Pierre Gustave Toutant (P.G.T.) Beauregard
General in the Confederate Army
If certain minds cannot understand the difference between patriotism, the highest civic virtue, and office-seeking, the lowest civic occupation, I pity them from the bottom of my heart.
- Name Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
- Birth 28 May 1818
St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
- Death: 20 February 1893
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard 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. Today he is commonly referred to as P. G. T. Beauregard, but he rarely used his first name as an adult and signed correspondence as G. T. Beauregard.
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. Following his military career, Beauregard served as a railroad executive. He became one of the few wealthy Confederate veterans because of his role in promoting the Louisiana Lottery.