The ink grows pale upon the page;
A century and more
Has rolled away since last he closed
This book of ancient lore.
They said his hair was like the sun,
His body small and white.
He looked on death with quiet eyes
And passed into the night.
Smiling he went away with death,
Gently, without fright;
Why does he stir my thoughts today,
This ghostly little tyke?
Upon a gray and granite stone
Are letters to be read,
The simple words that mark the place
Where lay his golden head.
I wonder why, this May near dusk,
When air is cool with dew,
A message seems to come to me
From one I never knew.
One hundred and twenty eight years ago, the youngest child of General and Mrs. George E. Pickett died. David Corbell Pickett was a young boy when he passed away. He was buried in the Adams-Pickett family cemetery located on the north side of Marshall Street between 22nd and 23rd Streets in Richmond. He remained there, undisturbed, until a City ordinance required the closing of family cemeteries.
During 1892, remains from the Adams-Pickett Cemetery were disinterred and re-interred in Hollywood Cemetery. Corbell, as he was called, rests beneath a large monument inscribed with dozens of names, including his great great uncle, Charles Gallego Pickett. But his name is not etched there, as is the case with others. The ancient books at the Hollywood Cemetery office reveal the identity of everyone who rests beneath that large edifice and the little Corbell's place is number 49.
On May 5, 2002, the Pickett Society commemorated Corbell's life with a ceremony at his marker, which the Society had placed during February. William A. Young, Jr., portrayed the Reverend Dr. Charles Minnegerode, who served as the minister at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond for several decades during the latter part of the nineteenth century.
Young read lines from "Little Boy Blue" by Eugene Field.The little toy dog is covered with dust,Pickett Society Board of Directors member Billie Earnest read an old poem about "the little brook" which grieving mothers might have read in their attempt to comfort a dying child. Anne Minor Baker sang an old Welsh lullaby, "Sleep My Child and Peace Attend Thee." Throughout the proceedings, Suzanne Pickett Zbar, General and Mrs. Pickett's great granddaughter, held Sallie Ann Pickett's "memory chain," a gold chain to which Mrs. Pickett had attached dozens of coins, charms and mementos that represent her "memories" (see photograph below).
But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
And the musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.
Wreaths were placed by Fairfax Chapter No. 1410, the Great Granddaughters' Club, and Janet Randolph Chapter No. 1932 (all of Virginia Division UDC), and A. P. Hill Camp No. 167 (Virginia Division SCV). The sweet solemnity of the occasion was culminated as Anne Minor Baker sang "The Lord's Prayer" and family and friends left fresh flowers and tears at Corbell's grave.
Bill Young, Board of Directors members Pat Wood and Billie Earnest, and Corporal Henry Grzegorczyk of the 57th Virginia Infantry watch the honor guard march to the grave.
57th Virginia Infantry members 1st Sergeant Mark Barry, Private Ira Greene, Private Giuseppe Provenzali, Private Robert Bohm, Jr., Private Vincent Rugolo, Private Kevin Weeks, Private Ed Zukowski, and Mr. William A. Young, Jr., pay their respects to young Master Pickett.
Mrs. Ronald DePue places a wreath for Janet Randolph Chapter No. 1932, Virginia Division UDC.
A Confederate soldier (Ira Greene) and a chaplain (William A. Young, Jr.) at graveside.
(ABOVE) Suzanne Pickett Zbar, the great-granddaughter of Major General George E. Pickett.
(RIGHT) The legendary "memory chain" owned by Mrs. Sallie Ann Corbell Pickett, General Pickett's widow.
This page is http://www.pickettsociety.org/dcp_ceremony.html
Last modified: 2/5/10
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