Today, in an ongoing effort to help Virginia Gov. Bog McDonnell celebrate Confederacy Appreciation Month, we’d like to take a moment to remember Confederate Gen. George Pickett.
Pickett, who was a Confederate general, did I say that already? was perhaps one of the biggest losers of the entire whole Civil War and therefore is an excellent representative of the entire Confederacy, which, as we covered here previously, LOST the war. He is also a suitable mascot for McDonnell’s Confederacy Appreciation Month because he was born in that losing side’s capital city of Richmond.
Essentially, Pickett’s division showed up at Gettysburg on that battle’s second day, July 2, 1863. Gen. Lee had been unable to move the Union army, so his plan was to swamp them with three military divisions. Pickett’s division and a few other brigades flanked the right and got their asses kicked. From the Wiki:
Pickett’s Charge was a bloodbath. While the Union lost about 1,500 killed and wounded, the Confederate casualties were several times that, so that over 50% of the men sent across the fields were killed or wounded. Pickett’s three brigade commanders and all 13 of his regimental commanders were casualties. Kemper was wounded, and Garnett and Armistead did not survive. Trimble and Pettigrew were the most senior casualties, the former losing a leg and the latter wounded in the hand and dying during the retreat to Virginia. Pickett himself has received some historical criticism for surviving the battle personally unscathed, but his position well to the rear of his troops (probably at the Codori farm on the Emmitsburg Road) was command doctrine at the time for division commanders.
Pickett would later go on to command troops at Appomattox. Where he was present to help Lee surrender.
As if “Pickett’s Charge” weren’t bad enough:
On April 1, 1865 his troops were attacked at Five Forks while he was two miles away enjoying a shad bake with Generals Fitzhugh Lee and Thomas Rosser. Atmospheric conditions muffled the sounds of battle so they remained unaware of it until they returned. By that time it was too late, and the final defeat of Confederate forces was all but complete.
Sorry I wasn’t here to watch you get massacred, fellas. I was eating fish.
Pickett later fled to Canada for a while. Then he returned to Richmond, became an insurance salesman (ISYN) and died.
Happy Confederacy Appreciation Month!