|George Edward Pickett|
Major General George Edward Pickett
|Born||January 16, 1825
|Died||July 30, 1875
|Place of burial||Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia|
|Allegiance|| United States of America
Confederate States of America
|Service/branch|| United States Army
Confederate States Army
|Years of service||1846–61 (USA) 1861–65 (CSA)|
|Rank|| Captain (USA)
Major General (CSA)
|Commands held||Pickett's Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia|
George Edward Pickett (January 16, 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.
Pickett was born in Richmond, Virginia, the first of the eight children of Robert and Mary Pickett, a prominent family of Old Virginia of English origins, and one of the "first families" of Virginia. He was the cousin of future Confederate general Henry Heth. 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; Pickett was actually appointed by Illinois Congressman John T. Stuart, a friend of Pickett's uncle and a law partner of Abraham Lincoln.
Pickett was popular as a cadet at West Point. He was mischievous and a player of pranks, "... a man of ability, but belonging to a cadet set that appeared to have no ambition for class standing and wanted to do only enough study to secure their graduation." At a time when often a third of the class washed out before graduation, Pickett persisted, working off his demerits and doing enough in his studies to graduate, ranking last out of the 59 surviving students in the Class of 1846. It is a position held with some backhanded distinction, referred to today as the "goat", both for its stubbornness and tenacity. The position usually relegated its holder to a posting commanding infantry in some far away outpost, which if no conflict arose, would offer little opportunity to advance. Two of the most famous "goats" were Pickett and George Armstrong Custer (as was also Pickett's cousin, Harry Heth). All of them had the good fortune to graduate shortly after a war broke out, when the army had a sudden need for officers, greatly improving their opportunities.
Early military career
Pickett was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the U.S. 8th Infantry Regiment. He soon gained national recognition in the Mexican-American War when he carried the American colors over the parapet during the Battle of Chapultepec. Wounded at the base of the wall, Pickett's friend and colleague Lt. James Longstreet handed him the colors. Pickett carried the flag over the wall and fought his way to the roof of the palace, unfurling it over the fortress and announcing its surrender. He received a brevet promotion to captain following this action.
In 1849, while serving on the Texas frontier after the war, he was promoted to first lieutenant and then to captain in the 9th U.S. Infantry in 1855. In 1853, Pickett challenged a fellow junior officer, future Union general and opposing Civil War commander Winfield Scott Hancock, to a duel; (they had met only briefly when Hancock was passing through Texas). Hancock declined the duel, a response not unlikely as dueling had fallen out of favor at the time.
In January 1851, Pickett married Sally Harrison Minge, the daughter of Dr. John Minge of Virginia, the great-great-grandniece of President William Henry Harrison, and the great-great-granddaughter of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Sally died during childbirth that November, at Fort Gates, Texas.
Pickett next served in the Washington Territory. In 1856 he commanded the construction of Fort Bellingham on Bellingham Bay, in what is today the city of Bellingham, Washington. He also built a frame home that year which still stands; Picket House is the oldest house in Bellingham and the oldest house on its original foundation in the Pacific Northwest. While posted to Fort Bellingham, Pickett married a Native American woman of the Haida tribe, Morning Mist, who gave birth to a son, James Tilton Pickett (1857–1889); Morning Mist died a few months later. "Jimmy" Pickett made a name for himself as a newspaper artist in his short life. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 32 near Portland, Oregon.
In 1859 Pickett was dispatched in command of Company D, 9th U.S. Infantry, to garrison San Juan Island in response to discord that had arisen there between American farmers and the Hudson's Bay Company. The confrontation was instigated when American farmer Lyman Cutler shot and killed a pig that had repeatedly broken into his garden. The pig belonged to the Hudson's Bay Company, and though Cutler was prepared to pay a fair price for the pig, the Company was not satisfied, insisting he be brought before the British magistrate, thus initiating the territorial dispute that came to be known as the Pig War. In response to the U.S. forces, the British sent a force of three warships and 1000 men. The British commander demanded that Pickett and his men leave. Pickett declined, and the British officer returned to his frigate, threatening to land his own men. Pickett with his 68 men appeared to be fully prepared to oppose a British landing, ordering them into a line of battle near the beach. "Don't be afraid of their big guns," he told his men, "We'll make a Bunker Hill of it." Pickett's presence and determination prevented the landing, the British being under orders to avoid armed conflict with United States forces, if possible. After initial tensions passed the crisis was averted, both sides being unwilling to go to war over a pig. President James Buchanan dispatched Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott to negotiate a settlement between the parties.
