (1918 - December 11, 2005) was the great-grandson of U.S. Civil War General George Gordon Meade of the Union Army and a descendant of seven signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Easby's mother was a descendant of Nicholas Waln, who came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1683 with William Penn aboard the ship Welcome and was later given the area now known as Frankford.

Easby was a multi-talented person, from being a Hollywood actor/producer to a cartoonist after World War 2, and from serving the government as a U.S. State Department employee for twenty-five years to being a radio talk host. He was also a major art/antique collector, who inherited more than 100,000 antiques and personal items, many of which had been in his family for centuries. His collection includes items belonging to Gen. George Gordon Meade, a chair and other high valued items belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte as well as jewelry belonging to Joséphine de Beauharnais. Many pieces from his collection have been loaned to the White House and U.S. State Department for its diplomatic reception rooms. Some of his pieces are also housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Mr. Easby lived nearly all of his life at his mansion (Baleroy) in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is said to be one of the most actively haunted houses in the United States. He was a graduate of Chestnut Hill Academy and studied illustration for five years at the Philadelphia College of Art. Mr. George Meade Easby has always been an extremely kind and generous person to everyone. He died on December 11, 2005, at Keystone Hospice in Wyndmoor, PA, at the age of 87, leaving no siblings or children. He was buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.


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