COMMEMORATION OF GENERAL PICKETT'S 178th BIRTHDAY

Placing of wreaths

W. Samuel Craghead, MOS&B, and Billie Earnest, Secretary-Treasurer of The Pickett Society, place two of the wreaths at the Pickett monument.

  Pickett Society members and guests gathered in Richmond January 11, 2003 to begin the commemoration of the 178th anniversary of Major General George E. Pickett's birth.

At the Pickett monument in Hollywood Cemetery, Mrs. Anne Minor Baker sang "The Young Volunteer" and "Dixie" following the invocation offered by Society Vice President Donald M. Graziose. There was much applause when Mrs. Sallie Corbell Pickett's marker was unveiled to show that her year of birth had been corrected and her given name had been added. Society Vice Chairman Dwight R. Wood, Jr., read "Pickett's Charge," written in 1915 by Hudson Maxim. Wreaths were presented before the group left for the luncheon at Commonwealth Park Suites Hotel.

Mrs. Sallie Corbell Pickett's reworded marker is unveiled

H. Clay Pickett, III, unveils Mrs. Pickett's monument reflecting her correct year of birth and her given name "Sallie."

Dwight R. Wood, Jr., reads Pickett's Charge

Society Vice Chairman Dwight R. Wood, Jr., reads "Pickett's Charge."

Donald E. Collins

Dr. Donald E. Collins fielded questions after his thought- provoking presentation about General Pickett's involvement in the Kinston, N.C., hangings.

In the General Assembly Room at the Commonwealth Park, Chef Maxwell presented a bountiful and delectable buffet of Southern favorites. Following the excellent fare, door prizes and an auction of Pickett memorabilia, Dr. Donald E. Collins of East Carolina University rose to begin the keynote address, "The Kinston Hangings, War Crimes or Justice?" but not before we had an unexpected visitor. Our mentioning to the hotel staff that soft music could be heard just as the lights dimmed for the beginning of Dr. Collins' program brought several employees to our meeting room. After a few moments, silence prevailed once again and Dr. Collins continued. Although the hotel employees made no comment at the time, their Director of Sales and Marketing, Kristina Beltinck, spoke with us by phone the following week. Apparently, Colonel Rueger, whose family owned the old Hotel Rueger for many decades prior to it becoming the Commonwealth Park Suites Hotel, pays the hotel a visit from time to time. Over the years, he has been seen or heard by guests as well as staff. We can conclude that Colonel Rueger must have liked music and wished to communicate that to the Pickett Society.

Dr. Collins was well prepared for his presentation with information he had obtained from primary sources about the Kinston incident. His comprehensive and detailed research left no doubt that General Pickett was innocent of war crimes. The numerous questions from the audience after the conclusion of Dr. Collins' presentation indicated keen interest in this subject, which many authors have failed to explore thoroughly. We are very pleased to have a link to Dr. Collins' first-rate paper on the Kinston hangings here on our website in the Links section. His work serves as a superb resource for those of us interested in historical facts.

Commonwealth Park Suites Hotel

The Commonwealth Park Suites Hotel, built on one of Richmond's premier historical sites, maintains an aura of days gone by.

Henry Kidd and Pat Wood auction off a print

Pickett Society Board Member Henry Kidd offers one of his prints as a door prize as Society President Patricia Wood, holding the numbered tickets, looks on.


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Created: 01-18-03
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