Beauregard, P. G. T.

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Beauregard, P. G. T. (1818–1893), known as the “Great Creole,” became the Confederacy's first field commander.A Louisianian, he graduated second of forty‐five in the U.S. Military Academy Class of 1838. An engineer, Beauregard was brevetted for gallantry in the Mexican War, and in January 1861 became superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy. Relieved because of Southern sympathies, he accepted a commission as brigadier general in the Confederacy's Provisional army on 1 March 1861.

Beauregard commanded rebel forces at Fort Sumter and at First Manassas. Promoted to full general, he assumed command of the Southern army after Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston's death during the Battle of Shiloh, and had to retreat. He defended Charleston brilliantly from late 1862 to 1864. In May 1864, he defeated Union Gen. Benjamin F. Butler in front of Petersburg, then became commander of the Division of the West and fought under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston at war's end.

After the war, Beauregard became a railroad company president and recouped his fortunes as manager of the Louisiana lottery and head of New Orleans's public works. He wrote frequently about the war and ghost‐wrote a biography of himself.

Disliked by President Jefferson Davis, Beauregard's talents were wasted and he ranks as a “first‐rate second rater”—but his reputation is rising.
[See also Bull Run, First Battle of; Civil War: Military and Diplomatic Course; Fort Sumter, Capture of.]


Alfred Roman , The Military Operations of General Beauregard, 2 vols., 1884.
T. Harry Williams , P. G. T. Beauregard, 1954.
Frank E. Vandiver , Blood Brothers: A Short History of the Civil War, 1992.

Frank E. Vandiver