(1839 - 1891)
Home State: South Carolina
Education: The Citadel, Class of 1861
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 12th Alabama Infantry
Born on his father's farm near Pendleton, SC on 13 July 1939, he spent his boyhood in the up-country and was educated at the Citadel Academy in Charleston. His uncle was South Carolina's wartime Governor Francis Pickens. Young Samuel commanded one of the two batteries on Morris Island, SC manned by cadets which fired on the Star of the West as it steamed to supply Fort Sumter on 9 January 1861. He graduated with distinction in April 1861, and was commissioned into Confederate service on 9 April 1861 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Regular Army. He served in Virginia as drillmaster, and was then assigned to the 12th Alabama Infantry as Adjutant. He was appointed Major (date?) and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 6 June 1862.
On the Campaign
Lieutenant Colonel Pickens briefly succeeded to command of the Regiment at Turner's Gap, on South Mountain, 14 September 1862 when Col Gayle was killed. But then he was also shot, "through the lungs... and carried from the field", according to the after-action report of his Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Rodes.
The rest of the War
He returned to service in command of the regiment and was promoted to Colonel to date from 14 September - probably the youngest in Confederate service - and was referred to as the "Boy Colonel". He was wounded again while in command at Chancellorsville, Spottsylvania, and Winchester and he led the 5th Alabama at Gettysburg. Except for time recovering from wounds, he was with his Regiment in action for the duration and surrendered with them at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.
After the War
After the war he grew rice on Mr. Ingraham's plantation on the Cooper River (he married Anna Postell Ingraham 20 February 1868). He took a position as clerk with the South Carolina Railway on 1 March 1869. He was promoted general passenger agent in June 1870, and in February 1879 he was made general freight agent. On 17 March 1891 he was appointed general freight and passenger agent of the Charleston, Cincinnatti and Chicago Railroad.
References & notes
Most of the information above from an excellent family genealogy site (text apparently from a newspaper obituary) [gone offine as of 2013]. The photograph here from one of Cadet Pickens taken in Charleston, probably in late 1860 or early 1861, and kindly provided by GGGrandson Glenn Kenney. Glenn also added the information about his role on Morris Island, and notes that the event is depicted in a mural in Daniel Library at the Citadel.
7/13/1839; Pendleton, SC
9/17/1891; Charleston, SC; burial in St. Pauls Episcopal, Charleston, SC