Civil War Wiki

Richard Worsam Meade III (also called Richard Worsam Meade, Jr., by many sources) (9 October 1837 – 4 May 1897) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.


File:Richard Worsam Meade.jpg

Meade as a Lieutenant

Born in New York City, he was the son of Passed Midshipman Richard Worsam Meade II, USN, and followed his father into a Navy career when he entered the United States Naval Academy in 1850. Graduating in 1856, he served in the steam frigate Merrimack in 1856-1857 and off Africa in 1857-1859 on board the corvette Cumberland and the sloop of war Dale. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1858, Meade was an officer of the steamer Saranac and sailing sloop of war Cyane, both units of the Pacific Squadron, during 1859-1861.

After returning to the East Coast from the Pacific in mid-1862, Lieutenant Meade was hospitalized for a few months for a tropical illness, then provided gunnery instruction to volunteer officers as the Navy expanded to meet the challenges of the American Civil War. In January 1862 he became Executive Officer of the steam sloop Dacotah and later held the same position on the new gunboat Conemaugh. Lieutenant Commander Meade's subsequent Civil War service was distinguished, including participation in the suppression of the July 1863 New York draft riots, plus active combat and blockade enforcement work while commanding the Mississippi River ironclad Louisville in the latter part of 1862 and the gunboats Marblehead in South Carolina waters in 1863-1864 and Chocura in the Gulf of Mexico during 1864-1865.

Meade's post-Civil War career marked him as one of the Navy's most prominent reformist and technologically-minded officers. Duty at the Naval Academy in 1865-1868 was followed by promotion to Commander and service along the Alaskan coast as Commanding Officer of the steamer Saginaw. In 1871-1873 he took Narragansett on a lengthy diplomatic and information-gathering cruise through the south Pacific. During the rest of the 1870s he served ashore at Washington, D.C., and New York. He attained the rank of Captain while commanding Vandalia in the North Atlantic and West Indies in 1879-1882, then had additional shore duty and commanded the new dispatch vessel Dolphin. Captain Meade was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard in 1887-1890. Promoted to Commodore in 1892 and Rear Admiral two years later, his final service was as commander of the North Atlantic Squadron in 1894-1895.

Rear Admiral Richard W. Meade retired in May 1895 and died at Washington, D.C., on 4 May 1897. His wife, Rebecca Paulding, was the daughter of Hiram Paulding.


Two ships have been named USS Meade for him and a male relative, Robert Lemy Meade. They were nephews of General George Gordon Meade.