George Edward Pickett

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George Edward Pickett

Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Death 30 Jul 1875 (aged 50)
Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, USA
Burial Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 812 · View Source
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Civil War Confederate Major General. Although born in Richmond, Virginia, he was appointed to West Point by Congressman John T. Stuart of Illinois, through the auspices of his uncle, Andrew Johnston, the law partner of Abraham Lincoln. He graduated from the USMA in 1846 along with such future Civil War luminaries as George B. McClellan, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Darius Couch and Cadmus Wilcox., placing 49th of 56 Cadets who finished. He was promoted to Brevet Second Lieutenant, 8th United States Infantry, on July 1, 1846, and to a full-rank Second Lieutenant in the 2nd United States Infantry on March 3, 1847. He then briefly served in the 7th United States Infantry in July 1847 before being transferred back to the 8th Infantry. Serving in the Mexican War, his actions in that conflict earned a promotion to Brevet First Lieutenant on August 20, 1847, "for gallant and meritorious conduct in the Battles of Contreras and Churubusco", and to Brevet Captain on September 13, 1847, for "gallant conduct in the Battle of Chapultepec, Mexico". After the war he was assigned as commander of Company K, 8th Infantry, being stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas and other forts until July 1854. He married Sally Minge on December 28, 1850 in Franklin, Louisiana, but she and their unborn child died in a raid at Ft. Gates on November 13, 1851. Replaced by Captain James Longstreet, George Pickett was assigned as commander of Company D, 9th United States Infantry, and served in the Washington Territory 1855 to 1856. After serving at Ft. Monroe, Virginia from June 1856 to June 1857, he was sent back to the Washington Territory, commanding the garrison at Whatcom, Washington Territory, from June 1857 to June 25, 1861. There he married "Morning Mist" a Haida Indian woman. She gave birth to a son, James Tilton Pickett, but she died within months of that birth. He was given an Accommodation Letter for meritorious service in San Juan Island Dispute (also called "Pig War"). After the outbreak of hostilities between the North and the South, he resigned commission, and was immediately appointed as a Captain of Infantry in the Confederate Army of North Virginia. Shortly after he was appointed a Major, Corps of Artillery, then a Colonel under General Theophilus H. Holmes and assigned to the Rappahannock front on July 23, 1861. On January 14, 1862 he was appointed Brigadier General, PACS., and given command of the 3rd Brigade, Longstreet's Division; a brigade that was made up of 8th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 56th Infantry Regiments of Virginia. Participating the Battle of Seven Days, his troops took heavy losses. At the Battle of Gaines' Mill he was wounded and put out of combat three months. Upon his return he was given command of a Division in Longstreet's Corps, Army of North Virginia on August 13, 1862. This unit was made up of the brigades of General Richard Garnett, Lewis Armistead, James Kemper, and Micah Jenkins, with General Montgomery Corse's brigade added later. On October 10, 1862 George Pickett was appointed Major General, PACS. At Battle of Gettysburg, his units arrived the evening of 2nd day and served as relief for General J. Johnston Pettigrew in the famous charge that is forever known as "Pickett's Charge" on the third and final day of the Battle. Although heavy losses were inflicted upon his unit, they penetrated the union lines in hand to hand combat and held their position on Cemetery Hill until they were ordered to withdraw on the evening of July 4th. On September 5, 1863 he married Sally (LaSalle) Corbell in a big ceremony in Petersburg, Virginia. A few weeks later, on September 23, 1863 he was assigned to command the Department of North Carolina. During his tenure a number of North Carolina troops (representing the entire roster of Company "F" of the newly formed 2nd North Carolina Union Volunteer Infantry.) deserted to the Union. Fifty-two were captured by General Pickett's forces, with twenty-two of them being publicly hung in Kinston, North Carolina. This led to legal charges against Pickett after the war. President Andrew Johnston, who, along with the 39th Congress investigated the charges while Pickett was in exile in Montreal, pardoned him for any alleged crimes. General Pickett was finally assigned to commanded a division in 1st Corps, Army of North Virginia, serving from August 31, 1864 to January 31,1865. After poorly handling his forces in the Confederate defeat at the Battle of Five Forks (April 1, 1865), he was forced to surrender to General Philip Sheridan. A myth arose that General Lee releived him of his comand, but this was not so. He had surrendered because they were sick of the carnage and had no where to retreat.After the War he was offered several positions, including a Brigadier General for the Khedive of Egypt. He made a barely tolerable living for an Insurance company, and died in poverty and of Scarlet Fever.

Bio by: K M


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 812
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Edward Pickett (16 Jan 1825–30 Jul 1875), Find a Grave Memorial no. 812, citing Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .