Portrait of George Pickett

George Pickett was one of three division commanders who led a massive Confederate assault, popularly known as Pickett’s Charge, on Union troops entrenched on Cemetery Ridge during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. [Wikimedia Commons]

George Edward Pickett - Facts

January 16, 1825 – July 30, 1875

Key facts about Confederate General George Edward Pickett.

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Full Name:

  • George Edward Pickett

Birth Date:

  • January 16, 1825, alternatively January 25 or January 28, 1825

Birth Location:

  • Richmond, Virginia

Parents:

  • Robert and Mary Pickett

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1846)

Occupation:

  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Captain (USA), Major General (CSA)

Spouses:

  • Sally Harrison Steward Minge (1851), Morning Mist (c. 1857), LaSalle “Sallie” Corbell (1863)

Place of Death:

  • Norfolk, Virginia

Date of Death:

  • July 30, 1875

Place of Burial:

  • Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia

Significance

  • According to his baptismal record, George Edward Pickett was born on January 16, 1825, in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Some historical accounts set the date of George Pickett’s birth as January 25 or January 28, 1825.
  • George Pickett was the first of eight children born to Robert and Mary Pickett.
  • After attending local academies in Virginia, and studying law in Springfield, Illinois, George Picket received an appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1841.
  • George Pickett’s classmates at West Point included future Union General George B. McClellan and future Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.
  • George Pickett graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1846, last in his class of 59 cadets.
  • During the Mexican-American War, George Pickett received brevet promotions to first lieutenant and captain.
  • After the Mexican-American War, George Pickett served in the American West.
  • George Pickett was promoted to first lieutenant in 1849.
  • George Pickett was promoted to captain in 1855.
  • In January 1851, George Pickett married Sally Harrison Steward Minge, the daughter of Dr. John Minge of Virginia.
  • George Pickett’s first wife, Sally, died during childbirth in November 1851, in Texas.
  • While stationed at Fort Bellingham in Washington Territory, George Pickett married his second wife, a Haida Indian named Morning Mist.
  • In 1857, George Pickett’s second wife died soon after the birth of their son, James Tilton Pickett.
  • George Pickett accepted a position as a major in the Confederate Army on March 16, 1861, even though he did not resign his U.S. Army commission until June 25, 1861.
  • George Pickett was promoted to brigadier general in the Confederate Army on January 14, 1862.
  • George Pickett was shot in the arm during the Battle of Gaines’ Mill (June 27, 1862), placing him out of action on medical leave for three months.
  • George Pickett was promoted to major general in the Confederate Army on October 10, 1862.
  • George Pickett was one of three division commanders who led a massive Confederate assault, popularly known as Pickett’s Charge, on Union troops entrenched on Cemetery Ridge during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.
  • Pickett’s Charge was a severe Confederate defeat and was a pivotal event during the Battle of Gettysburg, and during the American Civil War.
  • On September 15, 1863, George Pickett married his third wife, LaSalle “Sallie” Corbell, in Petersburg, Virginia.
  • In February 1864, George Pickett had twenty-two Union prisoners hanged for treason, after discovering that they were former Confederate soldiers who had switched sides.
  • During the last stages of the Civil War, Pickett’s division was defeated at the Battle of Five Forks (April 1, 1865) prompting Confederate commander Robert E. Lee to order the evacuation of Richmond and retreat toward Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
  • While his division was being defeated at the Battle of Five Forks, George Pickett was away at a shad bake.
  • Some historians believe that Confederate General Robert E. Lee relieved George Pickett of his command after the Battle of Sayler’s Creek (April 6, 1865).
  • George Pickett surrendered with Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9, 1865 and was paroled the same day.
  • Following the Civil War, George Pickett fled to Canada in fear of reprisal for hanging twenty-two Union prisoners of war in 1864.
  • George Pickett returned to Norfolk, Virginia in 1866 to farm and work as an insurance agent.
  • It was not until June 23, 1874 that Congress passed legislation granting George Picket a pardon for his role in the Civil War.
  • George Edward Pickett died in Norfolk, Virginia on July 30, 1875, at the age of 50.
  • Fort Pickett, in Blackstone, Virginia, is named in honor of George Pickett.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title George Edward Pickett - Facts
  • Coverage January 16, 1825 – July 30, 1875
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021