Is Tom Hanks in 1883 and Which Character Does He Play?

Tom Hanks is in 1883 and plays the role of General George Meade, a union army General who comforts James Dutton after he and his confederate men are defeated at the battle of Antietam.

Tom Hanks’ 1883 character is actually based on a real-life figure named General George Meade, a highly decorated American army General who proved pivotal to the American civil war. Hanks accepted to portray this role not just because of the historical significance but also because of the close friendship that he shares with singer and actor Tim McGraw, who plays the lead role of James Dutton.

Who Does Tom Hanks Play in 1883?

Tom Hanks plays General George Meade in 1883. His character is a minor one, and he appears in just one scene in one episode of the show. He appears in the second episode titled Behind Us, A Cliff which aired on 19 December 2021.

The scene that Tom Hanks appears in is actually a flashback scene to 1862 where James Dutton, the series lead star, is seen bloodied and distraught after he and his men, who are confederate soldiers, suffer a devastating defeat to the unionist. Hanks’ character, a unionist army General, comforts him, but he (James Dutton) is later captured and taken away by the unionist as a prisoner of war.

Dutton spends three years in a POW camp but is later released, perhaps as a result of the end of the war or due to a parole exchange system for swapping prisoners. Whichever it was, he was able to return to his family and resume a normal life. They eventually embark on a journey that would take them from Tennessee to Montana, where they set up their famous ranch.

Who was General George Meade in 1883?

General George Meade is one of the minor characters in 1883, the western drama series that serves as a prequel to the hugely popular TV series Yellowstone. Portrayed by Tom Hanks, George Meade appears in a flashback scene in which he comforts the lead character of the show, James Dutton, for his losses in the battleground. This is in spite of the fact that they fight on opposing sides, Meade for the Unionists and Dutton for the confederate soldiers who want to break away from America.

Tom Hanks 1883
Tom Hanks (R) as General Meade comforts James Dutton in 1883 Image Source

A Look at the Real-Life General George Meade

The 1883 character, General George Meade, actually existed in real life. He was an American army General who commanded and led the Unionist soldiers to several key victories during the American civil war that spanned 12 April 1861 – 9 April 1865. General George Meade was born on the last day of December 1815 in Cádiz, Spain where his father was a wealthy US Naval agent.

The family later fell on hard times, and they returned to America when George was just two. George spent much of his formative years in America, and his upbringing was heavily influenced by his father’s military background. He attended various military-oriented schools and eventually made it into the famed West Point Military Academy and was commissioned into the Army in 1835.

His early years of service saw him fight for his fatherland in the American-Mexico war. By the time the American civil war rolled around, he had garnered sufficient experience as well as promotions to play a key part in it. Meade focused on the eastern theater comprising Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, the District of Colombia, and North Carolina.

He took part in several key battles, such as the battle of Gettysburg, the battle of Antietam, and the battle of Glendale. He recorded victories in many of his battles and limited success in a few but never lost out rightly. He was, however, criticized for not arresting General Lee and his men after he had defeated them at the battle of Gettysburg.

George Meade received many commendations for his work, including being promoted to the rank of Major General of the regular Army in August 1864. He died on November 6, 1872, aged 56. There are several statutes and US Army installations in his memorial. He has also been represented in some movies and TV shows, such as 1883.

Tom Hanks 1883
The real life General George Meade Image Source

Was Tim McGraw Responsible for Tom Hanks’ 1883 Cameo?

Tim McGraw was responsible for Tom Hanks’ 1883 cameo. The country singer and actor actually called up Tom Hanks to ask him if he would be interested in a cameo in a show that they would be doing. The Oscar-winner replied in the affirmative and told McGraw to tell him details of when and where to show up.

Tom Hanks is not the only superstar to cameo in 1883, as we have the likes of Billy Bob Thornton and Graham Greene. It is, however, unclear if it was also McGraw that influenced them also to agree to appear in the show.

Are Tim McGraw and Tom Hanks Friends in 1883 or in Real Life?

Tim McGraw and Tom Hanks are friends in real life and friendly acquaintances in 1883. In 1883, Tim McGraw plays James Dutton, a patriarch who travels with his family to settle down in Montana. Dutton is a former confederate soldier during the American civil war. On the day his side lost, a unionist general named George Meade comforts him before he is captured and taken away. That unionist soldier is portrayed by Tom Hanks.

Tim McGraw and Tom Hanks are good friends in real life. McGraw revealed in 2021 that he and Hanks had been friends for 25 years while his wife, Faith Hill, and Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson, are like the best of friends. There is therefore, a close tie between the two, and it was this close tie that gave McGraw the confidence to inquire from Hanks if he would like to cameo in 1883. Hanks quickly agreed as a result of their close bond, and the result was the emotional scene that fans saw on screens.

McGraw has shared that he and Hanks chose not to see each other until the scene was filmed. As such, they had no inkling how each looked, and this helped them display the profound emotion that they gave.

Who was Tom Hanks’ Wife in 1883

Tom Hank’s character in 1883 does not have a wife. The character only appeared in one scene, a flashback scene at that, and as such, does not experience that level of character development to have a wife or a family The real-life George Meade got married to Margaretta Sergeant on his 35th birthday.

Margaretta was the daughter of a republican politician and former VP candidate on the platform of the Republican Party named John Sergeant. They were married for a long time and welcomed seven children.

Tom Hanks’ real-life wife, Rita Wilson, was in 1883. She had a cameo appearance as Carolyn, a storekeeper at a border town between Oklahoma and Texas. She befriended James Dutton’s wife Margaret when the latter stopped over at her shop, and they share a drink of whiskey.


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