Description[George E. Pickett]. Nine Documents Related to His Service in the Mexican War spanning the years 1847 through 1850. George E. Pickett had served through the Mexican War as a lieutenant with the U.S. 8th Infantry. He was also variously regimental quartermaster and assistant adjutant for the regiment.
In his role as adjutant, Pickett was responsible for reviewing all muster rolls, account and ordnance sheets, letters from soldiers, etc. One such document, twice signed by Pickett, measuring 12.5" x 15.5", dated May 1848 from Tacubaya, Mexico, acknowledges the enlistment of José Perez in Co. "F," 8th Infantry, for a period of five years. Pickett signs once as adjutant of the 8th Infantry. A second signature appears on the verso, acknowledging the sum of $101.50, due to the United States. Having received $109.50 from Lt. James Longstreet (himself a future Confederate general), a credit of $8 is given for a bounty paid on the enlistment of Perez and for cash paid B.C. Barrackman for enlisting the same, leaving the balance. Pickett again signs his acknowledgment.
A second signed document is also included, dated November 14, 1850. Pickett by this time had returned from Mexico and was now on frontier duty in Texas. Here he endorses an itemized receipt, measuring 7" x 10", from John Earle Jr. & Co. for a balance of $32 paid in full. Pickett writes on the verso: "Receipt in full / from Earl Jr & Co / pr attorney / [signed] GE Pickett."
In addition, Pickett fielded many letters from soldiers of the regiment applying for leave, filing complaints, etc., such as one included here, addressed to Pickett, dated May 10, 1848, requesting a "leav [sic] of absence for the purpose of accompanying a party of jinteman [gentlemen], who are going to visit the caves near Cuanavaca." A second letter, which is undated, complains of mistreatment "when marching to my Quarters from drill . . . Major Montgomery ordered me to close up . . . the man in front of me not keeping step, it was impossible for me to obey . . . Major Montgomery . . . came up to me struck me with the sword, and ordered me to be tied up all day, Calling me a dam worthless puppy . . . I hope the General will not approve of such usage."
Pickett first gained national attention at the Battle of Chapultepec in September 1847. Following the wounding of Lt. (and fellow Confederate general) James Longstreet, Pickett grabbed the colors of the regiment and charged to the top of the castle. The battle still under way below, he lowered the Mexican flag and raised the American and 8th Infantry flags. For his bravery, he received a brevet promotion to captain.
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