The Pickett Children
Original Author: Unknown
Created: post-1931
Medium: Painting
Publisher: The Museum of the Confederacy

The Pickett Children, George and Corbell

A portrait on ivory captures George Jr. (left) and Corbell Pickett, the sons of George and LaSalle Pickett. This painting by Washington, D.C., native Mathilde Mueden Leisenring, a one-time instructor at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, was probably based on a photograph as it was created some years after Corbell's death. LaSalle described her youngest son as a Christ-like figure—as well as an unbelievably precious eight-year-old—in his final days. According to her 1917 book, What Happened To Me, her son planned details of his own funeral while on his deathbed on Good Friday in 1874, choosing his pallbearers and asking his parents to throw flowers on his grave and to dress in white. In her telling, Corbell died dramatically on Easter Sunday (though there is some dispute as to whether he actually died on that day): "Through the open window the voices were sounding 'Christ is risen' as he turned his head and laid his face against mine and reached out his little hand to my Soldier and [his nurse] Mary. I felt his spirit flutter and go."

George Pickett Jr. survived to adulthood, though he preceded his mother in death. A career soldier, Major Pickett was serving in the Philippines in 1911 when he fatally contracted yellow fever. Forty-six-year old George Pickett Jr. was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.