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____________________