Author: Ann Drury Wellford

Manager of Photographic Services at the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia

G. T. Beauregard (1818–1893)

G. T. Beauregard (also known as Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and, after helping engineer victory at the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861, one of the Confederacy’s first war heroes. Raised in an aristocratic French home in New Orleans, Louisiana, Beauregard graduated from West Point and served in the Mexican War (1846–1848) before becoming the Confederacy’s first brigadier general and later a full general. He commanded Confederate and South Carolina troops at Charleston Harbor in April 1861, forcing the surrender of Fort Sumter, and, with Joseph E. Johnston, routed Irvin McDowell at Manassas in July. Beauregard’s Napoleonic pretensions did not suit the temperament of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, however, and the two quarreled for much of the war and postwar. Beauregard fought well at the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862, but left his army without leave for the summer and was transferred east. He was critical in the defense of Petersburg in 1864, but ended the war largely out of favor. After the war, he engaged in politics that were sympathetic to the civil rights of African Americans, criticized Davis and Johnston in a two-volume, ghostwritten memoir, and accumulated wealth that was unusual for a former Confederate commander. Beauregard died in New Orleans in 1893.