Well, I'm off for a few days of vacation in Gettysburg. I may take a few pictures while I'm there (wink). Where are we in terms of the battle? "June came to an end." Thus writes Kent Masterson Brown in his book Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command
. Exactly 159 years ago today (the last day of June, 1863), Meade's First Corps was only a few miles from Gettysburg. Most of his other Corps were a day's march away. Meade was now preoccupied with locating the enemy and determining his intentions. Would he continue to march toward Harrisburg? Or would he concentrate at Gettysburg? Urgent requests poured into the White House asking Lincoln to place George McClellan in command of the Army. Few had confidence at all that Meade's army could defeat, much less block, what they were convinced was Lee's drive to conquer Harrisburg, Baltimore, and Washington.
On this day in 1863, George Gordon Meade was on the cusp of either fame or infamy. He found a moment to write his wife Margaret. "All is going on well," he said. "Nevertheless, I am much oppressed with a sense of responsibility and the magnitude of the great interests entrusted to me." He closed his brief letter by adding: "Pray for me and beseech our heavenly Father to permit me to be an instrument to save my country and advance a just cause."
Let us go to Gettysburg and see how Meade fared.