P. G. T. Beauregard

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Mexican-American War

American Civil War

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (pronounced /ˈbɔərɨɡɑrd/; May 28, 1818 – February 20, 1893) was a Louisiana-born American military officer, politician, inventor, writer, civil servant, and the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Beauregard was trained as a civil engineer at the United States Military Academy and served with distinction as an engineer in the Mexican-American War. Following a brief appointment at West Point in 1861, with the South's secession, he became the first Confederate brigadier general. He commanded the defenses of Charleston, South Carolina, at the start of the Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Three months later he was the victor at the First Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia.

Beauregard commanded armies in the Western Theater, including at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, and the Siege of Corinth in northern Mississippi. He returned to Charleston and defended it from repeated naval and land attacks in 1863. His greatest achievement was saving the important industrial city of Petersburg, Virginia, and thus also the Confederate capital of Richmond, from assaults by overwhelmingly superior Union Army forces in June 1864.

However, his influence over Confederate strategy was marred by his poor professional relationships with President Jefferson Davis and other senior generals and officials. In April 1865, Beauregard and his commander, General Joseph E. Johnston, convinced Davis and the remaining cabinet members that the war needed to end. Johnston surrendered most of the remaining armies of the Confederacy, including Beauregard and his men, to Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman.

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