COMMEMORATION OF GENERAL PICKETT'S 180th BIRTHDAY
January 15, 2005

Piper Tim Batten faces the colors as Keith Saunders brings up the Cold Harbor Guards honor guard
Piper Tim Batten faces the colors as Keith Saunders brings up the Cold Harbor Guards honor guard
 
Piper Tim Batten walked ahead of the honor guard up Gettysburg Hill to General Pickett’s monument. “Amazing Grace” echoed over the gentle slopes where the Confederate soldiers rest. The Cold Harbor Guards commanded by Sergeant Keith Saunders, erect and in cadence, presented colors and, bearing their muskets for a salute formed a rigid line beside General Pickett’s monument. Cummings Battery, Cape Fear Light Artillery, John Butler commanding, stood southwest of the monument waiting to honor General Pickett with an artillery salute. These observances heralded an unforgettably splendid day of tribute to the memory of Richmonder Major General George E. Pickett, CSA.

When the ceremonies in Hollywood Cemetery were completed, Mrs. Anne Minor Baker offered the benediction: “ Dear God, the guns of salute are quiet; the cannon smoke has lifted, but the contribution of George Pickett still echoes and floats among us. We stand upon the resting place of thousands of men who, like Pickett, gave the best they had for the survival of the Confederacy. Unlike Pickett, they did not live to experience the challenge of new sounds that emerged after the spring of 1865. Help us to be mindful that we honor our past; we cherish our heritage but we live in the present. George Pickett gave the best he had in the Confederacy’s struggle for existence, but he also gave the remainder of his life to the survival of the South and its ideals. His legacy is now our responsibility. May we leave here with a renewed dedication to that task. And may we go in peace. Amen.”



Cold 
      Harbor Guards honor guard
  Piper Tim Batten followed the honor guard as they left their post beside General Pickett’s monument. Echoes of “Dixie” floated over Gettysburg Hill in Hollywood Cemetery as those assembled turned their thoughts to Capital Ale House and the luncheon honoring General Pickett.

After a delectable lunch, Col. Mitch Mitchell addressed the group regarding the benefits and disadvantages officers in the Confederate and Union armies derived from having attended West Point Military Academy and serving together in the U. S. Army prior to becoming combatants. Mitch is a graduate of West Point Military Academy, the Army Command and General Staff College, the Army Management Staff College, the Army War College and the National War College. Mitch is a combat veteran, having served one tour in the Dominican Republic and two tours in Vietnam. He returned to West Point, the National War College and the Army Management Staff College to teach. In addition, he gave instruction at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He joined CBS as a news analyst and was awarded an Emmy for his coverage of Operation Desert Storm. If you’re interested in military strategy, you will want to read Mitch’s The 101st Airborne Division’s Defense of Bastogne or The Great Captains or 20th Century War and Military Strategy. Currently Mitch is the Senior Policy Analyst at the National Strategic Gaming Center, National Defense University and a Military and Terrorism Consultant and Analyst with CBS News. In addition, he develops and conducts Strategic, Homeland Security, Anti-terrorism, Force Protection and Consequence Management exercise for the National Defense University, the Joint Staff and the Combatant Commanders.

 


Anne Minor Baker offered the invocation
Anne Minor Baker offered the invocation.
  Coincidentally, Mitch served with Col. George E. Pickett, IV in the Dominican Republic in 1965 as a young lieutenant. Col. Pickett was also a West Point alumnus and Mitch observed that he had some of the traits of his great grandfather. He was respected and trusted by his men, feared nothing and was not inclined to change his mind once he had set his course. Col. Pickett was the 14,319th graduate of West Point in the class of 1944. Gen. Pickett was the 1,330th graduate of West Point in the class of 1846. Mitch shared a wealth of remarkable information with us before he was called back to our Nation’s Capital.   Clay Pickett, III, Dan 
      Paterson, Jr., Suzi Pickett Zbar, and Leigh Ann 
      Pickett Sullivan
(L-R): Clay Pickett, III, Dan Paterson, Jr., Suzi Pickett Zbar, and Leigh Ann Pickett Sullivan.


Anne Minor Baker, Owen Yates and Pat Wood look 
        on as Clay Pickett, III, places the Pickett 
        Society's memorial wreath.

ABOVE: Anne Minor Baker, Owen Yates and Pat Wood look on as Clay Pickett, III, places the Pickett Society's memorial wreath.

 

RIGHT: John Butller commanding Cummings Battery, Cape Fear Light Artillery, and his crew salute General Pickett

John Butller commanding Cummings Battery, 
        Cape Fear Light Artillery, and his crew salute 
        General Pickett  

reddie 
      Clark, Jr. and Frank Yates remain at their posts 
      as the Cold Harbor Guards fire a salute to General 
      Pickett.   Freddie Clark, Jr. and Frank Yates remain at their posts as the Cold Harbor Guards fire a salute to General Pickett.

Charter member Bill Brown and his son, Josh   New member, Keith Saunders, and guests Terri Saunders 
      and Freddie Clark, Jr.
(LEFT) Charter member Bill Brown and his son, Josh. (RIGHT) New member, Keith Saunders, and guests Terri Saunders and Freddie Clark, Jr.

Colonel Mitchell
Col. Mitchell stated that there were 111 members of the class of 1846 at West Point. Prior to graduation, 52 of them either resigned or washed out for academic or disciplinary reasons. It was particularly difficult for boys from the Southern gentry to adjust at West Point because they had never been exposed to mundane chores.
  Colonel Mitchell and Dwight Wood>
	<BR>
      <font size=Board Chairman Dwight R. Wood, Jr. presents Mitch with some Richmond remembrances

Q&A

Discussion and questions after the presentation were brought to a close when Mitch was called back to duty in Washington
  Ray Pope and General Stuart's sabre
Even Sally Corbell Pickett's great great nephew, Roy Pope, and Gen. J. E. B. Stuart's field saber could not help keep Mitch with us in Richmond .

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