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Publisher's Summary

“On the refusal of Major Anderson to engage, in compliance with my demand, to designate the time when he would evacuate Fort Sumter, and to agree meanwhile not to use his guns against us, at 3.20 o'clock in the morning of the 12th instant I gave him formal notice that within one hour my batteries would open on him.” - P.G.T. Beauregard’s official report on Fort Sumter  

Despite the fact that the Civil War was fought nearly 150 years ago, it remains a polarizing topic for the country to this day, and Americans continue to debate who the greatest generals of the war were, arguing the pros and cons and battle records of the men who fought. 

Although Confederate generals like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and JEB Stuart have long been the most celebrated men of the South, in April 1861, the man of the hour was P.G.T. Beauregard, the South’s hero of Fort Sumter. Though Beauregard has never been considered one of the pantheon members of the South, it was he who was in command at Fort Sumter and responsible for the first shots of the Civil War.  

Though Beauregard is remembered for his participation at Fort Sumter, the rest of his military career and personal life have been mostly relegated to the footnotes of history books. However, Beauregard was one of the most unique men of the war. A creole born in Louisiana, Beauregard’s foreign appearance and demeanor were inescapable among his contemporaries, but he had a long and distinguished career at West Point and in the Mexican-American War even before the Civil War.

Furthermore, Beauregard was one of the few who fought in crucial battles in both the East and West, commanding at the First Battle of Bull Run and later Shiloh, and his defense of Petersburg in 1864 saved the Confederacy for nearly another year.  

©2013 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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