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's 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). Pickett led his brigade ably in the battles of Williamsburg and Seven Pines, earning commendations from his superiors. At Gaines's Mill he was shot off his horse while leading his brigade in its first assault. Pickett continued to move forward with his men for a while, leading his horse on foot. A second assault by Pickett's brigade, led by Col. Eppa Hunton, along with the brigade led by Cadmus Wilcox, broke the Union line. Pickett feared he'd taken a mortal blow to his shoulder, but the wound was initially assessed by others as minor. The shoulder wound turned out to be severe enough that Pickett was out of action for the next three months, and his arm would remain stiff for at least a year.
When Pickett returned to the Army in September 1862, he 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. It was lightly engaged at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December, 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. The couple had two children, George Edward Pickett, Jr. (born July 17, 1864) and David Corbell Pickett (born 1865 or 1866). David died in late 1873 or January 1874 of measles.
Gettysburg and 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. Although Longstreet was actually in command, Lee referred to Pickett as leading the charge, which is one of the reasons that it is generally not known to popular history by the name "Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Assault." In addition, much of the mythology of the Charge arose from newspaper reports. As Pickett was the only Virginia commander of his rank, the Virginia newspapers both played up their native son's role and made the assault a more "glamorous" event.
Following a two-hour artillery barrage 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 termed the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy". Neither of the other two divisions made comparable progress across the fields; Armistead's success was not reinforced, and his men were quickly killed or captured.
Pickett's Charge was a bloodbath. While the Union lost about 1,500 killed and wounded, the Confederate casualties were several times that. Over 50% of the men sent across the fields were killed or wounded. Pickett's three brigade commanders and all thirteen 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 later mortally wounded during the retreat to Virginia. Pickett himself has received some historical criticism for surviving the battle personally unscathed, establishing his final position well to the rear of his troops, most likely at the Codori farm on the Emmitsburg Road. Thomas R. Friend, who served Pickett as a courier, wrote that he "went as far as any Major General, Commanding a division, ought to have gone, and farther."
As soldiers straggled back to the Confederate lines along Seminary Ridge, Lee feared a Union counteroffensive and tried to rally his center, telling returning soldiers that the failure was "all my fault." Pickett was inconsolable. When Lee told Pickett to rally his division for the defense, Pickett allegedly replied, "General Lee, I have no division." Pickett's official report for the battle has never been found. It is rumored that Gen. Lee rejected it for its bitter negativity and demanded that it be rewritten, and an updated version was never filed.
After Gettysburg Pickett commanded the Department of Southern Virginia and North Carolina over the winter, and then served as a division commander in the Defenses of Richmond. After P.G.T. Beauregard bottled up Benjamin Butler in the Bermuda Hundred Campaign, Pickett's division was detached in support of Robert E. Lee's operation in the Overland Campaign, just before the Battle of Cold Harbor, in which Pickett's division occupied the center of the defensive line, a place in which the main Union attack did not occur. His division returned to take part in the Siege of Petersburg. On April 1, 1865, Pickett's defeat at the Battle of Five Forks was a pivotal moment that unraveled the tenuous Confederate line and caused Lee to order the evacuation of Richmond, Virginia, and retreat toward Appomattox Court House. It was a final humiliation for Pickett, because he was two miles away from his troops at the time of the attack, enjoying a shad bake with generals Fitzhugh Lee and Thomas L. Rosser. By the time he returned to the battlefield, it was too late.
