Letters of General George E. Pickett of the C.S.A.

Essay by phish28University, Bachelor's April 2003

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Pickett's Charge at Leadership

Many reasons have been offered for the Confederacy's defeat in the Civil War. Of these many hypotheses none have ever been proven to be the single cause. Perhaps there is no one single cause, maybe the Confederacy fell due to an accumulation of reasons. Resourcefulness was constantly lacking, morale was at staggering lows, the home front was a staple in the mind of every grey uniform, and not to mention they were fighting their own brethren. Factoring in all that went against the Rebel cause, leading such an army would prove to be exhausting. Whether or not Confederate leadership was an overwhelming factor in Rebel demise is uncertain. This essay will offer evidence to the contrary by evaluating letters of General George E. Pickett of the C.S.A. where he reflects upon his wartime moments with letters to the home front.

"The devotion of General Pickett's men to him has often been recounted as something phenomenal.

It was equaled only by his devotion to them." The Confederacy has often been charged with the notion that their leaders were incompetent and careless toward their soldier's lives. Since Pickett's early days, when he fought courageously as a Captain in the U.S.A. Army, he treated his men with a revered respect that was repaid twofold. Not long after the Indian War the British and the U.S.A. came together in quarrelsome fashion over the ownership of San Juan Island, and Captain Pickett together with only sixty-eight men of his own squared off on five British warships, holding over 1900 men, and forced hesitation so that the United States retained the Island. Pickett would always be the leader setting the example.

When the Civil War was at the point of no return certain soldiers, then loyal to the U.S.A., would resign from...