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Born May 28, 1818, near New Orleans, La., U.S. died Feb. 20, 1893, New Orleans La., U.S. died Feb. 20, 1893, New Orleans
Beauregard graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. (1838) and served in the Mexican War (1846–48). After the secession of Louisiana from the Union (January 1861), Beauregard resigned from the U.S. Army and was commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate Army; he eventually became one of the eight full generals of the Confederacy and participated in almost every important theatre of the war. He commanded the forces that bombarded Fort Sumter, S.C., was on the field at the First Battle of Bull Run (1861), and assumed command at Shiloh after the death of General Albert Sidney Johnston (1862). He later conducted the defense of Charleston and toward the end of the war defended the southern approaches to Richmond. Though he proved to be a capable combat commander and often displayed sound strategic sense, Beauregard revealed serious deficiencies as a general officer. His penchant for questioning orders bordered on insubordination. After the war he returned to Louisiana, where he became a railroad director, adjutant general of the state, and manager of the Louisiana lottery. His last years were marked by bitter quarrels with Joseph E. Johnston, Jefferson Davis, and William Preston Johnston over their published accounts of the war and Beauregard’s role in it. Beauregard was the author of Principles and Maxims of the Art of War (1863) and Report on the Defense of Charleston (1864).
• leadership in Civil War ( in American Civil War (United States history): The war in 1861;
...naval base at Norfolk, which was prematurely abandoned to the enemy on April 20. On May 6 Lee ordered a Confederate force—soon to be commanded by P.G.T. Beauregard—northward to hold the rail hub of Manassas Junction, Virginia, some 26 miles (42 km) southwest of Washington. With...
in battles of Bull Run (American Civil War);
...pressures caused the Federal government to order General Irvin McDowell to advance southwest of Washington to Bull Run in a move against Richmond, Virginia. The 22,000 Confederates under General P.G.T. Beauregard, after initial skirmishing, had retired behind Bull Run in defensive positions three days earlier. To counter a Union flanking movement, the Confederates swiftly moved in 10,000...
in United States: Fighting the Civil War )
...capital of Richmond, Virginia, were stopped at Bull Run (Manassas) and then driven back to Washington, D.C., by Confederates under General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and General P.G.T. Beauregard. The shock of defeat galvanized the Union, which called for 500,000 more recruits. General George B. McClellan was given the job of training the Union’s Army of the Potomac.
• role in Ft. Sumter engagement ( in American Civil War (United States history): Prelude to war ) ...Robert Anderson, in command of a Federal garrison of about 85 soldiers, surrendered Fort Sumter in the harbour of Charleston, South Carolina, to some 5,500 besieging Confederate troops under P.G.T. Beauregard.
(1818-93), Confederate general during the American Civil War. Pierre Beauregard was born near New Orleans, La., on May 28, 1818. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1838, and later served in the Mexican War. He was appointed superintendent of West Point in 1861 but served in that post for only one week. In February 1861 he became a brigadier general in the Confederate Army. It was Beauregard who ordered the firing on Fort Sumter that began the war. He served throughout the war and afterward was president of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Mississippi Railway. He held several state offices in Louisiana and wrote a number of books on military affairs. Beauregard died in New Orleans on Feb. 20, 1893. (See also Confederate States of America.)
Beauregard’s star was at its zenith in the South. He was the victor of Sumter, and joint-victor of Manassas. Jefferson Davis, a touchy man, was probably annoyed by this, and while he promoted Beauregard to full general (charitably back-dating it to the Battle of Manassas) he shortly sent Beauregard to the western theater.
Beauregard was Number 2 in the west as well, behind Albert Sidney Johnston, one of the fiercest commanders around. Again, Beauregard was given considerable latitude for a subordinate, and drafted the orders for what became the battle of Shiloh. (As befitted a man who worshipped Bonaparte, they were fairly loose and required both a guiding spirit and aggressive subordinates.) When Johnston was wounded on the first day, Beauregard took command, but wasn’t aggressive enough and let a probably victory slip away. He consolidated his positions rather than press on with disorganized troops, and overnight the Union brought up more men and counter-attacked.
He had to fall back, and his relations with Jeff Davis went downhill fast. Beauregard was sick, but didn’t wait for permission to take sick-leave, and that gave Davis his opening: by special Presidential Order Beauregard was fired. He no longer commanded the Army, nor the Department, of the Mississippi.
"P.G.T. Beauregard." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 21 Apr. 2009 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/57711/P-G-T-Beauregard>.