P. G. T. Beauregard: Napoleon in Gray

By T. Harry Williams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
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

____________________
1
New Orleans Picayune, June 20, 1848; Beauregard to Totten, June 19, 1848, in War Department, Letters Received, Engineer Department files (National Archives); Beauregard to Totten, August 9, 1849, in Office of Chief of Engineer files.
2
Beauregard's work in this period can be followed in his reports in War Department, Letters Received, Engineer Department files. See also New Orleans Picayune, October 26, December 21, 1852, and Beauregard to Captain A. H. Bowman, December 1, 1854, in Beauregard Papers ( Tulane University).

-34-

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P. G. T. Beauregard: Napoleon in Gray
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Maps xiii
  • Chapter One - The Creole 1
  • Chapter Two - The Halls of Montezuma 13
  • Chapter Three 34
  • Chapter F Our - The Guns of Sumter 51
  • Chapter Five - Napoleonic Planning at Manassas 66
  • Chapter Seven - Pity for Those in High Authority 96
  • Chapter Eight - With Albert Sidney Johnston 113
  • Chapter Nine - Shiloh 133
  • Chapter Ten 150
  • Chapter Eleven - Return to Charleston 166
  • Chapter Twelve - The Big Bombardment 185
  • Chapter Thirteen - Return to Virginia 197
  • Chapter Fourteen - On The Petersburg Line 212
  • Chapter Fifteen - Commander of the West 236
  • Chapter Sixteen - Reconstruction 257
  • Chapter Seventeen - Painting the Monkey's Tail 273
  • Chapter Eighteen - The Louisiana Lottery 291
  • Chapter Nineteen - Ghosts and Ghostwriters 304
  • Chapter Twenty - Death of a Hero 319
  • Critical Essay on Authorities 330
  • Index 339
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