|NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Adams Morgan , Architecturally Significant, Civil War Era, Federal Government Employees, Female|
LaSalle Corbell Pickett
The Ontario, 2853 Ontario Rd. NW, Adams Morgan neighborhood, DC.
Pickett was the widow of the Confederate General George E. Pickett, best known for his defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg, and later placed on trial for war crimes. She moved to DC in the 1880s and lived here until the end of her life, working at the US Pension Office, and supplementing that income with publishing and popular public speaking engagements.
Born Sallie Ann Pickett into a wealthy, slave-owning family in Virginia, she was the third wife of George Pickett, and her first book, published in 1899, was Pickett and His Men, a highly romanticized account of her husband’s military career that was at odds with the historical record. She took a new name after that time, LaSalle Corbell Pickett, and advertised herself as a “child-bride of the Confederacy.” Many of her subsequent publicationswere written from a child’s perspective. According to Encyclopedia Virginia, this stratagem smoothed “the complexities of the antebellum South and slavery into aself-justifying myth soaked in the ‘fragrance of the snowy magnolias.’”
Her books fit into the “Lost Cause” literature that became popular during Reconstruction. Her books include: Nunnoo Sperits and Others (1900), Ebil Eye (1901), Digging Through to Manila (1905), Literary Hearthstones of Dixie (1912), The Heart of a Soldier (1913), and What Happened to Me (1917). Although critics have determined that Pickett fabricated an entire wartime correspondence with her husband, those letters were collected as Soldier of the South in 1938, and have been cited by historians such a Michael Shaara and filmmakers such as Ken Burns—so her earnest myth-making continues on.
Architect: James G. Hill.