Richard Orick Pickett

Contributor: Pat M. Mahan

 

RICHARD ORICK PICKETT, a prominent lawyer of Florence, Ala., was born in Fauquier county, Va., August 22, 1823. He is the son of Steptoe and Sarah O. (Chilton) Pickett, both natives of Virginia, the former of French ancestry, and the latter of English. Steptoe Pickett brought his family to Alabama in 1829, and settled in Limestone county, where he and his wife lived the remainder of their lives. They reared a family of six sons and three daughters, Richard O. being the second son. He was educated in the common schools of the county, and first began life as a merchant, but not succeeding to his desires, he entered the law office of Hon. James Irvine, as a student in 1843, and was admitted to the bar in 1845. He immediately began to practice law at Moulton, and represented Lawrence county in the legislature in 1849. He remained at Moulton till the outbreak of the war. In 1862 he raised a company of soldiers in Lawrence county to serve his state for twelve months, but owing to a change in the law, requiring enlistment to be for three years or during the war, his command was not received into service and was immediately disbanded. Mr. Pickett then raised a company which became company H, of the Thirty-fifth Alabama infantry, with which company he was captured at Corinth. He subsequently entered the cavalry service, and in November, 1863, was commissioned colonel of the Tenth Alabama cavalry, which was organized to constitute a part of Gen. Roddy's command, and whose services were, in a get measure, confined to outpost operations in the Tennessee valley. With this regiment he served until the close of the war. He was mustered out at Pond Springs, in May, 1865. Upon the evacuation of Corinth, Col Pickett was captured, he being at the time, too ill to get away or to be removed with the sick. He was held until the following September, when he was exchanged at Vicksburg. While with the Thirty-fifth regiment Col. Pickett participated in the battles of Baton Rouge, Champion Hills, and a number of skirmishes. At the close of the war he returned to Moulton, and resumed the practice of law, but in December, 1867, he removed to Florence. Since the war, as before, he has taken an active part in politics. In 1875 he was a member of the constitutional convention from Lauderdale county, and he was in the legislature during the sessions of 1884-85 and 1886-87. He was a delegate to the national convention that nominated Horatio Seymour for the presidency, and took an active part in the campaign. He was also a delegate to the national convention that met in Chicago in 1884 and nominated Grover Cleveland for president. Looking backward over col. Pickett's career, we note also that he was elected judge of Lawrence county in 1846, and was in the legislature from that county during the sessions of 1853, 1855, 1857, and 1861. In 1856 he was elected to represent the sixth congressional district of Alabama, when Buchanan was elected president. In 1843 Col. Pickett was married to Miss Fannie L. Boggs, by whom he has had nine children, of whom only three are living, Mrs. Charles H. Patton, Mrs. Paul King and Mrs. S. E. Rice.

 

Source: Memorial Record of Alabama. Vol. II. Brant & Fuller. Madison, Wis., 1893. pp. 365-366