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Pierre G. T. Beauregard


“Duty before pleasure"

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, 1818-1893.  Confederate General, American Civil War.  Autographed Quotation Signed, G. T. Beauregard, on 3" x 5⅛" postal card, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 16, 1886.

Beauregard, one of the original five granted the rank of full General in the Confederate Army, sends his autograph beneath the motto “Duty before pleasure." He has hand-dated the piece New Orleans, La  / March 16th 1886. 

A fashion plate general in dress, with his dark mustache and goatee, Beauregard commanded the Confederate forces that bombarded the United States garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, starting the Civil War.  He gained praise for his leadership at the battle of First Bull Run, although his self-laudatory published report of the battle enraged Confederate President Jefferson Davis, whom Beauregard intensely disliked and with whom he continually feuded, by suggesting that Davis's interference prevented Beauregard from destroying the Union army and capturing Washington, D.C.  Davis nevertheless promoted Beauregard to the rank of full general.  Later Beauregard was criticized for failing to subdue Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grants federal forces at the Battle of Shiloh and for his subsequent retreat from Corinth, Mississippi, and Davis removed him from command. 

By 1864, however, Beauregard staved off Union forces under Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler to nullify a threat to Petersburg, Virginia, and Gen. Robert E. Lee's supply line, then defended won the Second Battle of Petersburg with a weak force of 5,400 that included old men, boys, and patients from military hospitals, holding Petersburg long enough for Lee's army to reinforce the city.  Sent back to the west, Beauregard could not control his subordinate, Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, and failed to stop Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, and up through the Carolinas.  Beauregard and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston surrendered their force to Sherman near Durham, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865.

Following First Bull Run, Beauregard was responsible for designing the Confederate battle flag, which he saw as necessary to avoid confusion of the Confederate "Stars and Bars" with the United States flag.

This is an excellent example of Beauregard's handwriting and signature.  He has written the note in jet black ink on the blank back of a 1 brown Jefferson postal card and signed with a bold 3½" signature and paraph.  The card is postmarked New Orleans March 18, 1886, and is generally toned, with a small stain in the blank right margin not affecting either Beauregard's handwriting or signature.  The card is self-addressed on the front by the collector who solicited Beauregard's autograph, and there are mounting traces on the front from prior mounting in an album.  Overall the piece is in fine condition, and the handwriting and signature are very fine.




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