Major General George G. Meade's 

Masonic Walking Stick

Union General / Commanded Army of the Potomac at Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863, and in campaign culminating in Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, April 9-12, 1865

Graduating from West Point in 1835, George Gordon Meade resolved to end his military career as soon as he could, in favor of more scholarly pursuits.  Twenty-eight years later, he was extolled by the U.S. Congress for his "skill and heroic valor" as the victorious commander of the Union forces at Gettysburg, regarded by most historians as the pivotal battle of the Civil War.  

Meade was born in Cadiz, Spain (1815), where his father was a naval agent for the U.S.  The family returned to America while George was still a boy.  A year after graduating from West Point, he resigned his commission to begin a career as a civil engineer.  In 1842, however, he returned to the Army.  For the next 19 years, Meade served with the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers, seeing action in the Mexican War under General Winfield Scott.  At the start of the Civil War he was given command of a brigade of Pennsylvania volunteers.  In the opening years of the war, two battles were of particular significance in his rise to prominence:  Glendale during the Peninsular Campaign, where he continued to rally his troops despite being badly wounded in the side and arm; and Chancellorsville, where he strongly, but futilely, urged General Joseph T. Hooker to exploit his advantage with aggressive action.  In the opinion of many other officers, Hooker would have probably won the day if he had followed Meade's advice.

 Five weeks after Chancellorsville, as he led his troops northward, warily shadowing the army of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Meade received a letter from President Abraham Lincoln naming him commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing General Hooker.  Just five days later the fateful battle of Gettysburg began.  Though President Lincoln was bitterly disappointed when Meade let Lee's battered army escape across the Potomac River, he later praised Meade as a "brave and skillful officer" and kept him in command of the Army of the Potomac.  Under Ulysses S. Grant's overall supervision, Meade led his forces in the 1864-65 campaign that ended with Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, April 9-12, 1865.

After the War Meade, a Major General, headed various military departments, spending a troubled year (1868-69) in Atlanta administering reconstruction policies.  He died at Philadelphia in 1872.

His walking stick above depicts the dates of the Gettysburg battle that made him famous.  It also pictures the three interlocking rings of an Odd Fellow which means he was numbered among their membership as well.  He also bears a strong resemblance to the carving on his cane with the portrait of him below:

A special "Thanks" from Brother Al Lohman, a 30 year collector and 30+ year Masonic Lodge member from Wisconsin.  Al trades on eBay under the User ID  "lochlohman"

 

         

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