P. G. T. Beauregard: Napoleon in Gray

By T. Harry Williams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER F OUR
The Guns of Sumter

CHARLESTON first saw Beauregard on March 3 when he reached the city and went quietly to Pickens' headquarters at the Charleston Hotel. For the next four years the entire Confederacy would see him through a haze of drama and glory that enveloped no other Southern general.

He is one of the most frequently described generals in Confederate annals. Significantly, nearly every observer noted that he looked French or foreign. He was five feet seven in height and weighed about one hundred and fifty pounds. He had dark hair and eyes and a sallow, olive complexion. His features were marked by a broad brow, high cheekbones, a cropped mustache, and a protruding chin. His eyes fascinated most people; large, melancholy, with drooping lids, they were likened by one man to the eyes of a bloodhound with his fighting instincts asleep but ready to leap into instant action. In manner he was courteous, grave, sometimes reserved and severe, sometimes abrupt with people who displeased him. His expression was fixed, impassive; associates saw him go for months without smiling. He was most likely to erupt into excitement, to show the fire beneath, by suddenly launching into an impassioned defense of the Southern cause. His voice was clear and pleasant, with a barely perceptible French accent. At first acquaintance he impressed people as being modest, industrious, indomitable. Many who saw him thought that he looked like a French marshal or like Napoleon in a gray uniform -- which was what he wanted them to think.1

____________________
1
A. L. Hull (ed.), "The Correspondence of Thomas Reade Roote Cobb, 1860-1862", in Publications of the Southern History Association, XI ( 1907), 327; Edward A. Pollard, The Lost Cause ( New York, 1867), 139-40; Edward A. Pollard , The First Year of the War ( Richmond, 1862), 61n.; John Esten Cooke , Wearing of the Gray... ( New York, 1867), 85-89; John S. Wise, The End of an Era ( New York, 1900), 330-31; Linton Stephens to R. M. Johnston, August 2, 1861, in Alexander H. Stephens Papers ( Emory University Library); Peter W. Hairston to Mrs. Hairston, September 3, 1861, in Peter W. Hairston Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library); Fremantle, Three Months in the Southern States, 193.

-51-

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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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