Newspaper article, attack on General Meade, mentioned in letter of December 28, 1863.
see page 164, Vol.
（Wilkes' Spirit of the Times
, December 26, 1863）
(From the Washington Republican
Battle of Gettysburg—honor to whom honor is due
, in his report of the operations of our armies in the field during the past year, in commenting upon the Battle of Gettysburg
, says: ‘To General Meade
belonged the honor of a well-earned victory, in one of the greatest and best fought battles of the war.’
As a public journalist, we cannot allow such a record to be made in the face of the well-known history of the battle of Gettysburg
, now made classic by the eloquence of Everett
, and in view of the important part the gallant Hooker
and his chief of staff performed preliminary to, and during the battle, without entering our solemn protest against it. And in doing this, we do not mean to detract in the slightest degree from the reputation and honor of General Meade
It is a matter of history that the army of the Potomac was never in finer drill, or better discipline, or more thoroughly in ‘fighting trim’ than it was when it fought at Gettysburg
So much to the credit of General Hooker
It is a matter of history that when the column of the rebel army was within a day's march of the capital of Pennsylvania
, and the main body of the rebel army was in Maryland
, following the advances, Lee
, supposing that he had out-generaled Hooker
, and made sure of Baltimore
, was startled to find Hooker
across the Potomac
and right on his flank.
So much to the credit of the latter.
It is a matter of history that when General Hooker
was about to direct some of the troops in the field (on Maryland Heights
) under his command to prepare for a blow upon Lee
's flank, before the latter could contract his lines, which would have resulted in cutting the rebel army in two
's plans were interrupted by the general-in-chief
, and at his (Hooker
's) own request, feeling justly indignant at the treatment he had received, he was relieved.
, in his report to Jeff Davis
, acknowledges he was outflanked and outgeneraled by Hooker
So much to the credit of the latter.
It is a matter of history that when General Butterfield
made out his line of marches in Maryland
, he was directed by Hooker
to keep well to the right in order to cover Baltimore
, intending thereby to force Lee
to fight at Gettysburg
So much to the credit of Hooker
It is a matter of history that Hooker
had formed a general plan of battle: that his Chief of Staff
had that plan; that Gen. Meade
that, as Hooker
's successor, Meade
had not only the benefit of Hooker
's plans and necessarily acted upon them
, but he also had Hooker
's Chief of Staff
) by his side constantly, and, if General Hooker
dislikes to acknowledge the facts briefly cited above in his report, it does not detract any the less from the gentlemanly and soldierlike conduct of Gen. Meade
, who, immediately after the battle of Gettysburg
, in a personal letter to Gen. Butterfield
, acknowledged his great indebtedness to that officer for his valuable aid
, without which, he stated, he could not have succeeded
. Gen. Butterfield
knew all of Hooker
's plans, and was instructed by the latter to communicate them freely to Gen. Meade
, and we happen to know that Gen. Meade received them, acted upon them, and, after the battle, like a true gentleman, acknowledged his gratitude
. So much to the credit of Gen. Hooker
It is not a matter of history, but it is a matter of the plainest common sense, that neither Gen. Meade
or any other military chieftain living could have taken the Army of the Potomac, and in so short a time have it well enough ‘in hand’ to hurl it successfully against such a witty, well organized, and well led host, without aid from his immediate predecessor
can ask for no higher honor than that which he acquired by winning such a victory over the best disciplined army the rebels have in the field, in a series of battles which commenced only about forty-eight hours after he assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, even upon the plans of another
, in his oration at Gettysburg
, did not fail to do Gen. Hooker
justice; nor did Gen. Lee
, the leader of the crestfallen and defeated rebel army.
We regret the more, therefore, that the General-in-Chief
of the army of the United States, in making up an official report, which is now a part of the history of the present war, and to whom the country looks for a faithful chronicler of passing military events, should have omitted to do so, especially in view of the signal service Gen. Hooker
has recently rendered by his dashing and daring exploits in the mountain fastnesses of the west, astonishing, even the peerless Grant
, who promptly awarded to ‘Fighting Joe’ and his brave troops the credit so justly due to him and them.
Honor to whom it is due.