Despite his parole, Pickett fled to Canada. He returned to Norfolk, Virginia, in 1866 to work as an insurance agent.
Pickett had difficulty seeking amnesty after the Civil War. This was a problem shared by many other former Confederate officers who had been West Point graduates and had resigned their commissions at the start of the war. Former Union officers, including Ulysses S. Grant, supported pardoning Pickett. House Resolution 3086, which would "act to remove the political disabilities of George E. Pickett of Virginia", was passed by the U.S. Congress on June 23, 1874, granting him a full pardon about a year before his death.
To his dying day, Pickett lamented the great losses his men suffered at Gettysburg. Late in his life, Colonel John Mosby who served under J.E.B. Stuart but had no direct interaction with Lee to draw from, claimed an interaction he observed between Lee and Pickett was cold and reserved. Others present who knew General Lee well refuted this, stating Lee acted in his usual reserved, gentlemanly fashion. Mosby claimed after their meeting Pickett said bitterly "That man destroyed my division." Most historians find the encounter as Mosby interpreted it unlikely, especially as when asked why Pickett's Charge failed, Pickett was on record elsewhere as having said "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it."
Pickett died in Norfolk on July 30, 1875, of scarlet fever and is buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.
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