Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a Louisiana-born author, civil servant, politician, inventor, and first prominent general for the Confederacy. Beauregard was trained as a civil engineer at the United States Military Academy and served with distinction as an engineer in the Mexican-American War. Following an extremely brief tenure as the superintendent of the Military Academy in 1861, he became the first Confederate brigadier general and commanded the defenses of Charleston, South Carolina, for the start of the Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Three months later he was the victor at the First Battle of Bull Run.
Beauregard commanded armies in the Western Theater, including the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, and the Siege of Corinth in Northern Mississippi. He returned to Charleston and defended it from repeated naval and land attacks in 1863. His arguably greatest achievement was saving the city of Petersburg, Virginia, and thus also the Confederate capital of Richmond, from assaults by overwhelmingly superior Union Army forces in the June of 1864. However, his influence over Confederate strategy was marred by his poor relationships with Confederate President Jefferson Davis and other generals. In April 1865, Beauregard and his commander, General Joseph E. Johnston, convinced Davis and the remaining cabinet members that the war needed to end, and the majority of the remaining confederate armies were surrendered to Sherman.
Following his career, Beauregard was one of the few wealthy Confederate veterans because of his role in promoting the Louisiana Lottery. He died in 1893 and is buried in New Orleans in the tomb of the Army of the Tennessee.