First commissioned as a colonel in the defenses on the Rappahannock River, in January 1862, Pickett was appointed brigadier general. He led his brigade through the Peninsula campaign, in which he was wounded the battle of Gaines' Mill. Pickett returned to his command with a promotion to major general in October 1862. He served at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and at Suffolk. In July 1863, at Gettysburg, he advanced his division against the center of the Union line, with tremendous losses. Afterward, Pickett was sent to command the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. In 1864, he served in the defense of Petersburg and in April 1865, he was defeated at Five Forks. After the Battle of Sailor's Creek, he was relieved of command although he stayed with the army until its surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.