Pickett Does Pickett deserve a monument?

Rob9641

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All he's got is the buffet. I'm not suggesting we start a campaign to get him one, but does he deserve one? Personally, I don't think so - he did his job at Gettysburg, but I don't think his service rose to monument stature. Anybody disagree?
 

OpnCoronet

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If Gettysburg was the 'high water mark' of the Confederacy, it was Pickett that put that mark at its highest. If there's one for Early or Johnston, I do not think Pickett should be forgoltten.
Through the continuing long years of history and the CW(and Gettysburg) fades further into the distant past, Pickett's charge will be among the last to be forgotten.
 

Rob9641

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Interesting that Pickett's charge is generally considered praiseworthy - or at least valiant - while Grant's Cold Harbor attack is held in a negative light.

Very. I think it's part of the American tendency to romanticize the losing side. In truth, Lee sent as many into the meat grinder as Grant did. That's what generals do.
 

Old Bay

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Interesting that Pickett's charge is generally considered praiseworthy - or at least valiant - while Grant's Cold Harbor attack is held in a negative light.

I generally use it as the opposite counter point when people start lambasting Lee for his mistakes. Surprisingly not a single general was perfect in that conflict. It's so odd! :wink: I'm sure this all has to do with the circles we run in and the focus of those conversations.

It's interesting to note Sickles also has a monument. Not that this is an argument for or against Pickett having one, but food for thought.
 

bama46

Captain
Well, for openers, I am not sure the Gen'rl would want to be remembered by the buffett. the last time we ate there, we all had what might be described as "emergencies" an hour or so after lunch...said "emergencies" lasted all afternoon and will be remembered, at least by us, forever!

So, we won't memorialize him with the buffett as a monument, but I will say that most of us moved faster than his soldiers did that fateful day.

If day 3 of Gettysburg is to be remembered, then it makes sense to mark the start of the charge that was the focal point of the day. Longstreet and Lee are forever memorialized in the neighborhood of the beginning of the charge, Lets put Pickett, the man who was designated to lead it on the field as well.
 

Elennsar

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I would say no for the reasons stated in the first post by Rob.

I'm not against it - but if the question is "would you support it?", Pickett just did not do anything worthy of being remembered.

He was chosen because he had a fresh division. Not because it was a particularly good division (not that it was a particularly bad one), not because it was a particularly large division, not because of any qualities on his part or on the part of his brigade commanders - but it was the only one which hadn't been engaged.

Had it been up on day 2 and McLaws the one in Pickett's place, we'd probably see McLaws's Charge.

Which admittedly doesn't have the same ring to it.
 

bama46

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Regardless of the reason he was chosen, the inescapable fact is that he was and the charge has from that day to this, been known as Pickett's Charge. Burnside spent a great deal of time trying to get across a bridge and it is forevermore known as Burnside bridge.
The man and the event get associated.
 
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kansas

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herington kansas
Not always does the man and event get associated by name. Example would be the Kinston executions or a some said massacre. Mr. Picketts name is not associated with that one though it probobly should be. Might have something to do with a lack of a monument at Gettysburg as well. There is a monument at Kinston but not of Pickett on a charger thats for sure.
 

pamc153PA

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I don't know if Pickett would have wanted a monument to such a monumental failing, and the decimation of his division. Didn't he blame Lee for that, even after the war?

I wonder if there ever was an attempt to have a Pickett monument at Gettysburg?
 

Elennsar

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There's a story that he and Mosby visted Lee after the war - in Richmond, but don't quote me on this - and after the meeting, Pickett bitterly said "That old man had my division slaughtered at Gettysburg."

But I don't know how credible that is or if even if the story is true if that reflects the whole of Pickett's attitude.
 

bama46

Captain
I don't know if Pickett would have wanted a monument to such a monumental failing, and the decimation of his division. Didn't he blame Lee for that, even after the war?

I wonder if there ever was an attempt to have a Pickett monument at Gettysburg?

After the war when the commission on monuments was deciding what monuments should be placed where, the decision was made to place monuments with flank markers at those locations where units did their primary fighting. Since the federals were fighting a defensive battle and their lines were well set, it was easy to place the markers and monuments.
The Confederates on the other hand did not have well set lines of battle as they were the attacking force and their fighting was done "on the move" in many instances.
For this reason, the vast majority of monuments at Gettysburg are Union or Federal Monuments and only a small number of Confederate Unit/state monuments are on the field and most of those along Seminary Ridge, what is now Confederate Avenue and in the area where the troops massed for the charge..

