James Chamberlayne Pickett


A Gentleman’s Gentleman:
Public Servant Extraordinaire

Part of a Pickett Family History Kentucky by Rabbi Dr. Kuzriel Meir (Pickett) This section was completed 6 December 2003 Dedicated to My wife, Rivka and My foster father, Chief Petty Officer William Thomas Pickett. USN (1918 - 1979)

Capt. William Pickett’s Company of Minutemen

Researching and writing about James Chamberlayne Pickett has been challenging, at best. Basically I believe his attitude towards life and his role in the world worked against him. He was basically a quiet man. He did not seek fame, but rose to challenges in his quest to find a useful and gainful life. He remains obscure – almost a minor historical character. I felt and discovered that we shared many interests and a connection across time.

When my foster father, William Thomas Pickett, use to talk about him, many people kind of chuckled and nodded their heads with a “yah, yah sure”. James’ name is not prominent in print or memory. Most of the evidence of his existence exists, but has been scattered and left in books and rooms just as obscure as the man. There are notes in Hardy, Gardner and Heitman’s; but many Pickett researchers did not know where he was buried or even the real name of his wife. Even fewer would discover his origins. Two of his sons were more or less as famous as he was. Yet a lot of the details of their lives were even more obscure than their father. My father’s notes were helpful, but a lot of questions and holes were left. Slowly I was able to build a picture of this branch of the Pickett family. Puzzle after puzzle fell away before me. This paper found itself in modification after modification – more times than I had wanted.

In October of 2003 James’ military stone – the only mark of his existence and passing – arrived and was dedicated. At that time the William Sanford Pickett family Bible arrived offering new information. Then when the “Presidential Thank You” arrived in November more information came to my attention. Some of it was over­looked in an earlier search. It is a small bit of information that was unknown to either Stella Pickett Hardy and Auntie Ellen Pickett, the first being the family genealogist and the later being James’ grand-daughter by Rev. Joseph Pickett, whose papers were the main source I had. Meanwhile friends had gotten a hold of all of James writings and I discovered Capt. Daniel Cushing’s journal written at Ft. Miegs (I still await this). Soon all of this will be available in PDF form, as is this paper.

 For the lack of material, I am sorry that I could not find it. Its organization and the interpretation are mine. For that I can only hope I am correct.

As with all my work I hope that I have built a credible and accurate picture of James C. Pickett.

Kuzriel Meir (Pickett) Point Pleasant, NJ


James Chamberlayne Pickett was born in Fauquier County, Virginia at the family residence on February 6, 1791 to Col. John Pickett and Elizabeth Chamberlayne. Some three years after his birth the family moved to Mason County, KY. Col. John Pickett was the son of Captain William Sanford Pickett.

Captain William Sanford Pickett was born in Fauquier County, Virginia to William Pickett and Martha Sanford in 1732. William Pickett was the son of John Pickett, son of Henry Pickett, the master cupper and may have been a medical man. “Old Henry” is the earliest Pickett ancestor arrival to America that we know of. Henry Pickett may have been the son of Captian William Pickett, who was exiled to America by The Church of England for his religious practices. Capt. William Pickett had been a member of the Virginia Company and arrived in Virgiania on the 15th of May 1635 on the “Plain Joan” at the age of 50. Returning to London, he died in 1640, leaving his wife Sarah and three sons: John, who was a judge in Plymouth colony; William, born about 1600 in Lon­don and of whom we know nothing; and Henry. We know that family legands suggest one of the brothers had lands in what would become North Carolina.

When Henry arrived in the “old” Rappahadock County in the 1650’s he began clearing his own land. He had become involved in Early Virginia Colony poli­tics, when he became a Constable of Essex County. His son, John, became well known; serving his county in many capacities form an early age. His sons also served and became wealthy in land. Over ten of John’s grandsons joined this country’s struggle for freedom from their homeland - England.

Some suggested that a son of Capt.William Pickett married Anne Sanford, both passing in Westmoreland County. Their son Edward gave birth to James S. Pickett who was the father of William Sanford Pickett. Others suggest that George, a son of Henry maried Ida Martin and that their offspring was William Sanford. Recient work has uncovered strong evidence that leds us to believe that William Sanford is the son of William Pickett and Martha Sanford. Will­iam is the son of John, the son of Henry who was married to Elizabeth Cooke, the daughter of the Honourable Mordechai Cooke.(see note at the end).

William Sanford Pickett had served in the Revolutionary War as a Captain in the 2d Fauquier Militia, then under Thomas Marshall (brother to John Marshall, who was to serve as Chief Justice under his cousin, President Thomas Jefferson) in the Third Vir­ginia Regiment. He, first, married Elizabeth Metcalfe. William Sanford Pickett served as the sheriff of Fauquier County and then as its High Sheriff. In 1788 he farmed the position out to the Metcalfe family, lost his wife and married her sister, Martha. That year Wil­liam was asked to move to Kentucky to help adminis­ter the new lands of the family in Kentucky and “the Northwest Territories”, These lands were given as a result of several family members’ service in the Revo­lutionary War.The family home was established in “Mill Glen” in Mason County. His son, John Sanford Pickett, established his own home at “Rose Hill”, Mason County, Kentucky when he married.

He was known as Colonel John. Col. John Pickett married Elizabeth Chamberlayne, the daugh­ter of James and Mary Ann (O’rear) Chamberlayne from Prince William Co., VA Their wedding occurred on 21 November 1790 in Loudoun Co., VA. James Chamberlayne Pickett was born on the sixth of Feb­ruary 1791, while the family was still in Fauquier County, Virginia.

