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George E. Pickett
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Sneakin Deacon
N 37° 32.500 W 077° 27.343
18S E 283042 N 4157798
Quick Description: Major General George E. Pickett will forever be link to the Civil War and "Pickett's Charge" at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 8/23/2006 8:38:00 AM
Waymark Code: WMN48
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member rangerroad
Views: 181

Long Description:
General Pickett's division arrived at Gettysburg on the evening of , July 2, 1863, toward the end of the second day of battle. General Lee's plan for July 3 called for a massive assault on the center of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge. He directed General Longstreet to assemble a force of three divisions for the attack—two exhausted divisions from the corps of A.P. Hill (under Maj. Gens. J. Johnston Pettigrew and Isaac R. Trimble) and Pickett's fresh division from Longstreet's corps. Lee referred to Pickett as leading the charge, although General Longstreet was actually in command. Following a two-hour artillery barrage that was meant to soften up the Union defenses, the three divisions stepped off across open fields almost a mile from Cemetery Ridge. Pickett inspired his men by shouting, "Charge the enemy, and remember old Virginia!" Armistead's brigade made the farthest progress through the Union lines. Armistead was mortally wounded, falling near "The Angle" at what is now considered the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. But neither of the other two divisions made comparable progress across the fields and Armistead's success was not reinforced. Pickett's Charge was a bloodbath. While the Union lost about 1,500 killed and wounded, the Confederate casualty rate was over 50%. Pickett's three brigade commanders and all thirteen of his regimental commanders were casualties. Kemper was wounded and Garnett and Armistead did not survive. Trimble and Pettigrew were the most senior casualties, the former losing a leg and the latter wounded in the hand and dying on the retreat to Virginia. As soldiers straggled back to the Confederate lines along Seminary Ridge, Lee feared a Union counteroffensive and tried to rally his center, telling returning soldiers that the failure was "all my fault." Pickett was inconsolable for the rest of the day and never forgave Lee for ordering the charge. When Lee told Pickett to rally his division for the defense, Pickett allegedly replied, "General Lee, I have no division now." Pickett's official report for the battle has never been found. It is rumored that Gen. Lee rejected it for its bitter negativity and demanded that it be rewritten, never filing an updated version. To his dying day, Pickett mourned the great loss of his men. General George Pickett died on July 30, 1875 and is resting today in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. His grave is marked by a memorial that was commissioned in 1875 by the Pickett Division Association, a group of veterans from his division.
George Edward Pickett was born on January 16, 1825 in Richmond, Virginia. Pickett attended West Point and was a popular cadet who was known as the class clown, and graduated last of 59 students in the class of 1846. After the firing on Fort Sumter, Virginia seceded from the Union and Pickett resigned his commission in the U.S. Army on June 25, 1861; and it should be noted that he had been holding a commission as a major in the Confederate States Army Artillery since March 16, 1861. Pickett saw action in several battles including the Peninsula Campaign, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, and Gaines' Mill, where he was wounded in the arm. After recovering from his would Pickett saw action the campaign leading up to Gettysburg. It was at Gettysburg that he carved his name into the history books as he is best remembered for his participation in the futile and bloody assault that bears his name, Pickett's Charge. After the battle, Lee and Pickett’s relationship was basically severed, with General Pickett personally holding General Lee responsible for “destroyed my division." After Gettysburg, Pickett's career went into decline. He commanded the Department of Southern Virginia and North Carolina over the winter, and then served as a division commander in the Defenses of Richmond, part of the Siege of Petersburg. On April 1, 1865, Pickett's defeat at the Battle of Five Forks was a pivotal moment that unraveled the tenuous Confederate line and caused Lee to order the evacuation of Richmond, Virginia, and retreat toward Appomattox Court House. It was a final humiliation for Pickett, because he was two miles away from his troops at the time of the attack, enjoying a shad bake with some other officers. By the time he returned to the battlefield, it was too late. After the Battle of Sayler's Creek, he was relieved of command and was paroled at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. Despite his parole, Pickett fled to Canada before returning to Norfolk, Virginia, in 1866 to work as an insurance agent. General Pickett had difficulty seeking amnesty after the war, as did other Confederate Officers who had been West Point graduates. It was with the support of General U. S. Grant that the United States Congress awarded General Pickett a full pardon on June 23, 1875. A year later, on July 30, 1875, General George Edward Pickett died in Norfolk, Virginia and was buried with 18,000 other Confederate Veterans in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

Date of birth: 01/16/1825

Date of death: 07/30/1875

Area of notoriety: Historical Figure

Marker Type: Monument

Setting: Outdoor

Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Gates open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (open until 6:00 p.m. April - October)

Fee required?: No

Web site: [Web Link]

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