Pickett A Letter from General Pickett to his Fiancée, Sallie Corbell

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Nov 26, 2016
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central NC
June 24, 1863

Yesterday my men were marching victoriously through the little town of Greencastle, [Pennsylvania] the bands all playing our glorious, soul inspiring, southern airs: "The Bonny Blue Flag," "My Maryland," "Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still," and the soldiers all happy, hopeful, joyously keeping time to the music, many following it with their voices and making up for the want of the welcome they were not receiving in the enemy's country by cheering themselves and giving themselves a welcome. As Floweree's band, playing "Dixie," was passing a vine-bowered home, a young girl rushed out on the porch and waved a United States flag. Then, either fearing that it might be taken from her or finding it too large and unwieldy, she fastened it around her as an apron, and taking hold of it on each side and waving it in defiance, called out with all the strength of her girlish voice and all the courage of her brave young heart:

"Traitors—traitors—traitors, come and take this flag, the man of you who dares!"


Knowing that many of my men were from a section of the country which had been within the enemy's lines, and fearing lest some might forget their manhood, I took off my hat and bowed to her, saluted her flag and then turned, facing the men who felt and saw my unspoken order. And don't you know that they were all Virginians and didn't forget it, and that almost every man lifted his cap and cheered the little maiden who, though she kept on waving her flag, ceased calling us traitors, till letting it drop in front of her she cried out:

"Oh, I wish I wish I had a rebel flag; I'd wave that, too."

The picture of that little girl in the vine-covered porch, beneath the purple morning glories with their closed lips and bowed heads waiting and saving their prettiness and bloom for the coming morn—of course, I thought of you, my darling. For the time, that little Greencastle Yankee girl with her beloved flag was my own little promised-to-be-wife, receiving from her Soldier and her Soldier's soldiers the reverence and homage due her.

We left the little girl standing there with the flag gathered up in her arms, as if too sacred to be waved now that even the enemy had done it reverence.


As ever,

YOUR SOLDIER.

 
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Ole Miss

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Picket was behaving like a moonstruck 14 year with a terrible case of puppy love for his teenage LaSalle “Sallie” Corbell during the march to Gettysburg. The ill-fated Longstreet assault on July 3rd certainly took the romance out of war for him.

Pickett had a counter part on the Federal side in George Custer who also was in love with a woman and the war. Custer played the role of a foppish cockerel till he lost everything on a Montana hillside in June of 1876.

I never served in the military, let alone in a combat situation, but I am certain I would want a commander who was concentrating on winning with the least number of casualties. Romantic views of war would make for a poor leader in my view.
Regards
David
 

Tailor Pete

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Picket was behaving like a moonstruck 14 year with a terrible case of puppy love for his teenage LaSalle “Sallie” Corbell during the march to Gettysburg. The ill-fated Longstreet assault on July 3rd certainly took the romance out of war for him.

Pickett had a counter part on the Federal side in George Custer who also was in love with a woman and the war. Custer played the role of a foppish cockerel till he lost everything on a Montana hillside in June of 1876.

I never served in the military, let alone in a combat situation, but I am certain I would want a commander who was concentrating on winning with the least number of casualties. Romantic views of war would make for a poor leader in my view.
Regards
David
Perhaps a little of both is required... romance and professionalism. Generals Jackson and Chamberlain perhaps?
 

Waterloo50

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A link to ‘A heart of a soldier’ electronic edition. https://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/pickett/pickett.html
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