George Pickett Facts

George Pickett Facts
George Picket was a Confederate general who is best known today for his disastrous charge on the Union lines at the Battle of Gettysburg, which has become known as "Pickett's Charge." In many ways, Pickett epitomized the image of a dashing Confederate officer who was brave and ready to lead his troops to battle. Despite Pickett's eagerness for battle, battlefield glory eluded him throughout the Civil War. Picket was born George Edward Picket on January 16, 1825 in Richmond, Virginia to Robert and Mary Pickett. Although he initially intended to study law, Pickett was accepted to attended the United Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating in 1846. He was married three times during his life, outliving two of his wives. He first married Sally Harrison Minge, a descendant of the ninth American president, William Henry Harrison, in 1851. Sally died later that year while giving birth. Pickett then married a Haida Indian woman in Washington Territory in 1857 named Morning Mist. She also died during childbirth. Pickett's third wife was LaSalle "Sallie" Corbell, with whom he had two children.
Interesting George Pickett Facts:
Although popular with his fellow cadets at West Point, Pickett was not known as a scholar, graduating at the bottom of his class.
Pickett served as a lieutenant during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847 as he carried the American flag over the parapet.
After the Mexican-American War, Pickett served on the western frontier, which is how he met his second wife.
Picket was commanded to brigadier general in 1862 under general James Longstreet.
He distinguished himself during the Peninsula Campaign from March to July 1862.
During the Battle of Gaines' Mill/First Battle of Cold Harbor in Virginia on June 27, 1862, Pickett was shot in the shoulder: the injury kept him out of combat for several months.
Pickett's Charge was part of a massive frontal assault ordered by General Lee intended to capture Cemetery Ridge from the Union forces on July 3, 1863.
Although Pickett's charge was lauded by the Confederate press as a heroic act, it was a bloodbath and tragedy for the Confederate forces: of Pickett's division of 5,500 men, 224 were killed, 1,140 were wounded, and 1,500 were captured or had deserted.
After losing the Battle of New Bern (February 1-3, 1864) in North Carolina, Pickett ordered the execution of twenty-two Union soldiers. Pickett claimed that they North Carolina natives were originally Confederate soldiers who switched, but many of them were probably in the Union army the entire war.
Pickett fought at the Battle of Appomattox and surrendered with Lee to the Union Army on April 12, 1865.
After the war, Pickett feared that he would be prosecuted for executing the prisoners in North Carolina so he fled with his family to Canada.
President Grant personally assured Pickett that he wouldn't be prosecuted, so he returned to the United States and was officially pardoned by an act of Congress in 1874.
After he returned to the United States in 1866, Pickett worked as an insurance agent in Virginia.
George Pickett died on July 30, 1875 in Norfolk, Virginia at the age of fifty from a liver abscess.
His remains were interred at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.
Pickett's third wife Sallie died in 1931.


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