James wanted a military and government ca­reer. In 1808 he was appointed from Virginia to West Point under the name of John Pickett. After gradua­tion James enlisted as a Midshipman in the Navy at the outbreak of the War of 1812. (Historical Regis­trar, s.v. Pickett, James C.). His enlistment with the Navy finished in June 0f 1813 and on 7 July we find that he enlisted as a privite in Captain Payne’s Ken­tucky Light Dragoons (mounted infantry). He was dis­charged on the 20th of August 1813 to serve as a Lt. in the Artillery. (Roll of Company - Ky. Soldiers in War of 1812, p. 368) James was appointed a Third Lt. in the 2d U.S. Artillery on 4 August 1813 (Letter from Adj. General’s Office dated 4 March 1872, quot­ing Gardner’s Army Dictionary, The Executive Jour­nal, p. 476 for 1914 notes John C. Pickett.) under Captain Daniel Cushing and Col. Winfield Scott. Less than a year later he was appointed a Second Lt. (Ex­ecutive Journal - Madison, 11 March 1814, p. 509.). In a letter from a board of officers reporting to the Adj. General, dated from 1815, states that James’ 2d Lt. promotion was firm by 19 April 1814 and that he was recommended for the same rank in the “Peace Establishment”. The Adj. General’s office could not find any further information about this appointment (Above noted letter). When he left the army, on 15 June 1815, he was a Captain (Historical Register). The Army asked him to remain with the artillery but he declined. He returned to Kentucky and entered a le­gal clerkship and read Law.

Finding military life more fulfilling he re-enlisted as a Captain. From 16 June 1818 until his honorable discharge on 1 June 1821 he served as the Assistant deputy Quartermaster General of the Army. (There was a brief period that he was Acting Quartermaster General.).(Executive Journal, 1818, p. 148.) The re­port of the Adj. General to the War of 1812-pension office awarded him 7 years and 291 days of service and he was issued a bounty warrant for 160 acres on 20 Feb. 1851. There is a note that suggests that he was a regular army officer (paid) that he could not receive this award, but we know that in the 1850 law allowed this. (Public Statues at Large).

Shortly after his re-enlistment he married the

Cadet at draft table


Cadet at study

Kentucky Governor’s, Joseph Desha, daughter Eleanor (Ellen). (6 October 1818, noted in Washing­ton DC Marriages, 1806 -1850; p. 61). Gov. Desha was the ninth Kentucky Governor and had married Margaret (Peggy) Bledsoe, daughter of Col. Isaac Bledsoe, an early settler of the area. (The wedding was also announced in the National Intellegencer vital records 27 Oct. 1818, noting he was a Cap­tain.).

John Thomas Pickett was born on 9th of October 1823 (on 6 Jan., 1822.(In 1820, according to the some of the family and the records found in Maysville, Mason County. This is disputed by the 1840 census of Kentucky that places it in 1822 and His death certificate places it in 1823.)).

  Rev. Joseph Desha Pickett was born on the 6 Jan., 1822. (Noted on his Princeton application file). The couple had three other children: James Ellen; Benjamin Montgomery and James Pickett. The later child was born in 1827. On 10 Nov. 1829 James would die along with several household slaves of the Desha Plantation in a cholera epidemic in Cynthia, Kentucky.

Between 1821 and 1825 James practiced law in Kentucky and was elected to the Kentucky legislature and while serving as editor of the Maysville Eagle. Between 1825 and 1828 he served as Kentucky’s Secretary of State under Gov. Joseph Desha, his father-in-law. On June 9, 1829 President Andrew Jackson appointed him as secretary to the Legation in Columbia. This appointment lasted until

The Point

In 1783 George Washington proposed an idea about establishing a school to train and prepare military officers who would be trained in every field necessary to successfully defend America. At the time it was felt that the key to American freedom was the defense of the Hudson River at a key point called West Point. The original idea came the Chief of the Continental Army’s Artillery, General Henry Knox. Knox envisioned a school ... Where the whole theory and practice of fortification an gunnery should be taught. John Adams supported the idea, saying: We must make our young geniuses perfect masters of the Art of War in every branch.

Among the critics at the time was Thomas Jefferson, who thought the idea of a military school was too European and opposed to the democratic impulse and institutions America had fought for.

At the end of the War for Independence the states’ militias went home and the volunteers were slowly discharged. By 1784 the standing peace time army of the United States consisted of eighty men: 25 were stationed at Ft. Pit and 55 were at West Point. Brevet Major Henry Knox was the senior ranking officer of the U. S. Army. Some how he was able to convince Congress, in 1789, that the army was too small to be effective. Congress, in its wisdom, allowed him seven hundred men. In 1790 Knox went to Congress and obtained $11,085 to buy the land on West Point - for the defense of the River. Remember that our Nation’s Capitol was New York and it was felt that artillery at selected positions would dissuade an invasion. The fear was an invasion from the north, Canada, and with a permanent presence at West Point, a deterrent was formed.

While the land was brought there were no structures to defend the area or house the men beyond the rubble that remained from the war. In 1791 some funds were gotten for buildings and fortifications. But it was inadequate.

In 1794 the Corps of Engineers and Artillerists was formed and given a mandate to train officers. Congress created the rank of Cadet to signify a trainee attached to the Corps for officer training. Timothy Pickering, replacing Knox, took a special interest in the formation of such a school.

It was to that end that Pickering appointed the French-born Revolutionary War hero, Stephen Rochfontaine as commander of the Corps and officer-in-charge of training. Militarily it may have been a wise choice; but it proved to be a disaster in the making. Many of Rochfontaine’s methods drew sharp criticism from the cadets and other officers, several incidents occurred and finally a letter of formal grievances was filed. Relations with Rochfontaine deteriorated until he and a cadet clashed in a duel, neither were hurt. But Rochfontaine was dismissed, in 1798, leaving the school in disarray and a bad taste in Con

Text book of Artillery Theory

gress’ mouth.

