George Edward Pickett was born in Richmond on Sept. 13, 1825, and was graduated from West Point in 1846. During the Mexican War, he fought at Contreras and Churubusco, acquitting himself so well at Chapultepec that he was awarded the brevet of a first lieutenant. Later he served in Washington Territory and at Army posts elsewhere in the West. On June 25, 1861, he resigned his commission, and a month later, he became a colonel in the Confederate Army. Henceforth, his war experience would be almost entirely confined to Virginia. ?Peter Cliffe, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, July 25, 2006. LaSalle (she changed her name from Sallie Ann) Corbell and George Pickett wed on September 15, 1863, when George was thirty-eight and his adoring bride no more than twenty-two. This was Pickett’s second legal marriage. His first wife had died in childbirth in November 1851, and he fathered a son by an Indian woman while serving with the United States Infantry in the Pacific Northwest a few years before the Civil War. ?Gregory J. W. Urwin, Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 2, Summer 2000. In January 1862, by then commanding a division in the Army of Northern Virginia, he was promoted to brigadier general. Pickett saw action at Gaines Mill (third of the Seven Days’ battles) on June 27, in an indecisive battle that cost Lee too many men. In October, he became a major general. He was at Fredericksburg in December when Lee thrashed an unbelievably inept Gen. Ambrose Burnside. Pickett is probably best remembered for his ill-fated charge on July 3, 1863, the third day of Gettysburg, against strongly positioned Federals on Cemetery Ridge.
These letters were mostly written from the field and may reveal a side of military life not often written about in history books. They range from details of battles, his grief at the loss of men, and even chatty gossip.
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