Meade was then assigned to command the Division of the Atlantic, headquartered in Philadelphia, where at his own request, he could remain with his family in his native city, while overseeing all military affairs. He held his post until his death. He was also active in Civic Affairs in Philadelphia, overseeing charity work and service to veterans, their widows and orphans. In 1866, he became Commissioner of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, a post that he held till his death. On January 2, 1868, he was called to Atlanta to handle Reconstruction, performing his duties with sensitivity and fairness.

One of his last acts was on May 31, 1872, when he spoke at the dedication of the monument to the Civil War dead of the 21st Ward (Roxborough/Manayunk) of Philadelphia.

He died on November 6, 1872, at the age of 57, a result of his old war wounds, complicated by pneumonia. He was laid to rest with fanfare in Laurel Hill Cemetery. In attendance were the President, his cabinet, numerous civil and military dignitaries, as well as ordinary citizens and old comrades.