When John Adams became President, he tried to revive the program. He convinced Congress that there should be four qualified instructors. He was only able to find one instructor and he was a mathematician. Thus George Baron was allowed to run a program of 12 cadets.

Although Thomas Jefferson had voiced objection to such a school, while a Cabinet member, he changed his mind as President. He now pushed to establish the school as fast as he could. With great energy and enthusiasm he pushed the appointment of the Revolutionary War hero and graduate of France’s Strasbourg Academy, Major Louis de Tousard as head of the school of Artillery and Engineering at West Point. De Tousard arrived in 1801. Classes began, but again personality and pedagogue differences emerged to tear apart the attempt. Baron was courts marshaled and dismissed. Major Jonathan Williams, a grand nephew of Benjamin Franklin and a noted scientist in his day, replaced Le Tousard; Williams took up his post at the end of 1801.

Three months later Congress passed the Military Peace Establishment Act, which established a permanent Corps of Engineers and Artillerists stationed at West Point. One of the missions of this unit was to establish a military academy. From then on the Academy marked its establishment as 16 March 1802.

Major Williams was now both Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers and Superintendent of the Academy. He had two professors, a hodgepodge of students that included a ten year old, and a dilapidated building for classes. His students lived in a dilapidated wooden building with little space, which remain reflected in most dorms and barracks today.

On 1 September 1802 Cadet Joseph Swift, after a grueling oral board, became the first official graduate of West Point. Simon Mordechai Levy became the second Cadet to graduate (and the first Jewish Cadet).

Over the next fifteen years of the Academy’s existence it was plagued with inadequate staff, internal strife and a lack of a solidly defined mission. There was no set standard of core curriculum, no set standard of completion or exam questions. The only thing that can truly be said is: “Engineering was the life-blood of the school”. Top students became members of the Corps of Engineers and Artillerists. The rest went to the Calvary and then Infantry. The other fact is the Point was the source of America’s scientists and engineers. Many of the other institutions we regard as top-notch schools had turned to West Point graduates to help them build their departments, including when Annapolis re-defined it self in 1845.

Its major re-organization was after the War of 1812, under the leadership of Sylvanius Thayer (Class of 1808) and then Dennis Hart Mahan (Class of 1824).

Until the crisis of 1812 Congress allowed only ten new cadets a year and only through Congressional appointment. There was an oral board after that to qualify. Then there was the merit system and the grading system and, finally, graduation after another oral exam by instructors and a vote.

 As of 1812 there were 89 cadets that were appointed and graduated from West Point. 71 completed the required course of instruction. 65 of those were still in the army. 15 were in the Engineering Corps 38 were in the Artillery 14 were in the Infantry 1 was in the Dragoons 2 were not commissioned One of those, a new graduate, was James Chamberlayne Pickett, in the now in the 2d Artillery under Captain Daniel Cushing and Col. Winfield Scott (1808).

Student compass Fort Meigs Siege

Daniel Lewis Cushing was born on 22 Octo­ber 1764 in Pembroke, Plymouth, Massachusetts. In 1801 Daniel Cushing moved to the city of New York and married again. Daniel was a merchant in New York until 1806 when he moved to the northern part of New York State (Sackett’s Harbor) and there took up a tract of land and laid out a town, naming it Huron. In December 1807, he went to Lebanon, Ohio, where he made a position for himself. He was commissioned, 25 May 1811, Brigadier General of the 2nd Brigade, Ohio Militia. On 14 July 1812, he received the ap­pointment of Captain of Artillery in the U.S. Army un­der Lt. Col. Winfield Scott (Virginia appointment) and Gen. Harrison (Kentucky Appointment); and on 30 June 1812 was made Captain of the U.S. Artillery by Presidential order. He served at Franklinton (Colum­bus), Ohio. Cushing’s company was mustered into Federal service some time in September or October of 1812. On 1 January 1813 The Company marched out of Franklinton with 39 men. According to Captain Cushing’s diary:

“January 1, 1813 – I left Franklinton with my company for Upper Sandusky by way of Worthington and Delaware – marched with 34 non-commissioned officers and privates, myself and three lieutenants”.

On the 6th of February Captain Cushing’s company arrived at the rapids of the Maumee River, the site of Ft. Meigs. William Henry Harrison built Fort Meigs in 1813 to protect northwest Ohio and Indiana from British invasion. This fort, built on a high bluff on the south side of the Maumee River overlooking the rapids. The Northwest Army’s chief engineer, West Point-trained Captain Charles Gratiot, designed the fort. General Harrison named the stockade Fort Meigs in honor of Ohio governor, Return Jonathan Meigs. It is one of the largest log forts in America. British and Canadian troops, assisted by Indians under Tecumseh, besieged the fort twice. The 10-acre log enclosure with 7 blockhouses and 5 emplacements presented a formidable defense. The garrison - ranging from less than 900 to more than 2,000 men - comprised U.S. regulars, militia from Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and several companies of independent volunteers. Because Fort Meigs was more an armed camp than a formally engineered fortification, troops lived in tents inside the stockade.

An army of British soldiers and Indians at­tacked the fort in April 1813. British cannons bom­barded the fort, and Indians ambushed American sol­diers when they came outside. When the enemy laid siege to Fort Meigs on May 1, 1813, they found Gen­eral Harrison ready. With a strong fort, 1,200 troops, twenty to thirty pieces of artillery - and the knowledge that reinforcements were on the way - Harrison was concerned only about his small supply of ammunition. He used his batteries sparingly and offered a gill of whiskey to any soldier who retrieved a British can­nonball to use in return fire, thus supplementing the scarce ammunition. The bombardment ended after four days, when a troop of Kentucky militiamen arrived to reinforce Fort Meigs. Some of the replacements were lost when the British captured them; English-allied In­dians subsequently killed several of the captives. With fresh troops, the garrison held out for another five days. On May 9, the enemy lifted its siege, giving the United States a significant victory in the Northwest and turn­ing the tide of the war.

