To The Shores of Charleston
O N JUNE 15, 1848, the steamer Portland arrived in New Orleans from Mexico with the first soldiers to be returned from the war. Among the passengers were Beauregard and Lee. Beauregard's first official action after getting home was to ask Colonel Totten for leave with pay until November. At this time he was a sick man. The fever and ague he had contracted at Mexico City attacked him at monthly intervals or whenever he exposed himself to bad weather. Not until a year later, after he had taken the water treatment at Biloxi on the Mississippi Gulf coast, did he consider himself cured.1
For the next twelve years Beauregard was in charge of what the Engineer Department called "the Mississippi and Lake defences in Louisiana." Ironically enough, much of his work was done elsewhere; he repaired old forts and built new ones on the Florida coast and in Mobile harbor. In Louisiana his chief task was to repair and make defensible Forts St. Philip and Jackson on the Mississippi about seventy-five miles below New Orleans. These forts were supposed to command the river against a foe attacking from the sea. Much labor was spent on them but not much Congressional money, and they were incomplete when the Civil War started -- with fatal results for Beauregard's beloved city.2
As he went about his work, Beauregard still carried the bitterness he had brought out of the war. When he heard that the War Department was going to publish a new list of brevets, he wrote to Quitman, now in politics, and asked the general to use his influence to____________________
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Publication information: Book title: P. G. T. Beauregard:Napoleon in Gray. Contributors: T. Harry Williams - Author. Publisher: Louisiana State University Press. Place of publication: Baton Rouge, LA. Publication year: 1955. Page number: 34.