A controversy existed over whether or not Pickett was relieved of his command in the final days of the war. Lee's Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Walter H. Taylor, wrote after the war that following the Battle of Sayler's Creek on April 6, 1865, he had issued orders for Lee relieving Maj. Gens. Richard H. Anderson and Bushrod R. Johnson, whose forces had been lost in the battle and who thereby no longer had troops under their command. In fact, Anderson had returned to his home in South Carolina following the battle. In addition, Taylor recollected that he had issued an order relieving Pickett as well. Pickett's division was still intact, though reduced in number to about the size of a brigade. No copies of these orders exist. Douglas Southall Freeman, a biographer of Lee, supported this assertion, writing in 1935: At the same time that Lee relieved Anderson of command, he took the same action regarding Pickett and Bushrod Johnson, but the order regarding Pickett apparently never reached him. As late as April 11 he signed himself, "Maj. Genl. Commdg."
In contradiction to this assertion, in his 1870 book Pickett's Men Walter Harrison reprinted an order from Lt. Col. Taylor to Pickett dated April 10, 1865, in which Taylor addressed Pickett as "Maj Gen G E Picket [sic], General Commanding" The order was a request for an account of the movements and actions of Pickett's Division from the time of the Battle of Five Forks on 1 April to the surrender at Appomattox on 9 April. In the report Pickett submitted he said:
"The second day after the battle referred to (Five Forks) not being able to find General Anderson’s headquarters, I reported to Lieut. Gen. Longstreet, and continued to receive orders from him until the army was paroled and disbursed."
Pickett's official report to Taylor was signed "G.E. Pickett, Major-Gen., Commd'g." This is the 11 April report mentioned by Freeman above. Thus in Pickett's official report to Taylor he speaks of commanding his men and interacting with his superior officer right up until the surrender at Appomattox. Taylor attempted to explain the apparent contradiction by telling Fitzhugh Lee that he addressed his request in the manner he did because Pickett was not dismissed from the Army, and for the period in question Pickett was initially in command. This explanation, however, begs the question of how Taylor expected Pickett to answer for the period of time Pickett purportedly was not in command. The explanation does not explain Pickett's report which covered the entire period, nor the fact that Pickett signed the report as the acting commander, nor did it explain Longstreet's interactions with Pickett over this period of time. Furthermore, there is no record of Taylor requesting reports from any other officers dismissed from the service on the movements of their former troops, nor of his referring to such officers in a manner which would connot active command.
The medical officer of Pickett's division, Dr. M. G. Elzey, was with Pickett at the time of these events. Years later when an elderly Col. Mosby raised this issue in 1911, Elzey wrote a letter to the Richmond Times-Dispatch in answer to Mosby:
I was General Pickett's personal medical advisor, and continued to be such until the time of his death. We rode together a greater part of the way during the retreat of our army from Petersburg to Appomattox. We escaped together from the battlefield at Sailor's Creek and were constantly together until we reached Appomattox. I repeat it, therefore, with all confidence, that I am a competent witness to the fact that he was never under arrest, but remained in command of his Division until the last scene at Appomattox.
M. G. Elzey
In Longstreet's final report, he makes no mention of any other officer being in charge of the unit. In point of fact his final report makes no mention of Pickett or his division. Pickett commanded the men remaining in his division and reported to Longstreet. These men surrendered with Pickett at Appomattox. Regarding Pickett and his division, no source can be produced which asserts anything otherwise.
On April 9 Pickett commanded his remaining troops in the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, forming up in the final battle line of the Army of Northern Virginia. He surrendered with Lee's army and was paroled at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
A legend told by Pickett's widow stated that when the Union Army marched into Richmond, she received a surprise visitor. He acted graciously and inquired whether he had found the Pickett house. Abraham Lincoln himself had come to determine the fate of an old acquaintance before the wars, and Sallie, astonished, admitted she was his wife and held out her infant for the president to cradle. Lincoln historian Gerald J. Prokopowicz has called this story a "fantasy".
Fearing that former U.S. Army officers who had resigned their commissions and fought for the confederacy would be arrested and executed, Pickett fled to Canada following his parole at Appomattox. He remained out of the country for a year before returning in 1866 to work as an insurance agent in Norfolk, Virginia.
