I don't condone either. One can, perhaps, find justification for Custer. But I do not know how one can justify Pickett's murder of those thirteen men- in their home town, in front of their neighbors!
The day is so cold that the assembled troopers complain. The 13 men climb the scaffold and leave behind no record of their last words, save a general protest that they are not guilty. A brass band plays the death march. This time the executioner is a mysterious cross-eyed stranger from Raleigh. He strips clothing off some of the corpses, cuts buttons from the coats of the others. Now some of the dead lie naked to the biting February cold. Others are stripped down to long johns.
Families brave enough to dare Pickett’s wrath claim the bodies of their men. “Plenty would have been willing to have assisted me, but did not dare for fear of being called Unionist,” laments the widow of William Jones, who lies dead wearing only his socks. Other bodies are buried in a shallow grave at the foot of the scaffold.