Pickett, George Edward (1825–1875), a United States and Confederate army officer. On the last day of the battle of Gettysburg (July 3. 1863), Pickett led what became known as Pickett's Charge, a valiant but futile open-field charge against the Union center in an attempt to break the opposing line. In 30 minutes, more than half of the 15,000-man Confederate attacking force was either killed or wounded.
Pickett was born in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from West Point in 1846 and served with distinction in the Mexican War. He was on frontier duty in Texas, 1849–56, and in the Washington Territory, 1856–61. Pickett joined the Confederate army as a colonel in 1861. In September, 1862, he was made a major general in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. After Gettysburg, Pickett commanded Confederate forces in North Carolina, 1863–64. He then returned to Lee's army for the rest of the war. After the war Pickett was engaged in the insurance business.