George Edward Pickett
George Edward Pickett was born on January 28, 1825, in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from West Point in 1846, in the same class as
George B. McClellan and
Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. After fighting in the
Mexican War, he served in Texas, Virginia and Washington Territory. In
1861, he resigned his commission and joined the Confederate army. Commissioned a Confederate brigadier general on January 14, 1862, he fought under Maj. Gen. James Longstreet in the Seven Days' Campaign, and was wounded at Gaines' Mill. Promoted to major general on October 10, 1862, he led a division at Fredericksburg. During the
Battle of Gettysburg, he led what became
known as "Pickett's Charge," an unsuccessful attempt to coordinate a
massive assault on the Union center.
Pickett's military reputation declined and, after fighting in the Battles of New Berne,
Five Forks and Sayler's Creek, he was relieved of command by
General Lee. A few days later,
Lee surrendered at Appomattox, and the Civil War ended. After the war, Pickett worked as an insurance salesman. He died in
Norfolk, Virginia, on July 30, 1875.