General P. G. T. Beauregard
Army of the Potomac Commander
The first two Confederate victories of the Civil War were led by Brigadier General P. G. T. Breauregard. He was in charge of the South Carolina troops that forced the surrender of Fort Sumter. He created and commanded the Confederate Army of the Potomac. The day before the Battle of First Bull Run or First Manassas, he was reduced to a corps commander under a senior officer, Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston. General Johnston had just arrived with his Army of the Shenandoah. During the battle, General Johnston allowed General Beauregard to exercise tactical command because he was familiar with the field. P. G. T. Beauregard was appointed to the position of General for the victory.
Conflicts with Confederate President Jefferson Davis prevented General Beauregard from appointment to further major commands. He was second in command to General Albert Sidney Johnston at the Battle of Shiloh. He took command when General Johnston was killed. General Beauregard had drafted the attack orders that nearly succeeded on the first day of the battle, but he also called off the attacks in the evening of the first day which might have produced a victory. When all of the Union armies arrived, the Confederate Army was driven from the field on the second day. He later had to evacuate Corinth, Mississippi when confronted with superior forces. He was relieved of his command by President Davis. General Beauregard was then placed in command of the coast from North Carolina to Florida. Charleston was the scene of determined resistance to naval and ground attacks. He was next ordered to southern Virginia. He commanded the early defense of Petersburg, and he was eventually made second in command to General Robert E. Lee. General Beauregard was then given overall command in the West over Lieutenant General John B. Hood's Army of Tennessee and Lieutenant General Richard Taylor's Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana. He was not given direct command of forces. Finally, General Beauregard was second in command to General Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina, and this force surrendered to Union Major General Sherman on April 26, 1865.
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was born on May 28, 1818 near New Orleans, Louisiana. His Creole parents were of French and Welch ancestry. He graduated in 1838 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was second in his class. During the Mexican War, he received two brevet promotions to major. He was wounded at the Battles of Churubusco and Chapultepec. He was appointed Superintendent of West Point on January 23, 1861, but he was replaced after five days because of his Southern sympathy. He resigned from the Union Army on February 20, 1861, and he was made a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army on March 1, 1861. After the Civil War, he was President of the New Orleans, Jackson and Mississippi Railway, Supervisor of the Louisiana Lottery, Commissioner of Public Works for New Orleans, and Louisiana Adjutant General. He died in New Orleans on February 20, 1893.
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