The Indians who had accompanied the British during the siege, however, were bitterly disappointed by their failure to take the post. In July 1813, the Brit­ish attempted to appease their allies by once again besieging Fort Meigs. The Indians even staged a mock battle to lure the garrison out under the illusion that a relief column was under attack, but the Americans saw through the ploy.

Giving up on their halfhearted siege of Fort Meigs, the British moved on to Fort Stevenson. That attack also failed, causing heavy British losses and forc­ing their retreat into Canada. On September 10, 1813, Perry defeated the British Navy on Lake Erie, and the United States finally had the upper hand in the North­west.

His objective achieved, Harrison transferred all but 100 men from Fort Meigs and ordered the fort dismantled. In its place, a small, square stockade was constructed to serve as a supply base and to protect the Maumee rapids. With Harrison’s victory at the Battle of the Thames, the war in the Northwest was all but over. Peace came in December 1814, and in May 1815, the U.S. formally abandoned Fort Meigs.

From that time to the First Siege of Fort Meigs (1May to 9 May 1913) Cushing’s Company under­went major changes. He now had 67 men. The mus­ter Roll at the end of the Battle He had: 2 joined, 1 discharged, 0 deserted, 0 reduced, 1 pro­moted, 7 dead, 0 transferred, 38 attached, 2 on fur­lough and 2 in captive. Making an aggregate of 83 men with 67 men on hand and 43 were fit for duty.

James Pickett joined in August of 1813, just prior to a major push by the Indians. The Artillery was stationed as the major force in the area – remember artillery was Foot-Artillery (meaning all men but the cannon and ammunition traveled by foot.) at that time and only in the later part of the war, it became Horse-Artillery (every one being mounted).

Cushing was drowned 29 March 1815, while crossing the river Oglaze on his march back to Fort Meigs, and was buried at Fort Defiance. At the death of Cushing, Captain Stanton Sholes (6 July 1812) took command of the battery.

1833. He had also served as Charge’ d’Affaires in Bogotá and failed to be paid. (Executive Journal, appendix, 3 Feb. 1829, p.408. Executive Journal 10 Feb. 1830, p.37: notes change of status to Charge d’Affaires, to be paid $4500 per annum. Journal of 23d Congress 1833, pp739-40).

From his letters home we see that Gov. Desha wished and tried to secure an appointment as Post Master in Kentucky. It was made clear that this would not be possible. John accepted the appointment to Colombia, reluctantly. He explained that this was done because of his sense of honor. How could he ask for an appointment and reject the one offered. “ I would never again be considered for another, a better one.”

During his travels in Latin America he continually reported hostile acts and the fears of British commer­cial aggression to isolate America. He also reported that Spain’s current treatment of her colonies became more tyrannical than the last five years of republican rule.

In January 1831 James’ father, Col. John, had passed away in Cincinnati and was buried at the cemetery on “Rose Hill.”

On 19 October 1833 James was reported to have returned to Kentucky (National Intelligencier 1833, p.465, Daily National Intelligencer 1832 ­1833: “Sat. Oct. 19, 1833: Mr. Jas C Pickett, late Sec of leg to the Rpblc of Columbia has returned to his home in KY.”). In 1834 he returned to Washington, DC where he was behind a private bill (House Bill 404 - on June 27th) to compensate him for his services. It is recorded in the Congressional Record (p. 474 of the 23d Congress) that it was successful and he received his pay, although problems continued well after his death in 1872.

On February 1, 1835 James was appointed Superintendent of the Patent Office and then was appointed fourth auditor of the Treasury, on May 1, 1835. His wife, Ellen, dies three weeks after given birth to a child, on 18 Nov. 1837 at the age of 37. She is buried in Congressional Cemetery.

James was commissioned the plenipotentiary to Ecuador in 1838. Between November 1838 and 1845 he also serves as Charge’ de’ affairs for Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. (Executive Journal

-Van Buren - 8 June 1838, p.118) Authorized to conclude treaties of commerce with the Peru - Bolivian Confederation and the Republic of Ecuador, he quickly concluded a treaty of peace, friendship, navigation and Commerce with Ecuador. (Treaty with Ecuador announced 21 June 1840, Executive Journal - Van Buren, p. 250.) He concluded the “most favored nation” clause and the definition of neutrality in wartime treaty, having it ready for signature in September 1842 (8 U.S. Statutes at Large, 534). With Peru he was somewhat less successful, but a treaty was ready and signed on 17 March 1841, although it was not announced until 21 Feb., 1844 (Ibid. 570). He left Peru with three Contenders to the presidency, in late 1844.( The Treaty with Peru was concluded on 17 March 1841. Executive Journal - Polk, pp 78-9.) He is replaced in Latin America 7 Jan 1845 (Executive Journal - Tyler, p. 374).

Returning to Washington, DC, in 1845, James becomes editor for the Daily Globe and the National Monument (a short lived magazine adventure, sus­pended in 1851 due to lack of funds). Between 1848 and 1851 he, Francis Blair and John C. Rives attempt a weekly paper referred to as the Weekly Globe.

The Civil War brought division between James and his sons. John would serve in the Confederate Diplomatic corps and Joseph would be a Chaplin in Kentucky’s “Lost Brigade”. He verbally opposes some of his son’s, John Thomas Pickett, activities. (Library of Congress information on National Monument and Weekly Globe.) We note that in the 1850 national census of Washington, DC James is living in a boarding house in Ward 4. (p. 219 HH 74).