Many former Confederate officers who had been West Point graduates had concerns that they would be prosecuted after the war. Former Union officers, including Ulysses S. Grant, supported the pardoning of Pickett. On 23 June, 1874 House Resolution 3086, an "act to remove the political disabilities of George E. Pickett of Virginia", was passed by the U.S. Congress. Pickett was granted a full pardon, about a year before his death.
Pickett lamented his men, lost in great number at Gettysburg. Late in his life, Colonel John Mosby, who served under J.E.B. Stuart but had no direct interaction with Lee to draw from, was present when Lee and Pickett met briefly after the war. He claimed their interaction was cold and reserved. Others present at the meeting refuted this, stating Lee only acted in his usual reserved and gentlemanly fashion. Pickett, Mosby said, complained bitterly after this meeting, saying to Mosby: "That man destroyed my division." Most historians find the encounter as Mosby interpreted it unlikely. Asked by reporters why Pickett's Charge failed, Pickett frequently replied: "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it."
George E. Pickett died in Norfolk, Virginia, on July 30, 1875. The cause of death was a liver abscess, although whether it was amoebic or bacterial is not clear. He was initially interred in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Norfolk. His remains were disinterred on October 23 and he was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia on October 24, 1875. More than 40,000 people lined the funeral route while another 5,000 marched in the funeral procession. A memorial to Pickett was erected over his grave site and dedicated on October 5, 1888. The memorial was not, however, placed directly above Pickett's burial site, and the exact location of his remains is not clear.
LaSalle Corbell Pickett died on March 22, 1931, having outlived her husband by more than 55 years. Initially, Hollywood Cemetery declined to allow her to be buried next to her husband. Pickett's grandson, Lieutenant George E. Pickett III, threatened to have his grandfather disinterred and moved to Arlington National Cemetery where both grandparents could be buried side-by-side. Hollywood Cemetery quickly agreed to permit LaSalle's interment at Hollywood. However, this did not immediately occur for reasons which are not clear, and LaSalle was cremated and buried at Abbey Mausoleum in Arlington County, Virginia. Originally a mausoleum for the wealthy, it went bankrupt in 1968. The structure fell into disrepair, and it was vandalized many times and several graves desecrated. In early 1998, the Military Order of the Stars and Bars and United Daughters of the Confederacy worked together to pay for LaSalle's disinterment and reburial in front of the George E. Pickett Memorial in Hollywood Cemetery. LaSalle Pickett was buried on Saturday, March 21, 1998. She was the first woman interred in the Confederate military burial section.
Decades after Pickett's death, his widow LaSalle (also known as "Sallie" and "Mother") became a well-known writer and speaker on "her Soldier," eventually leading to the creation of an idealized Pickett who was the perfect Southern gentleman and soldier. A considerable amount of controversy attends LaSalle Pickett's lionizing of her husband. Two books published posthumously in her husband's name, The Heart of a Soldier, As Revealed in the Intimate Letters of Gen'l George E. Pickett (published in 1913) and Soldier of the South: General Pickett's War Letters to His Wife (1928), have been described as "unreliable works that were fictionalized by Pickett's wife." (LaSalle was also the author, under her own name, of Pickett and His Men, published in 1913.) As a result, General Pickett has become a figure partially obscured by "Lost Cause" mythology.
George E. Pickett today is widely perceived as being a tragic hero of sorts—a flamboyant officer who wanted to lead his troops into a glorious battle, but always missed the opportunity until the disastrous charge at Gettysburg. Douglas Southall Freeman's works (especially Lee's Lieutenants), as well as Michael Shaara's novel The Killer Angels (1975) and the film Gettysburg (1993) have greatly enhanced this reputation in popular culture.
Historian John C. Waugh wrote of Pickett, "An excellent brigade commander, he never proved he could handle a division." He quotes George B. McClellan, the Union general, as saying: "Perhaps there is no doubt that he was the best infantry soldier developed on either side during the Civil War."
