Page images
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

Pastored socongng cat of Curarse 0.1903 Vira, orton cu dhe orky Marppa

ducact court car fi

[blocks in formation]

officer who had been sent by the gov- the Corps of Engineers. In June, 1839, ernment of the Confederate States to he was promoted a first lieutenant, and take command at Charleston.

was serving in this grade when the war Peter Gustavus Toutant Beauregard with Mexico broke out.

He accompahad already, while in the service of the nied the army to Vera Cruz, and conUnited States, won a distinguished rep- tinued with it during its career of conutation as an engineer. He was born quest to the capital of Mexico. on his father's plantation, near New Or- At the very first moment he gave inleans. The family name is said to be dications of that surety of eye, precision Toutant, and that of the estate Beaure- of foresight, and carefulness of judgment gard, which, by a curious accident, was which are his distinguishing qualities. originally attached to the patronymic, Before Vera Cruz, he was sent out at and assumed by the present bearer, in the head of a party of sappers and this wise : The youth, when admitted a miners to dig and prepare a trench, in cadet at West Point, was presented as accordance with the directions of his Toutant de Beauregard, signifying mere- colonel. Upon examining the ground, ly that he was a Toutant of the planta- however, he appeared to find serious tion of Beauregard, and thus entered obstacles to the proposed plan. To asupon the records of the institution. sure himself, he climbed a tree, and This, however, was supposed to be his with the aid of his glass took a careful surname, and he was so called. Not survey, which resulted in confirming the averse, probably, to the dignified sound- objections to his colonel's plan. He dising of the appeilation, the youth did not covered that the trench, if made as procare to correct the error, and subse- posed, would be enfiladed by the enquently assumed the name of Beaure- emy's guns. It was a difficult position gard as his own.

for a young subaltern thus to find himHis father was a wealthy creole, with self at variance with the judgment of his extensive estates in Louisiana, and a superior. He, however, did not hesidescendant of a reputable French fam- tate, but returned to his colonel without ily. His mother's name was Reggio, having turned a sod. The officer, surfor whom has been claimed a descent prised to see him so soon, asked if he from the Italian ducal house of the Reg- had done the work already. Beauregios of Italy. In 1834, young Beaure- gard replied that he had not touched it, gard entered the military academy at and gave his reasons.

The colonel was West Point, where he graduated in 1838, still more startled by the presumption ranking the second of a class of forty- of the youthful subaltern who had venfive cadets. On his graduation, he re- tured to dispute the judgment of his suceived the commission of a second lieu- perior, instead of submissively obeying tenant in the First Regiment of Artillery, his orders. He accordingly, with the but in a week after was transferred to characteristic presumptuousness of the

military commander, reminded him of ness of his judgment is given in the
duties of obedience, and at the same following incident, said to have occurred
time impatiently declared that “the before the city of Mexico :
ground had been thoroughly examined, A night or two before the attack, a
a perfect reconnoisance had been made, council of war was held. There were
and that a mistake was impossible." assembled all the officers, from the Lieu-
Notwithstanding this, he was impressed tenant-General, including Major-General
by the judgment of Beauregard, and Worth and others, down to Beauregard,
took another survey of the ground, the youngest in the room. The council
when he found reason to concur with sat many hours. All the officers, but
the view of his

young lieutenant. one, had spoken, and unanimously mainFor his gallant conduct at Contreras tained a plan of operations at variance and Cherubusco, Beauregard was bre- with that of Scott. The officer who vetted captain, to date from 20th of had not tendered his opinion was BeauAugust, 1847, and again for his services regard. At last General Pierce crossed at Chapultepec, he was promoted to the over and said: “You have not expressed brevet rank of major, to date from the an opinion.” “I have not been called on," 13th of September of the same year. said Beauregard. Pierce, soon resum

At the assault of the Belen gate of the ing his seat, announced that Lieutenant city of Mexico, Beauregard was wounded, Beauregard had not given his views. and throughout the whole campaign he Being then called upon, he remarked, that was not only among the most brave, but if the plan which had received the conranked among the ablest and most use- sent of all but the commanding general ful of the officers. General Scott, in his was carried into effect, it would prove dispatch from the capital of Mexico, into disastrous. It would be another Cheruwhich he had just entered as conqueror, busco affair. He then detailed the obspoke of Beauregard as one of “our dis- | jections to it at length; and taking up tinguished engineers," by the aid of the other, urged the reasons in its favor whose efficient and daring reconnois- with equal earnestness. The council ances, he was enabled to follow up the reversed their decision. The city of victory of El Molino del Rey with the Mexico was entered according to the triumphal capture of the city of Mexico. plan urged by the young lieutenant, Again, in his official report, Scott al- and it would seem that his reasonsinluded to Beauregard as one of the five fluenced the decision. A few days afterlieutenants of engineers “who were the ward, General Scott, in the presenee of admiration of all” during the storming a number of general officers, alluded to of the fortress of Chapultepec, the strug- Lieutenant Beauregard's opinion at the gle at the gates, and the entrance into council, and the consequences which had the capital.

followed from it. Another illustration of the correct- On his return to Louisiana, the young

[ocr errors][merged small]



liero was presented with a costly sword. the batteries surrounding Fort Sumter The Government of the United States opened fire. Major Anderson waited appointed him the chief engineer to su- until full daylight, as he did not care to perintend the construction of the Mint waste any of his ammunition before reand Custom house at New Orleans, and plying. He, however, immediately orof the fortifications at the mouth of the dered the sentinels away from the paraMississippi.

pets, the posterns closed, the flag drawn Beauregard is now (1862) about forty- up, and forbid his men to leave the three years of age, and with his healthful bomb-proofs until summoned by the manhood, his vigorous and concentrated drum. frame, his promptitude of movement The extent of the enemy's fire greatly and power of endurance, has all the surprised the garrison, which, however, bodily qualifications for a hardy cam- was now explained by the revelation, for paigner. His abilities and thorough cul- the first time, of a battery of which there ture as an engineer are unquestioned, and had been hitherto no suspicion. This his admirers claim for him great capacity was a battery on Sullivan's Island, as a strategist and leader of armies. masked by a cover of brush-wood and

Born in Louisiana, and bound to it other materials. Skilfully constructed, by the strong ties of family and prop- heavily mounted, and artfully protected, erty, he has not unnaturally joined his its fire was very effective. It showed destiny to the fate of his native State. seventeen mortars, throwing ten-inch He is, moreover, supposed to have been shells, and thirty-three heavy cannons, early involved in the Southern conspir- most of which were columbiads. The acy, through the influence of his brother- shots from these powerful guns struck in-law, John Slidell, the former senator against the walls of Fort Sumter with a of the United States from Louisiana, and "terrific crash,” as the defenders deone of the main instigators of the present clared, and several of the shells burst rebellion.

inside the fort. “By authority of Brigadier-General Major Anderson, however, did not reBeauregard, commanding the provisional spond, and as late as half-past six o'clock April forces of the Confederate States, had not fired a shot, the men at that 12.

we have the honor to notify you hour being at breakfast, which they ate that he will open the fire of his batteries “ leisurely and calmly.” Immediately on Fort Sumter in one hour from this after, however, everything was got ready time.” This was the communication ad- for work. The garrison was so few in dressed by the aids-de-camp of Beaure- number and so worn out by the harassgard to Major Anderson at twenty min- ing labors of a long siege, that it was utes past three o'clock on the morning found necessary to husband its strength. of Friday, the 12th of April. At twenty The whole was accordingly divided into minutes past four o'clock, accordingly, three reliefs or parties, which were to

« PreviousContinue »