George Pickett

Major General George E. Pickett
Birth Name:
George Edward Pickett
Birth Date:
January 16, 1825
Birth Place:
Richmond, Virginia
Death Date:
July 30, 1875
Place of Death:
Norfolk, Virginia
Cause of Death:
Liver disease
Cemetery Name:
Hollywood Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Historical Figure
Major General George Pickett was a career United States Army officer who became a major general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He attended the US Military Academy at West Point, accumulating a host of demerits and graduating last in his class in 1846 (as did General George Armstrong Custer in 1861). Pickett’s classmates included Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and George B. McClellan. He is best remembered for being one of the commanders at Pickett's Charge, the futile and bloody Confederate offensive on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg that bears his name and the wholesale execution of 22 soldiers (including a 15-year-old boy). A broken man after the war, his reputation was thoroughly rehabilitated and sanitized after his death by his third wife, LaSalle Corbell Pickett, whose writings turned the often incompetent general into an idealized “Lost Cause” hero.

Fun Facts

George E. Pickett died in Norfolk, Virginia, on July 30, 1875. The cause of death was a liver abscess, although whether it was alcohol-related, 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.

After her husband died, Sallie succeeded in reinventing herself as a professional Confederate widow, a popular writer, speaker and champion of the Old South. She attended veteran reunions, parades and monument dedications, signing autographs and becoming so popular that she was known as Mother Pickett. In lectures to Northern audiences, Sallie told many a story of happy and contented slaves. As she once insisted:  “There was no word held in more reverential love and fear by the faithful Southern slave than the one word ‘Master.’ On stage she famously performed what she insisted was “phonetically genuine” slave dialect, carefully recorded by herself. The stories she told about her husband were no more credible than the slave dialect.  As one writer observed, Sallie Pickett’s postbellum career as a writer and Lost Cause icon “was marked by a curious admixture of charlatanry and self-delusion.”  She faked an entire set of wartime correspondence from her husband, and published it in The Heart of a Soldier, as Revealed in the Intimate Letters of General George E. Pickett, CSA.  She even forged a letter from Abraham Lincoln singing the General’s praises.

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, but 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.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Hollywood Cemetery

412 South Cherry Street

Richmond, Virginia, 23220

United States

North America


Map of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia
Map of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia

Grave Location:

Gettysburg Section, Pickett Family Plot

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery drive straight ahead and make the first right turn over the bridge. Make a soft right turn up and around on Confederate Avenue. Take the first right at the top of the hill (the Iron Dog is on your left) and continue to follow the blue line on the road towards the tall pyramind known as Confederate Soldiers Monument on your right. Follow the blue line to the edge of the cemetery through the Gettysburg Section to the Pickett Family Plot

Grave Location GPS

37.54182034915547, -77.45539676641084

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