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CIVIL WAR TREASURES:
Louisiana Legends: Collections feature items related to P. G. T. Beauregard, as well as the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)

by Jewett, Leah Wood Issue: Spring 2009

Louisiana Legend


Collections feature items related to P. G. T. Beauregard, as well as the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)

Louis Bringier papers, Mss. 43, 139, 544, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Among the papers of Louis Bringier1, a Louisiana planter (Hermitage Plantation) who served in the Confederacy, one can find a handwritten copy of “Report of the Battle of Manassa” [sic] by Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant (P. G. T.) Beauregard. In this letter to General S. Cooper, Adjutant Inspector General, the general describes his proposed strategy at First Manassas, which, as he notes, was rejected by his superiors. This post-battle report, along with additional details, was ultimately published in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 2 (pp. 484-504). The handwritten copy is undated, but the OR shows the date “August 26 [October 14], 1861.”

Report of the Battle of Manassa

G. T. Beauregard, Genl Comdg 1st Corps
Army of the Potomac

To
Genl S. Cooper2 – Adjt Insp Genl
Richmond, Va

General
Before entering upon a narrative of the general military operations in the presence of the enemy on the 21st of July, I propose, I hope not unseasonably, first to recite certain events, which belong to the strategy of the campaign, and consequently form an essential part of the history of the Battle.

Having become satisfied that the advance of the enemy, with a decidedly superior force, both as to numbers and war equipage, to attack or turn my position in this quarter, was immediately impending, I dispatched on the 13th of July one of my staff, Colonel James Chestnut, of South Carolina, to submit for the consideration of the President, a plan of operations, substantially as follows:

I proposed that Genl Johnston should unite as soon as possible, the bulk of the Army of the Shenandoah with that of the Potomac, then under my command, leaving only sufficient forces to garrison his strong works at Winchester, and to guard the fine defensive passes of the Blue Ridge, and thus hold Patterson in check. At the same time Brig. Genl Holmes3was to march hither with all of his command not essential for the defense of the position of Aquia Creek4. These junctions having been effected at Manassas, an immediate impetuous attack of our combined armies upon Genl McDowell5 was to follow, as soon as he approached my advanced positions at, and around Fairfax C.H.6, with the inevitable result, as I submitted, of his complete defeat, and the destruction or capture of his army. This accomplished, the Army of the Shenandoah, under Genl Johnston7, increased with a part of my forces, and rejoined as he returned by the detachments left to hold the mountain passes, was to march back rapidly into the Valley, fall upon and crush Patterson8, with a superior force wheresoever he might be found. This I confidently estimated, could be achieved within fifteen days after Genl Johnston should march from Winchester for Manassa. Meanwhile, I was to occupy the enemy's works, on this side of the Potomac if, as I anticipated, he had been so routed as to enable me to enter them with him; or if not, to retire again for a time within the lines of Bull Run with my main force. Patterson having been virtually destroyed, then Genl Johnston would reinforce Genl Garnett9 sufficiently to make him superior to his opponent, Genl McClellan10, and able to defeat that officer. This done, Genl Garnett was to form an immediate junction with Genl Johnston, who was forthwith to cross the Potomac into Maryland with his whole force, arouse the people as he advanced the recovery of their political rights and the defence [sic] of their homes and families from an offensive invader, and then march to the investment of Washington in the rear, whilst I resumed the offensive in front. This plan of operations, you are aware, was not accepted at the time, from considerations which appeared so weighty as to more than counterbalance its proposed advantages.

Informed of these views, and of the decision of the War Department, I then made my preparations for the stoutest practicable defence of the line of Bull Run, the enemy having now developed his purposes by the advance on and occupation of Fairfax C. H., from which my advanced brigade had been withdrawn.

G. T. Beauregard
General Comdg

A true copy
F. A. Guyol

Regardless of the derailing of Beauregard’s original plans, Southern forces ultimately won the battle, dashing Northern hopes for a quick end to secession and war. Louisiana’s Creole Confederate went on to achieve mythical status, in spite of the controversy surrounding him in his post-war years with the RR11 and the infamous Louisiana Lottery Company. The Manassas National Battlefield Park offers a summary of the battle online at http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/hh/15/hh15c.htm.

