Loving and Forever: George Pickett and LaSalle Corbell

Elizabeth A. Smith, Gettysburg College

This blog post originally appeared in The Gettysburg Compiler and was created by students at Gettysburg College.


"So listen and cross your heart that you won’t tell. I love you—love you—love you, and oh, little one, I want to see you so!" These words, supposedly written by General George E. Pickett to his future wife LaSalle Corbell, sum up the nature of Valentine’s Day. They are full of love, even as they were supposedly written in a time of war. In 1913—thirty-eight years after Pickett’s death—LaSalle Pickett published The Heart of A Soldier: As Revealed in the Intimate Letters of General George E. Pickett.

This collection of letters were, according to LaSalle, written by her husband to her during the Civil War. The letters provide detailed information about various campaigns and battles as well as serving as love letters from Pickett to his wife. The collection sold very well, but it eventually became a controversial work. [excerpt]