On the 7 of March 1864 The Journal of the Senate notes (p.348) that there is a request on the floor to pay James C. Pickett for the expenses he in­curred as Charge d’Affaires in Peru. This request is repeated again on 13 June 1866 (p. 516), on 3 Feb. 1868 (p. 151), on 8 March 1872 (p. 468) and on 11 March 1872 an official House Bill is published (H.R. 1875). We find that another Bill (H.B. 2569) is pre­sented for a second reading on 27 Apr. 1872 in the Senate (p. 625, p. 762), which passed.

James was also awarded an $8.00 per month pension on 30 March 1872, which was to have begun on 14 Feb. 1871 (pension papers on file and Statues at Large). He had to sign a statement that he had not been involved in any form of support of the recent uprising we call the Civil War to received that award. James C. Pickett is recorded as belonging to the As­sociation of the Oldest Inhabitants of Washington D.C.

In January of 1872 it is noted that James was very ill and confined to his room. On Wednesday July 10th 1872 at the age of 81 James Chamberlayne Pickett passes into the next life at his home on 330 Indiana Ave., in Washington, DC. He was buried in Row 37 grave 45 in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC on 11 July 1872. There was no grave­stone marking his passing for over 120 years.This we corrected through application to the Department of Veteran’s  Affairs on October 23, 2003.


In November 1732 Martha Sanford claimed that her illegitimate child’s father was William Pickett, when the Church Wardens for having a child without a recorded marriage called her to court. In March of 1733 she was called to court and fined. At the November meeting of the Westmoreland County Grand Jury, both William and Martha were called to court and charged with fornication and “living together” without proper sanction. In March of 1734 William denied the charges and showed his marriage to Elizabeth Cooke and other evidence against the charges, including the fact that he lived in Fauquier County. The court absolved William, who never acknowledges the offspring.

The child always bore the name Pickett, as did his offspring. Often he is recorded as William Pickett, Sanford and later as William Sanford Pickett. No stigma was ever attached to the child or his children. The family often had a confused geneal­ogy to explain his existence.

(See Grand Jury vs Sanford and Pickett,

Westmoreland County Court Orders, 1731-
, pp 55, 71, 113, 138. A Gathering of
, Vol. 1 sv William Sanford Pickett.)



The Second Artillery Regiment

The 2d Artillery was formed in July of 1798 as Captain James Read’s Company, 2d Regiment of artillerists and engineers. For many years it was attached and associated with the Corps of engineers and the new military acad­emy at West Point. By 1812 it was the model for Artillery units, especially the volunteer units ­down to the uniforms and manuals,

This type of artillery unit was called “foot artillery”. It served both the infantry and the ship’s cannoners. It had heavy iron six and twelve pounders that were horse drawn with civilian drivers. The gun crew and security force marched along side. As a result of the “Chesa­peake affair” of 1807 what we call “horse artil­lery” was authorized. In this type of artillery all men are horse mounted. It was accepted but not fully implemented until after the War of 1812.

 At this time it was under Lt. Col. Winfield Scott. The unit was re-designated, in the year

of 1812, as “A”, “B”, and “C” company of Artillerists of the 1st Regiment of Artillery. A detachment under Captain Daniel Cushing (now designated as the Second Regiment of Artillery) was marched out of Franklinton (Co­lumbus), Ohio on 1 January 1813 to join the Northwest Army. With him were 34 enlisted men and non-commissioned Officers and 3 Lieuten­ants. It was assigned to hold the line at Fort Meigs, and Fort Defiance. Captain Cushing’s company arrived at the rapids of the Maumee River, the site of Ft. Meigs on 6 February 1813.

3d. Lt. James C. Pickett was assigned to the company after 4 August 1813. (Powell, see pp 57, 75 and 103.) The unit would also participated in several campaigns along the Ca­nadian border, in the St. Lawrence Valley, in­cluding the capture of Montreal and the siege of Quebec City.

It was after this that company “B” was reassigned to re-enforce company “C” at Fort McHenry, prior to the siege. After the War the 2d Artillery was re-designated as the Corps of Artillery and was attached to the Northern Divi­sion.

The Army - 1817 - 1818 General Officers and General Staff General Officers 1817 - 1818

Major-Generals: Jacob Brown Andrew Jackson Brigadier-Generals: Alexander Macomb Edmund P. Gaines Winfield Scott Eleazer W. Ripley

General Staff 1817 - 1818

Adjutant and Inspector General: Daniel Parker Quartermaster-General: Thomas S. Jesup Adjutant-Generals: Robert Butler Roger Jones Inspector-Generals: Arthur P. Hayne John E. Wool Asst. Adjutant-Generals: Charles J. Nourse Reynold M. Kirby Perrin Willis James M. Glassell Asst. Inspector-Generals: John M. Davis Francis S. Bleton Wm. McDonald John Biddle Topographical Engineers: John Anderson Isaac Roberdeau John I. Abert James Kearney Stephen H. Long Paul H. Perault Asst. Topographical Engineers: Hugh Young Wm. Fell Poussin John Le Conte Hartman Bache Deputy Quartermaster-General: Wm. Millard Milo Mason Assistants: Thomas Tupper Henry Stanton Arch W. Hamilton George Bender Wm. A. Barron Arch. Darragh Richard J. Easter Joel Spencer Hezekiah Johnston Thomas S. Rogers Thomas F. Hunt Trueman Cross James C. Pickett John Jones James Green James McGunnegle Commissary General: George Gibson Judge Advocates: Samuel A. Storrow Stokley D. Hays

