Portrait of P.G.T. Beauregard.

P. G. T. Beauregard commanded the Confederate forces that fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. [National Archives]

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard - Facts

May 28, 1818–February 20, 1893

Key facts about Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard.

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Full Name:

  • Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

Birth Date:

  • May, 28, 1818

Birth Location:

  • Contreras sugar-cane plantation in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana

Parents:

  • Jacques Toutant-Beauregard and Hélène Judith de Reggio Toutant-Beauregard

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1838)

Occupation:

  • Military officer, railroad executive, Louisiana public official

Career Summary:

  • General in the Confederate Army (1861 – 1865)

Spouse:

  • Marie Antoinette Laure Villere (September 1841), Caroline Deslonde (1860)

Nickname(s):

  • PGT, Little Napoleon, Little Creole

Place of Death:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana

Date of Death:

  • February 20, 1893

Place of Burial:

  • Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana

Significance:

  • P. G. T. Beauregard was the third child of Jacques Toutant-Beauregard and Hélène Judith de Reggio Toutant-Beauregard, who were of French-Spanish Creole descent.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard attended private schools in New Orleans and New York City.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard learned to speak English at age 12 while attending school in New York City.
  • In 1834, P. G. T. Beauregard was admitted to the United States Military Academy and Americanized his name by removing the hyphen.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard graduated from the United States Military Academy, second in his class, in 1838 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard served in the United States Army during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and was wounded twice.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard served in the United States Army from 1838 to 1861.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard was promoted to the rank of captain in 1853.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard married Caroline Deslonde in 1860. Caroline died in New Orleans in March 1864.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard was superintendent of the United States Military Academy for five days, from January 23-28, 1861. After Louisiana seceded from the Union (January 26, 1861), he resigned from the position.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard resigned his commission from the United States Army on February 20, 1861.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard was commissioned as the first brigadier general in the Confederate Army on March 1, 1861.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard commanded the Confederate forces that fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard served as a corps commander and second-in-command of field operations at the First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861), near Manassas, Virginia.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard was promoted to the rank of full general in the Confederate Army on August 31, 1861 (effective date, July 21, 1861).
  • Following the First Battle of Bull Run, P. G. T. Beauregard publicly criticized Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s war strategy, resulting in a personality conflict between the two men that lasted to the end of their lives and that probably stunted Beauregard’s military career.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard assumed command of the Confederate forces at the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862) when General Albert S. Johnston was mortally wounded on April 6.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard was severely criticized for his controversial decision to halt the Confederate assault at the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862) on the first day, thus allowing the Union army to launch a successful counterattack the next day after reorganizing and being reinforced overnight.
  • Confederate President Jefferson Davis relieved P. G. T. Beauregard of his command on June 27, 1862, because Beauregard went on sick leave without Davis’ approval.
  • On August 29, 1862, Beauregard was ordered to Charleston, South Carolina to command the Department of South Carolina and Georgia. For the next two years, he coordinated the defense of the Carolina and Georgia coast.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard commanded a Confederate force of 18,000 men that defeated Major General Benjamin Butler’s army of 30,000 soldiers at the Battle of Proctor’s Creek (May 12-14, 1864), ending Butler’s offensive against Richmond, Virginia.
  • From June 15-17, 1864, a small Confederate force of about 2,200 soldiers commanded by P. G. T. Beauregard held off repeated assaults by 16,000 Federals at the Second Battle of Petersburg until Robert E. Lee’s army arrived to defend the city.
  • On October 7, 1864, President Davis appointed P. G. T. Beauregard to command the Military Division of the West.
  • As commander the Military Division of the West, P. G. T. Beauregard was unable to stop William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea.
  • In 1865, P. G. T. Beauregard was relegated to second-in-command of the defense of the Carolina’s upon General Joseph Johnston’s return to active duty.
  • Following the American Civil War, P. G. T. Beauregard declined offers of high rank in the armies of Romania and Egypt.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard served as president of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Mississippi Railroad (1865-1870) and of the New Orleans and Carrollton Street Railway (1866-1876).
  • On July 4, 1868, President Andrew Johnson extended amnesty to a group of Confederate leaders, including P. G. T. Beauregard.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard participated in the formation of the Reform Party in Louisiana, a coalition of moderate Democrats who supported civil rights for African Americans.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard’s citizenship was completely restored by an act of Congress, which was signed by President Grant on July 24, 1876 .
  • P. G. T. Beauregard served as commissioner of the Louisiana Lottery between 1877 and 1893.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard served as Adjutant General for the State of Louisiana from 1879 to 1888.
  • P. G. T. Beauregard was elected as New Orleans’ commissioner of public works in 1888.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard - Facts
  • Coverage May 28, 1818–February 20, 1893
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 30, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 28, 2021
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