Pickett's grave is marked by an elaborate memorial in Hollywood Cemetery. Commissioned in 1875 by the Pickett Division Association, a group of veterans from his division, it was originally intended to be placed at Gettysburg National Military Park at the "High Water Mark" of Pickett's Charge, but was built in Richmond when the U.S. War Department refused permission for the battlefield placement. A monument to Pickett also stands in the American Camp on San Juan Island, Washington, erected by the Washington University Historical Society, October 21, 1904.
Fort Pickett in Blackstone, Virginia, is named in his honor. Originally a site for the Civilian Conservation Corps, it was an active U.S. Army training facility in World War II and is currently occupied by the Virginia National Guard.
In popular media
George Pickett appeared in two episodes of the 1985 mini-series North and South, depicting his cadet years at West Point where he was a friend of George Hazard and Orry Main.
- Military records cited by Eicher, p. 428, and Warner, p. 239, list January 28. The memorial that marks his gravesite in Hollywood Cemetery lists his birthday as January 25. The Pickett Society claims to have accessed the baptismal record from St. John's Church in Richmond; at the time of young Pickett's christening on March 10, 1826, his parents gave their son's date of birth as January 16.
- Pickett Society
- Eicher, p. 428.
- Tagg, p. 237.
- Hess, p. 37.
- Memoirs of Brigadier General William Montgomery Gardner. Special Collections, USMA Archives. p. 8.
- Robbins p. 96
- Robbins p. xi Quote: The term goat connotes many things - stubborness, persistence, but also mischievousness and playfulness. The goats were by and large charismatic, adventuresome, with a youthful bonhomme that generally made them very popular with their classmates.
- Tagg, p. 112.
- Gordon, Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, pp. 1518–19.
- "George E. Pickett House". City of Bellingham. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
- Gordon, General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend, pp. 169–70; Boltz, np.
- "The San Juan Island National Historical Park – The Pig War".
- Robbins, p. 177; Tagg, p. 237.
- Gordon, General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend, p. 60.
- Tagg, pp. 236–37.
- Robbins, p. 241.
- Tagg, p. 237; Carmichael, p. 29; Burton, pp. 128–29. Major John C. Haskell, a staff officer, encountered Pickett in a hollow, and wrote afterward that Pickett thought his wound was mortal and requested litter bearers. Haskell examined the wound, saw that it was slight, and rode off, satisfied that Pickett could take care of himself.
- Longacre, pp. 86–87; Gordon, Lesley J. "George E. Pickett (1825–1875)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
- Selcer, p. 45.
- The exact date of David's birth is not clear. See: Gordon, p. 235.
- Although LaSalle Corbell Pickett gives the date of his death as April 1874, her memoirs are considered highly unreliable. A letter from George E. Pickett to his wife, dated January 1874, refers to David's "recent" death. See: Gordon, p. 235.
- Robbins, James S. Last in Their Class: Custer, Pickett, and the Goats of West Point. New York: Encounter Books, 2006, p. 399.
- Inscription on the monument for Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg National Park; Tagg, p. 239.
- Hess, p. 177; Gordon, General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend, p. 115.
- Tagg, p. 240.
- Reardon, pp. 85, 159–60, 186.
- Rhea, p. 111.
- Warner, p. 240.
- Freeman, vol. 4, p. 112.
- Harrison p. 149
- Harrison, pp. 141–151.
- Marvel, p. 216.
- Letter to the Times-Dispatch, April 2, 1911
- Marvel, pp. 214–217
- Robbins, p. 292.
- Lankford, p. 242.
- Prokopowicz, p. 132.
- Pickett Society
- K.C. Stiles (March 25, 1911). "Letter to the Editor". Times-Dispatch.
- Boritt, p. 19.
- Brown, Fred R. History of the Ninth U.S. Infantry, 1799-1909. Chicago: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 1909, p. 730.
- Gordon, Lesley J. General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1998, p. 236.
- Selcer, Richard F. "Faithfully and Forever Your Soldier": Gen. George E. Pickett, CSA. Gettysburg, Pa.:Farnsworth House Military Impressions, 1995, p. 54.