Appointment to Artillery

Appointment to Staff


Understanding Diplo-
matic Ranks

Diplomatic ranks can be confusing. There­fore the following list represents a Hierarchy of positions, ordered from the top down, one may find in a US Embassy. It should be noted that all the positions do not exist at the same embassy or during the same time frame. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipoten­tiary Ministers Plenipotentiary Ministers Charge’ d’Affaires ad hoc or pro tempore Charge’ d’Affaires ad interim Ministers-Counselors Counselors (or Senior Secretaries in the ab­sence of Counselors) Army, Navel and Air Attaches Civilian Attaches not in Foreign Services First Secretaries Second Secretaries Assistant Army, Navel and Air Attaches Assistant Civilian Attaches not in Foreign Ser­vices Third Secretaries and Assistant Attaches When more than one Ambassador is present in the country, their order of precedence is determined by the order in which they were presented to the host country’s Chief of State. All Ambassadors yield to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, a position earns by virtue of longevity as his / her country’s representative. When a country has more than one ambassador posted to multiple missions, the order of precedence among them is determined by the custom of their country.

Appointment to Columbia

Summary of Service

Bounty Land Grant for Service

Mortar used in war of 1812

Appointment to Peru

Known Works

1. LC Control Number: 07023572 Pickett, James Chamberlayne, 1793-1872.

The memory of Pocahontas vindicated against the erroneous judgment of the Hon. Waddy Th­ompson. By a Kentuckian.

Washington, Printed by J. and G. S. Gideon, 1847, 39 p. 24

2. LC Control Number: 24017310 Pickett, James Chamberlayne, 1793-1872.

Poems on various subjects; by J. C. Pickett.

[Washington, D.C. 1867] 106 p. 21 cm. CALL NUMBER: PS2583 .P73

                  3. LC Control Number: 17003951 Pickett, James Chamberlayne, 1793-1872. [From old cata­log]

                  Address. Subject: General Washington. Washington, Printed at the Globe office, 1867. CALL NUMBER: E312.63. P582

2.              4. LC Control Number: 24018709 Pickett, James Chamberlayne, 1793-1872. [From old catalog]


Old age and its miseries ...

[Washington, D.C., 1886] 15 p. 22 cm. CALL NUMBER: PS2583.P7

5. LC Control Number: 06008214 Pickett, James Chamberlayne, 1793-1872.

Letters and Disertations

William Greer Washington, D.C. 1846, 64p. CALL NUMBER AC8.P68

Little known Writing but uses signiture phrase


Cover Page of Essays

Sample Quotes

History of the United States Patent Office: The Patent Office Pony, A History of the Early Patent Office. Chapter 15 — The Old Order Prepares to Change, Pg. 91: “Col. James Chamberlayne Pickett (1795-1872), a genuine Kentucky colonel and former diplomat in Columbia, was appointed Superintendent of the Patent Office on February 1, 1835, to replace John D. Craig. He was in office only a short time, being appointed fourth auditor of the Treasury on May 1, 1835, and he later served seven more years as a diplomat in Ecuador and Peru. In his exactly three months in office, he set a new record. No charges of any kind were filed against him by anyone, the first Superintendent who could make that statement.”


Chiefs of Mission - Peru

Name: J.C. Picket State of Residency: Washington, DC (Kentucky) Title: Chargé d’Affaires Appointment: June 9, 1838 Presentation of Credentials: Jan 30, 184 Termination of Mission: Superseded, April 28, 1845 Note: Commissioned to the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, but received by the Government of Peru. Pickett, James C. d. 10 Jul. 1872 R31/45 Pickett. Wednesday, July 10th at 4:30 a.m., James C. Pickett of Kentucky in the 81st year of his age. Friends are invited to attend the funeral at 6 p.m. Thursday 11th instant from 330 Indiana Avenue.

——————————-Heitman’s Register (F.B. Heitman, Hist. Reg. and Dict. U.S. Army (1903), vol. I): Pickett, James C. (Ohio). Midshipman, U.S.N., June 4, 1812; 3rd Lieutenant, 2nd Artillery, August 14, 1813; 2nd Lieutenant, 19 April 1814; Transfer to Corpse Art., 12 May 1914; Hon. Discharge, 15 June 1815; Captain, Acting Quartermaster General, June 16, 1818; honorably discharged June 1, 1821. Died July 10, 1872.


Roster of Governor and Staff 1824 - 1828

Governor -Joseph Desha

Lieutenant Governor - Robert B. McAfee
Secretary of State - James C. Pickett
Attorney General - J.W. Denny (appointed)
Auditor - Ben Selby
Treasurer - James Davidson

Clerk, Court of Appeals - Francis P. Blair

Source: Kentucky State Library and Archives

TheUnited States of America and the Republic of Peru, desirous of consolidating permanently the good under­standing and friendship now happily existing between the parties, have resolved to arrange and terminate their differences and pretensions, by means of a Convention that shall determine exactly the responsibilities of Peru, with respect to the claims of certain citizens of the United States against her: And with this intention, the President of the United States has appointed James C. Pickett, Charge d’Affaires of said States near Peru, and his Excellency the President of the Republic of Peru has appointed Don Manuel del Rio, principal officer of the Department of Finance, acting minister of the same Department, and supernumerary Councilor of State; and both Commissioners, after having exchanged their powers, have agreed upon and signed the following articles:-

ARTICLE I. The Peruvian Government, in order to make full satisfaction for various claims of citizens of the United States, on account of seizures, captures, detentions, sequestrations and confiscations of their vessels, or for the dam­age and destruction of them, of their cargoes, or other property, at sea, and in the ports and territories of Peru, by order of said Government of Peru, or under its authority, has stipulated to pay to the United States the sum of three hundred thousand dollars, which shall be distributed among the claimants, in the manner and according to the rules that shall be prescribed by the Government of the United States.

