Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (P.G.T)

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (P.G.T)

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (P.G.T)

The Little Creole, The Little Napoleon, Bory, Felix, The Hero of Fort Sumter, P.G.T., and too himself just G.T. The man had many names and many different roles during his lifetime. He graduated from the US Military Academy as an Engineer and served in the Mexican War.

In 1861 he was the Superintendent of the Academy when South Carolina seceded. He resigned his post and the US Army and became the first brigadier general in the Confederate Army. There he led the defense of Charleston and was victorious against the Union forces at Ft. Sumter. A couple of months later he led the CSA in battle at Bull Run in Virginia. Defeating the Union Army again.

Soon after he was sent to the Western theater and led armies at Shiloh and the Siege of Corinth in Tennessee. In 1863 he went back Charleston and defended the city from a number of attacks by Union forces. In perhaps his greatest achievement he managed to keep Petersburg from falling into Union hands. This prevented the Union Army from attacking Richmond directly.

So one of the most successful Confederate generals, maybe one of the best on either side. Why do we not know his name like we do Jackson, Lee, Longstreet and the others? Most likely it was because he was not that great at the political aspects of generalship. He did not play well with others. Including the president and the rest of the high command.

Life After War

After the war, he was offered positions in the armies of Brazil, Romania, and Egypt. All of which he declined instead focusing his energy on freeing the South from the Union occupation forces. He spoke out for civil rights and the ability to vote for recently freed slaves. Later he ran a railroad and even invented cable cars. He was also a proliferate author relying on his experiences in the war.

In 1889 when Jefferson Davis passed, Beauregard was asked to head the funeral procession for his former president. He turned it down saying, “We have always been enemies. I cannot pretend I am sorry he is gone. I am no hypocrite.”