General George Pickett?
i need to know what he did to make a difference in the civil war
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
After the firing on Fort Sumter, Virginia seceded from the Union, and native son Pickett journeyed from Oregon to serve his state, despite his personal detestation of the institution of slavery. Arriving after the First Battle of Bull Run, he resigned his commission in the U.S. Army on June 25, 1861; he had been holding a commission as a major in the Confederate States Army Artillery since March 16. Within a month he was appointed colonel in command of the Rappahannock Line of the Department of Fredericksburg, under the command of Maj. Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes. Holmes' influence obtained a commission for Pickett as a brigadier general, dated January 14, 1862.
Pickett made a colorful general. He rode a sleek black charger named "Old Black," and wore a small blue kepi-style cap, with buffed gloves over the sleeves of an immaculately tailored uniform that had a double row of gold buttons on the coat, and shiny gold spurs on his highly polished boots. He held an elegant riding crop whether mounted or walking. His mustache drooped gracefully beyond the corners of his mouth and then turned upward at the ends. His hair was the talk of the Army: "long ringlets flowed loosely over his shoulders, trimmed and highly perfumed, his beard likewise was curling and giving up the scent of Araby."
Pickett's first combat command was during the Peninsula Campaign, leading a brigade that was nicknamed the Gamecocks (the brigade would eventually be led by Richard B. Garnett in Pickett's Charge). The brigade and its commander performed well enough at Williamsburg, Seven Pines, and Gaines' Mill. At Gaines' Mill, Pickett was knocked off his horse by a bullet in the shoulder, and although he made an enormous fuss that he was mortally wounded, a staff officer examined the wound and rode away, stating that he was "perfectly able to take care of himself." However, Pickett's condition was actually in between the two diagnoses, and he was out of action for three months on medical leave, and his arm would remain stiff for at least a year.
When Pickett returned to the Army in September 1862, Pickett was given command of a two-brigade division in the corps commanded by his old colleague from Mexico, Maj. Gen. James Longstreet, and was promoted to major general on October 10. His division would not see serious combat until the Gettysburg Campaign the following summer. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, in December, it was lightly engaged, suffering no fatalities. Longstreet's entire corps was absent from the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, as it was detached on the Suffolk Campaign.
Before the Gettysburg Campaign, Pickett fell in love with a Virginia teenager, LaSalle "Sallie" Corbell (1843–1931), commuting back and forth from his duties in Suffolk to be with her. Although Sallie would later insist that she met him in 1852 (at age 9), she did not marry the 38-year-old widower until November 13, 1863.
Gettysburg and Pickett's Charge
Main article: Pickett's Charge
Pickett's division arrived at the Battle of Gettysburg on the evening of the second day, July 2, 1863. It had been delayed by the assignment of guarding the Confederate lines of communication through Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. After two days of heavy fighting, Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, which had initially driven the Union Army of the Potomac to the high ground south of Gettysburg, had been unable to dislodge the Union soldiers from their position. Lee's plan for July 3 called for a massive assault on the center of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge, calculating that attacks on either flank the previous two days had drawn troops from the center. He directed General Longstreet to assemble a force of three divisions for the attack—two exhausted divisions from the corps of Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill (under Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew and Maj. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble), and Pickett's fresh division from Longstreet's own corps. Lee referred to Pickett as leading the charge (although Longstreet was actually in command), which is one of the reasons that it is generally not known to popular history by the more accurate name "Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Assault."
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, "Up, Men, and to your posts! Don't forget today that you are from Old Virginia." Pickett's division, with the brigades of Brig. Gens. Lewis A. Armistead, Richard B. Garnett, and James L. Kemper, was on the right flank of the assault. It received punishing artillery fire, and then volleys of massed musket fire as it approached its objective. 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." B
- JohnnyLv 71 decade ago
He was last in his class at West Point class of 1846 (the class goat)
He was a young hero during the Mexican-American War and very popular with his fellow officers. As the commander of the division under Longstreet he was a good and efficient general but not a star.
- llordlloydLv 61 decade ago
He was a pretty mediocre commander. His main contribution was leading his division in 'Pickett's charge', the desperate last gambit of Lee to win at Gettysburg. But this battle was already lost.