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[652] to the bushes, which ended the battle. At Gaines' Mill, fighting on the right with Longstreet, his brigade broke Porter's line just west of the Watts house, attacking with such vigor as almost to gain possession of the Federal reserve artillery. In this assault Pickett fell severely wounded, and he was for some time absent from his brave command, which under his leadership had won the title of ‘the gamecock brigade.’ In October, 1862, he was promoted to major-general and assigned to a division of Longstreet's corps, composed of his old brigade under Garnett, and the brigades of Armistead, Kemper and Corse, all Virginians, and Micah Jenkins' South Carolina brigade. Though there were five or six other Virginia brigades, in other divisions, this was distinctively ‘the Virginia division’ of the army, and comprised all the Virginia brigades in Longstreet's corps except Mahone's. He held the center of the line at Fredericksburg, and after that battle was sent with his division to Richmond, which was supposed to be threatened by the Federal movements. He was reinforced by Hood's division, and General Longstreet, in command, operated against Suffolk. Pickett went into the Gettysburg campaign with three brigades, Garnett's, Kemper's and Armistead's, and Dearing's artillery. He reached the battlefield with his men on the forenoon of the third day of battle, and was selected to make the attack upon the Federal center on Cemetery hill, Heth's division under Pettigrew to form the left of the line, which should be supported by Pender's division under Trimble. The attack was to be made after the enemy's artillery had been weakened by the massed fire of the Confederate artillery, which began at 2 o'clock. After a terrific artillery battle there was a lull in the Federal fire, and the Confederate ammunition being near exhaustion, General Alexander sent a note to Pickett: ‘For God's sake, come quick. The eighteen guns are gone; come quick, or my ammunition won't let me support you properly.’ Pickett handed the note to Longstreet, who had strongly objected to the proposed assault with the forces available. To Pickett's question, ‘General, shall I advance?’ Longstreet said nothing, but nodded his head. Pickett then accepted the duty with apparent confidence and ‘rode gaily to his command,’ before going into the fight writing on the envelope of a letter to his betrothed:

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October, 1862 AD (1)
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