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George Edward Pickett

Pickett, George Edward, 1825–75, Confederate general in the American Civil War, b. Richmond, Va. After distinguishing himself in the Mexican War (especially at Chapultepec), Pickett served on the Texas frontier (1849–55) and in Washington Territory (1856–61). He figured prominently in the San Juan Boundary Dispute as commander of the small U.S. force that occupied the island in 1859. On Virginia's secession Pickett resigned from the army, and in Feb., 1862, he became a Confederate brigadier general. He fought in the Peninsular campaign and was severely wounded at Gaines's Mill in the Seven Days battles. After his return to the army in Oct., 1862, he was promoted to major general and given a division in James Longstreet's corps. He is best remembered for his part in the Gettysburg campaign. His assault, famous as "Pickett's charge," on the Union center on Cemetery Hill (July 3, 1863) resulted in the virtual annihilation of his division. Pickett later commanded in North Carolina and in 1864 was one of the defenders of Petersburg.

See A. C. Inman, ed., Soldier of the South: General Pickett's War Letters to his Wife (1913, repr. 1971); K. R. George and J. W. Busey, Nothing But Glory: Pickett's Division at Gettysburg (1987).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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