The victors decided the history
 

timk

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In the 1890's and the 1900's, after the wounds weren't quite so fresh, there was a push to commemorate and preserve the battlefields of the Civil War while the veterans were still around. I believe there were several commissions, not a singular commission. I know Shiloh had their own commission. Anyway, I don't think it was a case of the victors deciding history, but rather the victors wanting to preserve the victory more than the south wanted to preserve the loss. Throw in the fact that the north had more money for monuments, and it becomes obvious as to why there are more monuments to northern generals and regiments than there are to the southern heroes. I can't say for certain, but I would guess that if the south had won, Fredericksburg may be better preserved. I don't think many parts of the south wanted to memorialize, commemorate, and put money into preservation and monumemtation the way the north did.

I think to place a new monument on a battlefield now, there are a LOT of hoops to jump through. Maybe someday, descendants and/or fans of Pickett will jump through the hoops, raise the money, and petition for a monument. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Just an opinion from a westerner.
 

bama46

Captain
In the 1890's and the 1900's, after the wounds weren't quite so fresh, there was a push to commemorate and preserve the battlefields of the Civil War while the veterans were still around. I believe there were several commissions, not a singular commission. I know Shiloh had their own commission. Anyway, I don't think it was a case of the victors deciding history, but rather the victors wanting to preserve the victory more than the south wanted to preserve the loss. Throw in the fact that the north had more money for monuments, and it becomes obvious as to why there are more monuments to northern generals and regiments than there are to the southern heroes. I can't say for certain, but I would guess that if the south had won, Fredericksburg may be better preserved. I don't think many parts of the south wanted to memorialize, commemorate, and put money into preservation and monumemtation the way the north did.

I think to place a new monument on a battlefield now, there are a LOT of hoops to jump through. Maybe someday, descendants and/or fans of Pickett will jump through the hoops, raise the money, and petition for a monument. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Just an opinion from a westerner.


tim,
I agree with a lot of what you say. a throwaway tongue in cheek comment took on way more importance than I meant for it to... one of the problems of electronic vs verbal communication..

You were right there were several commissions...esentially each army was to designate a battlefield for federal preservation.. the AOP choose Gettysburg, the AoT choose Shiloh, Vicksburg was chosen by Grant's army at the time...name escapes me.. That is why those fields have the big monuments they have in comparison to other battlefields that have been preserved at a later date..

concerning the placement of monuments at Gettysburg, and these comments are solely meant for Gettysburg, my understanding thru discussions of the issue with battlefield guides is that is the way the monuments were laid out by the battlefield commission. And the southern states for all the reasons I listed as well as the ones you listed resulted in very few Confederate Monuments (state/unit) except along seminary ridge as described earlier.

I would say however that the southern states had every reason to commemorate their soldier's struggles as the northern states, just less resources.

Finally, you are correct about hoops that have to be jumped thru now for monuments or markers. I agree that the chance of Pickett gettin his are pretty slim...:smile:
 

Rob9641

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It's interesting to note Sickles also has a monument. Not that this is an argument for or against Pickett having one, but food for thought.

Sickles was a homicidal jerk and the monument, like his service, no doubt was a political coup, but he was instrumental in having the Gettysburg battlefield preserved after the war. That's a pretty big achievement.
 

Rob9641

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To continue the argument..
General Armistead is honored both with a monument and a marker showing where he fell.
I can find no reason, save his death, why he is more deserving that Pickett of commemoration, except that Pickett became a vocal critic of Lee.

The Masons put up the monument at the Cemetery as a celebration of brother Masons transcending the war. (Ironically, because I don't see how this could have been planned, it was dedicated only weeks before the film "Gettysburg" came out, and only days before Richard Jordan, who played Armistead in the film, died.) I'm not sure who erected the marker where Armistead fell - I've heard it was Union soldiers commemorating where they "got" him, but I've also heard it was admirers or friends of Armistead. It was the first monument to a Confederate officer at Gettysburg and was extremely controversial when erected 100+ years ago, so I've heard, because feelings were still running pretty strong at the time. Anyway, I don't think it was his getting killed that got him the monument - I think it was that he was the only General who broke the Union line on day 3. Come to think of it, did any other Confed general actually break the Union line in that battle? I know others pushed it back to Cemetery Ridge, but did any other actually break it?
 
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