George Pickett

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American Civil War

George Edward Pickett (January 16, January 25, or January 28,[1] 1825 – July 30, 1875) was a career United States Army officer who became a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He is best remembered for his participation in the futile and bloody assault at the Battle of Gettysburg that bears his name, Pickett's Charge.


Early years

Pickett was born in Richmond, Virginia, the first of the eight children of Robert and Mary Pickett,[2] a prominent family of Old Virginia. He was the cousin of future Confederate general Henry Heth.[3] He went to Springfield, Illinois, to study law, but at the age of 17 he was appointed to the United States Military Academy. Legend has it that Pickett's West Point appointment was secured for him by Abraham Lincoln, but this is largely believed to be a story circulated by his widow following his death. Lincoln, as an Illinois state legislator, could not nominate candidates, although he did give the young man advice after he was accepted;[4] Pickett was actually appointed by Illinois Congressman John T. Stuart, a friend of Pickett's uncle and a law partner of Abraham Lincoln.[5]

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