Last In Their Class:
Custer, Pickett and the Goats of West Point
Major General George Edward Pickett, CSA
Division Commander, Longstreet's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Goat of the Class of 1846
Excerpt from Last in Their Class on George Pickett at Chapultepec:
The storming parties at the Battle of Chapultepec were picked men, seasoned veterans carrying crowbars, pickaxes and ladders. The lead units moved in quickly on the western edge of the fortress, 260 enlisted men led by eighteen officers. Among them were Lewis Armistead, who had been wounded at Churubusco; James Longstreet, bearing the colors; and George Pickett. They ran forward through the grove of centuries-old cypress trees leading up to the western slope, carrying the outer defenses in a rush. They moved quickly towards the palace, across the rocky slope, taking fire from above. A large ditch ringed the hill at the base of the retaining wall beneath the buildings on the summit. The men with the scaling ladders had lagged behind, and Mexican troops and cadets fired from the windows and rooftops while Americans took cover and returned fire. Armistead raced up with a ladder and jumped into the ditch. He pushed the first ladder against the wall, and troops began to climb up. A Mexican ball caught Armistead, and he went down. Some of the first men up the ladder were thrown back down into the ditch by the defenders, but presently lodgments were made and streams of soldiers and Marines ascended.
Longstreet and Pickett ran up.
Longstreet paused to pick up a musket that had been discarded by one of
the wounded. As he raised the weapon he staggered – he had been hit by a
Mexican ball, and suffered a severe wound. He sank down, handing the
colors the Pickett. Pickett took the flag and ascended the wall, mounted
the top and fought his way towards the palace.
The January 20th, 2007 commemoration of Gen. Pickett's 182nd birthday at the Pickett monument and grave site in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. Pictured from left are Jim Robbins, Suzanne Pickett Zbar, great granddaughter of Gen. George E. Pickett, and W. Daniel Paterson, Jr., great grandson of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet.
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