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Pierre Gustave

(May 28, 1818 - February 20, 1893)

European French Creole



Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard
born in New Orleans - May 28, 1818
died in New Orleans - February 20, 1893




As a staff officer with Winfield Scott in Mexico he won two brevets and was wounded at both Churubusco and Chapultepec. In the interwar years he was engaged in clearing the Mississippi River of obstructions. In 1861 he served the shortest term ever-January 23-28 as superintendent at West Point. Southern leanings probably resulted in his prompt removal. On February 20, 1861, he resigned his captaincy in the engineers and offered his services to the South.


His Confederate assignments included: brigadier general, CSA (March 1, 1861); Placed in charge of the South Carolina troops in Charleston Harbor, he won the nearly bloodless victory at Fort Sumter. "The Little Creole" was hailed throughout the South. Ordered to Virginia, he commanded the forces opposite Washington and created the Confederate Army of the Potomac.

Utilizing Napoleonic style, he drafted the attack orders for Shiloh and took command when Johnston was mortally wounded on the first day of the battle. On the evening of the first day he let victory slip through his fingers by calling off the attacks. Controversy over his decision has raged to this day.

Ordered north, he took command in North Carolina and southern Virginia while Lee faced Grant in northern Virginia. Gradually the two forces were pushed together in an awkward command arrangement.
Beauregard managed to bottle up Benjamin F. Butler in the Bermuda Hundred lines after defeating him at Drewry's Bluff. This was Beauregard's finest performance of the war.




In the final days of the war he was again second in command to Joseph E. Johnston, this time in North Carolina. Following the capitulation he returned to New Orleans and refused high rank in the Egyptian and Rumanian armies. Engaged in railroading, his reputation was tarnished by his association with the Louisiana Lottery as a supervisor.



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