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St. Paul's Church as it appeared when General Pickett and Miss Corbell were wed there

St. Paul's Episcopal Church existed in 1643. It was relocated several times during the next 221 years and on September 15, 1863, was the site of the happy occasion of the wedding of Miss Sallie Ann Corbell of Chuckatuck, Virginia, to Major General George E. Pickett of Richmond.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

St. Paul's Church as it appeared the day of the Pickett wedding. The general met the wedding party on the evening of September 14 at the train station in Petersburg and escorted them to the Bollingbrook Hotel. The following day, the church was filled to capacity. The residents of Petersburg still refer to the bells of St. Paul's as "the Pickett chimes" because they had remained silent during the War until Pickett's wedding day.

Historical marker stands in front of St. Paul's Church

This historical marker stands in front of St. Paul's Church on Union Street in Petersburg. Although the marker makes no reference to the Pickett wedding, it does note that the church played host to General Robert E. Lee when he attended the 1867 wedding of another famous ex-Confederate.

A view from the sanctuary showing original pews, bannisters, and woodwork

A view from the sanctuary shows original pews, bannisters, and woodwork. The doors opening to the foyer are original as well. According to church historian Colonel James Ryan, wood timbers decorated the walls of the church at the time Pickett was married. Flowers were often placed in between the timbers. As St. Paul's rector Reverend Dr. William Platt conducted the ceremony, flowers covered all of the walls.

Original cross beams and ceiling timbers

The cross beams and ceiling timbers are original (1856). The ceiling timbers are identical to those that were on the walls and covered with flowers during Pickett's wedding.

Massive exterior door

The massive exterior door is original, but the iron fence surrounding the churchyard is not. St. Paul's remains an active church with a congregation numbering several hundred.

Interior iew from the first level of the steeple

A portion of the interior of the church is undergoing plaster repair and some construction work. This is a view from the first level of the steeple. The window is original; the glass is not.

Wood floors and pews in the gallery showing evidence of recent plaster work

The wood floors and pews in the gallery show evidence of recent plaster work. After 145 years of continuous use, they are in very good condition. Each Board Member present inside the church agreed how fortunate we are that the church survived the War intact.

Stained glass windows

The exquisite stained glass windows on both levels of St. Paul's were not all part of the church when General Pickett married Miss Corbell, but everything else in this image was there on that festive day. Churchbells throughout Petersburg joined the ringing bells of St. Paul's when the couple left the church.

Don Graziose, Mrs. Drake, Billie Earnest, and Pat Wood

Don Graziose, Mrs. Drake, Billie Earnest, and Pat Wood enjoy hearing some of the history of St. Paul's Church as they sit in the pew occupied by General Lee at the wedding of his son, W. H. F. Lee, after the war.

George Pickett's marriage license

A copy of the marriage certificate issued to General George E. Pickett and Miss Sallie Ann Corbell

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Created: 08-13-01
Last modified: 2/5/10
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