On Tuesday, May 5, the Marian Sutherland Kirby Library will host the program, “Meet General George G. Meade” at 6 p. m. presented by Civil War historian, Anthony Waskie. This presentation is part of a special series of Commonwealth Speakers programs that will be held throughout the next few months at Luzerne County Libraries to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the conclusion of the War between the States. The Civil War Era presentations are a program of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
George Meade (1815-1872) was a U. S. Army general and civil engineer who served as commander of the Union Army of the Potomac during the Civil War (1861-65). Meade entered the Civil War as a brigadier general and first served during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. Meade succeeded General Joseph Hooker as commanding officer of the Army of the Potomac in June 1863. Only a few days later Meade achieved a major victory at the Battle of Gettysburg, where his army repelled repeated assaults by General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate forces. While Meade’s victory crippled the Confederate Army, he was widely criticized for allowing Lee’s weakened force to escape into Virginia. Meade’s reputation for caution led to the appointment of the more aggressive Ulysses S. Grant as Union general-in-chief in 1864. Meade continued to lead the Army of the Potomac in a subordinate role until the end of the war, serving at the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor.
Anthony Waskie is a Civil War historian, author and preservationist specializing in the life of General George G. Meade whom he portrays in a living history performance. Waskie serves as President of the General Meade Society and Vice President of the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum & Library, and on other history-related organizations and institutions. He currently teaches in the Civil War & Emancipation Studies Program at Temple University. In addition to studying linguistics and history in Germany, Austria and Prague, Waskie received his M. A. and Ph. D. degrees from New York University and his undergraduate degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Information on the individual libraries can be found by visiting the Luzerne County Library System website at www.luzernelibraries.org.
To register for the program at the M. S. Kirby Library located at 35 Kirby Ave., Mountaintop call 570-474-9313.