ARTICLE II. The sum of three hundred thousand dollars, which the Government of Peru has agreed to pay, in the preceding article, shall be paid at Lima, in ten equal annual installments of thirty thousand dollars each, to the person or persons that may be appointed by the United States to receive it. The first installment shall be paid on the first day of January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-four, and an installment on the first day of each succeeding January, until the whole sum of three hundred thousand dollars shall be paid.

ARTICLE III. The Peruvian Government agrees, also, to pay interest on the before mentioned sum of three hundred thousand dollars, at the rate of four per centum per annum, to be computed from the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, and the interest accruing on each installment shall be paid with the installment. That is to say, interest shall be paid on each annual installment, from the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two.

ARTICLE IV. All the annual payments made on account of the three hundred thousand dollars, shall be paid in hard dollars, of the same standard and value as those now coined at the mint in Lima, and the annual payments, as well as the accruing interest, may be exported from Peru free of all duty whatever.

ARTICLE V. There shall not be demanded of the Government of Peru any other payment or indemnification, on account of any claim of the citizens of the United States, that was presented to it by Samuel Larned, Esquire, when Charge d’Affaires of the United States near Peru. But the claims subsequent to those presented by Mr. Lamed to the Government of Peru, shall be exam and acted upon hereafter.

ARTICLE VI. It is further agreed, that the Peruvian Government shall have the option of paying each annual installment, when it is due, with orders on the custom-house at Callao, which shall be endorsable in sums of any amount, and receivable in the treasury as cash, in payment of duties on importations of all kinds; and the orders shall be given in such a manner as that, in case similar orders shall be at a discount in the market, the full value of each annual payment shall be secured and made good to the United States, as though it had been paid in cash, at the time of its falling due; and any loss occasioned by discount, or delay in the collection, shall be borne and made good by the Peruvian Government.

ARTICLE VII. This Convention shall be ratified by the contracting parties, and the ratifications shall be exchanged within two years from its date, or sooner, if possible, after having been approved by the President and Senate of the United States, and by the Congress of Peru. In witness whereof, the respective Commissioners have signed the same, and affixed thereto their seals. Done in triplicate at the city of Lima, this seventeenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one.


[NOTE.-The foregoing treaty is published in Foreign Treaties, Vol. I. p. 570. The reason for publishing it again, appears in the following extract from the proclamation of the President, of January 8, 1847:-“ And whereas the seventh article of the said Convention required that the ratifications of the contracting parties should be exchanged within two years from its date, which provision was not observed by the said parties, owing to delays in the ratification rendering such exchange impracticable within the time stipulated; and whereas it appears that the duly constituted authorities of the Republic of Peru did, on the 21st of October, 1845, by law, approve in all respects the said Convention, with the condition, however, that the first annual installment of thirty thousand dollars on account of the principal of the debt recognized thereby, and to which the second article relates, should begin from the 1st of January, 1846, and the interest on this annual sum, according to Article III., should be calculated and paid from the 1st of January, 1842; and whereas the said Convention, and the aforesaid modification thereof, have been duly ratified, and the respective ratifications of the same were exchanged in the city of Lima on the 31st day of October last, by Albert G. Jewett on the part of the United States, and Manuel del Rio on the part of the Republic of Peru: “ Now, therefore, be it known, that I, JAMES K. POLK, President of the United States of America, have caused the said Convention, and the modification thereof, to be made public, to the end that the same, and every article and clause thereof, may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof”]

James Pickett

Birth : 1827 Death : Nov. 10, 1829 The baby’s grave that is there today is the grandson of Jo­seph Desha. It is the child of his daughter Ellen who married to James Chamberlayne Pickett (Charge’ D’Affaires, Latin America). According to the Duffy ladies this child died of cholera. The Duffy ladies were the last of the Desha family to live on the family plantation. The last died about 1992. They were the granddaughters of Lucius Desha who was Gov. Joseph Desha’s son. It is believed that this cemetery was quickly made because of a cholera epidemic in the Desha Household. James’ grave is the only “white” grave known to be here.

A thanks goes to Tom Hicks - who works for the Harrison County Slave Cemetery Preservation Society. ( Letter and photographs of gravestone from Tom Hicks  Decem­ber 2001). Burial: Desha Family - Plantation

Harrison County Kentucky, USA Record added: Dec 18 2001 By: K M.

Eleanore “Ellen” Desha Pickett

Birth: Feb. 20, 1800 Mason County Kentucky, USA Death: Nov. 17, 1837 Washington District of Columbia District Of Columbia, USA

Daughter of KY Gov. Joseph Holmes Desha and Margrette Bledstoe.

Pickett, Mrs. Ellen d. 18 Nov 1837 is buried at R31/46

Pickett. On the morning of the 17th instant, Mrs. Ellen Pickett, wife of James Chamberlayne Pickett, Esq., Fourth Auditor in the 37th year of her age, leaves an infant 3 weeks old. The friends of the family are respectfully invited to at-Inscription reads: tend the funeral today (Saturday) at 1 o’clock at their resi­dence on 11th street. Sacred

To the Memory

Congressional Cemetery

Mrs. Ellen Pickett

District of Columbia District Of Columbia, USA Wife of Plot: R31/46

James C Pickett of KY

(there after unreadable in Photograph)

Record added: Dec 27 2001 by: K M

A Note on Eleanor “Ellen” Desha Pickett

Eleanor Desha, daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Bledsoe) Desha, was born in Mason County. Ken­tucky, on 20 Feb. 1800.