- "The Late Gen. Pickett." New York Times. October 25, 1875.
- Sedore, Timothy S. An Illustrated Guide to Virginia's Confederate Monuments. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 2011, p. 161.
- "Dead of Lost Cause May Get U.S. Shrine." Washington Post. March 30, 1931.
- Only George E. Pickett, Jr. survived into adulthood. He died at sea while returning from Manila, The Philippines, on April 18, 1911. See: Department of War. War Department Annual Reports, 1911. Vol. 3. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1912, p. 218. Accessed 2013-10-24.
- Scannell, Nancy. "Mausoleum for Sale." Washington Post. April 28, 1986; Hong, Peter Y. "Vandalism in Va. Mausoleum Said to Indicate Satanism." Washington Post. June 23, 1994; Kunkle, Fredrick. "Giving Up Its Ghosts." Washington Post. January 27, 2001.
- "General's Wife Buried in Confederate Cemetery." Tuscaloosa News. March 21, 1998. Accessed 2013-10-24.
- Eicher, p. 429.
- Waugh, p. 507. The McClellan quote is from remarks he wrote for Pickett's funeral, as reported by LaSalle Pickett in her hagiographic The Heart of a Soldier.
- Boltz, Martha M. "The General's Second Family: The One That History Forgot.", Washington Times, 2001.
- Boritt, Gabor S., ed. Why the Confederacy Lost. Gettysburg Civil War Institute Books. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. ISBN 0-19-507405-X.
- Burton, Brian K. Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-253-33963-4.
- Carmichael, Peter J. "George Edward Pickett." In The Confederate General, vol. 5, edited by William C. Davis and Julie Hoffman. Harrisburg, PA: National Historical Society, 1991. ISBN 0-918678-67-6.
- Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Freeman, Douglas S. R. E. Lee, A Biography. 4 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934–35. OCLC 166632575.
- Gordon, Lesley J. General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-8078-2450-4.
- Gordon, Lesley J. "George Edward Pickett." In Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History, edited by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. ISBN 0-393-04758-X.
- Harrison, Walter. Pickett's Men: A Fragment of War History. New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1870. ISBN 978-1-4255-2073-1.
- Hess, Earl J. Pickett's Charge – The Last Attack at Gettysburg. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8078-2648-0.
- Lankford, Nelson. Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital. New York: Viking, 2002. ISBN 0-670-03117-8.
- Longacre, Edward G. Pickett, Leader of the Charge: A Biography of General George E. Pickett, C.S.A. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Publishing, 1995. ISBN 978-1-57249-006-2.
- Marvel, William. Lee's Last Retreat: The Flight to Appomattox. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-8078-5703-8.
- Prokopowicz, Gerald J. Did Lincoln Own Slaves? And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln. New York: Pantheon Books, 2008. ISBN 978-0-375-42541-7.
- Reardon, Carol. Pickett's Charge in History and Memory. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8078-2379-1.
- Rhea, Gordon C. Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26 – June 3, 1864. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8071-2803-1.
- Robbins, James S. Last in Their Class: Custer, Pickett and the Goats of West Point. New York: Encounter Books, 2006. ISBN 1-59403-141-X.
- Tagg, Larry. The Generals of Gettysburg. Campbell, CA: Savas Publishing, 1998. ISBN 1-882810-30-9.
- U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880–1901.
- Vouri, Mike. "George Pickett and the "Pig War" Crisis," essay by San Juan Island National Historical Park interpreter at the Pickett Society web site.
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.
- Waugh, John C. The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox: Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and Their Brothers. New York: Warner Books, 1994. ISBN 978-0-446-51594-8.
- Pickett Society biography
- The Heart of a Soldier: As Revealed in the Intimate Letters of Genl. George E. Pickett C.S.A. New York: Seth Moyle, c1913.
- George E. Pickett in Encyclopedia Virginia
- Find-a-Grave entry for Sally Minge Pickett
- Find-a-Grave entry for Sallie Corbell Pickett
- Details of Mosby's claims about Lee and Pickett
- Humorous story about the naming of Fort Pickett[dead link]