George Gordon Meade was a United States Army officer and civil engineer best known for decisively defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. He previously fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican–American War. During the Civil War, he served as a Union general, rising from command of a brigade to that of the Army of the Potomac. Earlier in his career, he was an engineer and was involved in the coastal construction of several lighthouses.
Meade's Civil War combat experience started as a brigade commander in the Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days Battles. He was severely wounded while leading his brigade at the Battle of Glendale. As a division commander, he had notable success at the Battle of South Mountain and assumed temporary corps command at the Battle of Antietam. Meade's division was arguably the most successful of any at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December. It was part of a force charged with driving the Confederate troops under Stonewall Jackson back from their position on Prospect Hill.