“While her father was the Governor of Kentucky, Mrs. Pickett filled the place of hostess of the execu­tive mansion. She is described as being a woman of remarkable culture, dignity, and refinement. Aside from her domestic and social duties, she found time to instruct her little son, Joseph Desha Pickett, who often referred to the fact that his earliest memories of the Governor’s mansion, at his mother’s knee, learning to read the Bible. It was during her stay in the mansion that Lafayette visited Kentucky, and this little son carried through a long and useful life the memory of the Distinguished General placing his hand on his head and blessing him. Mrs. Pickett is said to have been equal to any circumstance and occasion that came to her in those responsible times. She was devout, as well as accomplished, and left a record of unaffected piety and devotion to all that was good and true that came within her sphere.” (Page 172,  Historic Sumner County, Tennessee; Cisco, Jay Guy. Genealogical Publishing Co. – Clearfield Co., Nashville, 2002 (1909))

Desendants of James Chamberlayne Pickett and Eleanore “Ellen” Desha Pickett

1.              1. Joseph Desha Pickett (discussed in larger work - Kentucky Picketts) - Chaplin for Kentucky’s “Lost Brigade. After the War he became Chancellor of Lexington’s College, then the State Commissioner of Education.

                  2. John Thomas Pickett  (discussed in larger work - Kentucky Picketts) - Went to West Point, quit to be ambassador to Turk’s Island and then Mexico. Became a General during Hungarian revolt. A commander in Round Island Affair and invasion of Cuba. The latter post he served for the Confederate States. Became secretary for the committee for the first attempt at reconciliation.

                  3. Montgomery Benjamin Pickett (lost track in 1838). Was to have entered Navy in 1841?

2.              4. James Ellen Pickett, Born about 29 Oct 1837 in Washington D. C.  (lost track in 1838), Left in care of a nurse in Washington, DC.


5. James Pickett, Birth: 1827, Death : Nov. 10, 1829 in Cynthia, KY. (Died in infancy)



“The Picketts of Fauquier”, in The Colonial Families of the Southern States of America, pp. 414 - 438; Stella Pickett Hardy,

Pension file # 26082 at the National Archives, Washington D. C.
The Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky (1878)
The Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky (1897), H. Levin,
Kentucky Obituaries, 1787 - 1854; G. Glenn Cliff LSD Microfiche 6048872.
State Department Web page\History\Peru
1850 Census Washington, DC; p. 219
Mason Co., KY Marriage Records, 1804 - 60, vol II - VI
Historical Register and Dictionary of the U.S. Army (1903), Francis B. Heitman, vol. I (of 2). From Its Organization. Septem-
ber 29. 1789 to March 2, 1903.
The Army and Navy of the United States: George Barric, Publisher; Philadelphia, 1890
History of the United States Patent Office: The Patent Office Pony, A History of the Early Patent Office. Chapter 15 — The Old
Order Prepares to Change.
The Marshall Family (1885), W. M. Paxton.

Historic Sumner County, Tennessee, Clearfield Company, Baltimore, 2002 (original 1909 Nashville), Cisco, Jay Guy.

Congressional Cemetery Burials; s.v. Pickett. Congressional Cemetery Orbits; s.v. Pickett House Bill #404, p474 Daily Globe, Washington, DC 1848 - 1853 Evening Star -Washington, DC - July 10 1872 History of the National Capitol, W.B. Bryant, 1916, vol. 2, p. 442n District of Columbia Interments 1 Jan. 1855 - 1874, Westley Pippenger, 1999, p. 284 Directory of Washington, Georgetown and Alexandria, Wm, H. Boyd, 1871 Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, vol. XI, 1876, p.367


Historic Families of Kentucky, Thomas Marshall Green, Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati, 1889 Washington, DC Marriages - 1806 - 1850 Association of Oldest Inhabitants of Washington, DC

Executive Journal, (As noted)
Journal of the Senate, (As noted)
National Intelligencer, (As noted)
Dictionary of The Army of the United States, Gardner, William Kitchell, New York, 1853 (known as Gardner’s Army Dictio-
nary). Its actual title is: A Dictionary of All Officers who have been Commissioned or have been Appointed in the United
States Army.
The Old Army: a Portrait of the American Army in Peace Time 1784 - 1798; Edward M. Coffman, Oxford Press, New Work,
List of Officers of the Army of the United States from 1779 to 1900; Powell, Col. William Henry, C. R. Hamersky, New York,
1900; reprint Gale Research, Detroit, 1967.
Index to War of 1812 Pention Files; three vols., transcribed by Virgil White. The National Historical Publishing Society,
Waynesboro, 1992
Complete Army and Navy Register of the United States of America from 1776 to 1887; Thomas H. S. Hamersly, New York self
published, 1886
2d United States Artillery, U. S. Army Military History Institute, typewritten manuscript: 203-2-1959; 6pp.
James C. Pickett Letters (from South America to Joseph and John Desha),  Register of Kentycky State Historical Society,
vol. 37, April 1939, pp 151 - 170.

Kentucky Soldiers in The War of 1812, Legislature of Kentucky,
Averill, James P.
Fort Meigs.  A Condensed history of the Most Important
Military Point in the Northwest, Together With Scenes and Incidents
Connected With the Sieges of 1813, and a Minute Description of the Old Fort

and its Surroundings, as They Now Appear. Toledo, OH:  Blade, 1886.
Cushing, Daniel L.
Fort Meigs and the War of 1812:  Orderly Book of

Cushing’s Company, 2nd U.S. Artillery, April 1813-February 1814, and Personal Diary of Captain Daniel Cushing, October 1812-July 1813.

Columbus, OH: OH Hist Soc, 1975. E355C98.1975.

Nelson, Larry L. Men of Patriotism, Courage & Enterprise!: Fort Meigs in the War of 1812. Canton, OH: Daring, 1985. 156 p. E356M5N45.1985. Spencer, Rex L.  “The Gibraltar of the Maumee: Fort Meigs in the War of 1812.” Phd dss, Ball State Univ, 1988.  E359.5O2S63.