Return to Charleston
B EAUREGARD arrived in Charleston on September 15. Before formally assuming command, he inspected the defenses of his department. With his predecessor, General John C. Pemberton, he spent a week examining the works from Charleston to Savannah. Not until the twenty-fourth did he announce his assignment to command. Then he issued a characteristic rhetorical proclamation in which he said he intended to rely on the bravery of his troops to sustain him. Apparently he expected little help from the administration.1
Beauregard did not like many of the defense arrangements which Pemberton had made, and he so informed the War Department. Forts Moultrie and Sumter he found to be in (good shape but needing some heavier guns. The batteries and works on Sullivan's and Morris islands were incomplete and poorly arranged. The Confederate line on James Island was too long and would have to be shortened. He told the government that he would need more guns, material to build boom obstructions in the harbor, and several gunboats. And of course he thought he should be reinforced. In his command were approximately twenty thousand men, of whom over twelve thousand were in South Carolina and the rest in Georgia. He and Pemberton agreed that the force should be doubled. In essence, Beauregard's plan for the defense of Charleston called for the building and arming of an extensive line that would prevent the Federals from entering Charleston by sea or land.2
That the Federals would try to enter was certain. Charleston was high on their list of places wanted. Not only was the city a hated symbol of rebellion to the North; it was one of the biggest loopholes in the Federal blockade of the Atlantic coast. Vessels carrying sup____________________
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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: 166.
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