November 2015 Meeting – Brian J. Blake

Join us on November 10 when speaker Brian J. Blake discusses a name synonymous with Gettysburg: George Pickett. But is this Pickett the Pickett of truth or legend?

Meeting time: 7:30 p.m., November 10, 2015

Location: Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia

Topic: George Pickett, Patriot or Criminal?

Confederate General George Pickett is one of the most well-known and recognizable names from the Civil War. When people think of George Pickett, the quintessential Southern General comes to mind: Chivalrous, brave, and honorable. Pickett is also seen as a tragic figure, representing the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, for having his division decimated in thirty minutes at a place called Gettysburg. However, just seven months after Gettysburg, Pickett ordered the execution of 22 captured Union prisoners in coastal North Carolina.

How could a man who represents the ideal Southern gentleman commit such a heinous crime? After the war, Pickett would flee to Canada and be dogged by the Judge Advocate General’s Office for the executions, but ultimately he would be pardoned by President Andrew Johnson. With the passage of time, fading memories, and a national wave of reconciliation, he would become the Pickett we have come to know today. We will look for the real George Pickett and try to separate the man from the myth.

Brian Blake has been a volunteer at the Gettysburg National Military Park for more than 15 years and is a member of the York (Pennsylvania) Civil War Roundtable. His interest in Gettysburg was sparked when he and his girlfriend took a day trip there back in 1982 (she enjoyed it so much she married him). Since then, his focus has been on the people involved in the Civil War. What did these ordinary people do in those extraordinary times? How did it change them? What did they do with those experiences?

A look ahead to the December meeting: As is the tradition of the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable, our December meeting will feature member presentations during a potluck dinner.

Meeting time: December 8, 2015; dinner to start at 7 p.m.; meeting/talk, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Presbyterian Church, 207 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia 

Potluck Dinner

Each member is asked to bring a dish according to the alphabetical schedule below. Anyone who can come a bit early and stay a bit late to help with set up and clean up is encouraged to do so.

A – H: Bring a dessert. 

I – P: Bring a main course or casserole.

Q – Z: Bring a salad or side. 

The Roundtable will furnish drinks, tableware, and a meat/cheese tray. Feel free to bring guests but remember to bring enough food for them as well. Be sure to introduce your guests during the announcements at the beginning of the meeting.



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