P. G. T. Beauregard: Napoleon in Gray

By T. Harry Williams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINETEEN
Ghosts and Ghostwriters

THOMAS JORDAN, Beauregard's former chief of staff, had literary ambitions. He saw himself as the Thucydides of the Confederacy, writing its tragic history and encouraging generals -- the ones he liked -- to compose their personal source accounts. Hardly had the war ended when he commenced his historical activities. Living in New York, he approached the editor of Harper's Magazine proposing to do an article on Jefferson Davis, then a captive in a Federal prison. The editor liked the idea, and Jordan wrote the piece, a blistering attack on Davis' war leadership. He sent the proofsheets to Beauregard.1

In an accompanying letter Jordan said that he knew he would be accused of kicking Davis when he was down. He had considered the validity of this criticism and rejected it. Whatever Davis' situation, it was the duty of Jordan and others to proclaim the great truth that the former President had brought his country to ruin. He expected to write more articles, Jordan added, and in all of them he would demonstrate that Beauregard was the real genius of the South. He suggested that Beauregard himself do a review of the strategy of the war.2

Beauregard was horrified when he read the paper. He realized that the Southern people would naturally think he had inspired Jordan to write it. Immediately he dashed off letters to Jordan and to Harper's begging that the article not be published at the present. In his communication to the magazine he said that he had no objection to assailing Davis; in fact, he could speak a few words on that subject himself. But he did not think it was fair to criticize a prisoner who could not reply. His request was refused. Harper's answered that the article was in print and that being considered an appropriate

____________________
1
Thomas Jordan, "Jefferson Davis," in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, XXXI ( 1865), 610-20.
2
Jordan to Beauregard, August 12, 1865, in Jordan Papers ( Duke University).

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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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