Footnotes
1. Louis Amedee Bringier, son of Michael Doradou Bringier and Louise Elizabeth Aglae Du Bourg, was a planter residing at Hermitage Plantation, Ascension Parish, Louisiana. During the Civil War, Bringier served as a colonel in the Confederate Army under Colonel Louis Bush of the 4th Louisiana Cavalry. After Colonel Bush’s resignation Louis Bringier commanded the 7th Louisiana Regiment. At the close of the war he returned to Hermitage Plantation to resume planting. A finding aid for the Louis A. Bringier and Family Papers is available online at http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/findaid/0043.pdf.
2. Confederate Brigadier General Samuel Cooper
3. Confederate Brigadier General Theophilus Hunter Holmes
4. Confederate forces protecting the railroad to Richmond endured bombardment by Union gunboats at the mouth of Aquia Creek in Summer 1861 during the Union blockade of Chesapeake Bay.
5. Union Brigadier General Irvin McDowell. He was replaced by Major General George B. McClellan after the defeat at First Manassas.
6. Fairfax Court House
7. Confederate Brigadier General Joseph Eggleston Johnston
8. Union Major General Robert Patterson
9. Confederate Brigadier General Robert Selden Garnett. He was mortally wounded during the Battle of Rich Mountain, making him the first general officer to be killed in the Civil War.
10. Union Major General George Britton McLellan

Sources: National Park Service, CWSAC Battle Summaries: Aquia Creek. Http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/abpp/battles/va002.htm, accessed April 27, 2009. Warner, Ezra, Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1964. Warner, Ezra, Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1959.

There are several manuscript materials and published items within the LSU Libraries that are associated with either General Beauregard or the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run). Collections contain originals, photocopies and microfilmed documents.

The sources listed in this column represent a sampling of the library’s holdings. Researchers can find a complete, detailed listing of materials – both manuscript items and publications – by accessing the online catalog at http://www.lib.lsu.edu. Information on accessing materials held in LSU Libraries Special Collections in Hill Memorial Library can be found online via the following link: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/start.html.

Manuscript Collections
P. G. T. Beauregard
G. T. Beauregard Engraving, Mss. 2949
Small engraving of General G. T. Beauregard.
P.G.T. Beauregard Cartoon, Mss. 3111
Hand colored cartoon by N. Orr (Nathaniel Orr) showing him on his back in a rough stream of water blowing a bugle. Caption reads "Beauregard in his last Ditch."
Pierre G.T. Beauregard and Family Papers, Mss. 601
Picture album of the Beauregard family and others, circa 19th century. P.G.T. Beauregard Letters, Mss. 2128
Letters from Beauregard to Wharton discuss personal matters and the authorship and publication of Beauregard's reminiscences on the Civil War. A letter (1858) gives Wharton advice on how to succeed in life; a letter (1862) from R. M. Smith, provost marshal of the Confederate Army, concerns Beauregard's order to burn bales of cotton belonging to Andrew Turnbull, a British subject.
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard Letter (1888), Mss. 2806
Beauregard's letter discusses great generals of ancient and modern times, listing generals which Beauregard esteemed most highly.
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard Letter (1892), Mss. 3222
Letter from Beauregard to General Fitz-John Porter of New York, declining an invitation to attend a meeting of the Aztec Club. The Club was organized in 1847 as a fraternal society for officers serving under General Winfield Scott's command in Mexico City.
Beauregard Miscellany, Mss. 763, 780, 785, etc.
The Beauregard Miscellany consists of correspondence, military records, succession papers, and other documents created and accumulated by P.G.T. Beauregard and his family members between 1839 and 1918. The records document Beauregard's military service before and during the Civil War, his uncertain situation immediately after the war, his postwar discussion and debate about his and others' actions during the war, and the settlement of his estate after his death. The papers also include documents created by family members: a letter by his father, Jacques Toutant Beauregard (1851), and an undated memoir by his son, Rene Toutant Beauregard. Some items are photocopies.
George W. Brent letter (1871), Mss. 3196
A letter, addressed to General G. T. Beauregard, sent from Alexandria, Va. Letter recalls the facts, as Brent remembers them, of the Petersburg Mine assault on July 30, 1864. Letter has penciled corrections in Beauregard's hand, some initialed by him.
Fort Jackson Engineering Sketches, Mss. 1343
Engineering sketches (1841-1843) of Fort Jackson, Plaquemines Parish, sent to Major P. G. T. Beauregard in 1858. Sketch (1856) shows the shore line of the Mississippi River near the fort drawn under the direction of Major Beauregard.
John Milton Papers, Mss. 786
Typewritten copies of four letters by Governor John Milton of Florida to General P.G.T. Beauregard and two letters by Beauregard to Milton discussing political and military affairs in Florida during the Civil War.
Picture Album of the Beauregard Family and Others, Mss. 1020
Album of cartes-de-visite card photographs of members of the Beauregard family, including photographs of P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert E. Lee.
Alfred Roman Papers, Mss. 776, 815
The Alfred Roman Papers contain photostatic copies of military reports (1864-1865) and French language letters with typewritten English translations from Alfred Roman to P.G.T. Beauregard discussing the writing, publishing, and subsequent criticism of Roman's biography Beauregard (1872-1887). A microfilm copy of volumes 1-2 of the Roman Papers in the Library of Congress is also included.
W.S. Rosecrans Selected Correspondence, Mss. 1760
Letters by Generals P.G.T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee, and Charles P. Stone selected from the correspondence of General William Starke Rosecrans.

First Manassas (Bull Run)
Priscilla Munnikhuysen Bond Papers, Mss. 2155

Two diaries (1858-1865) record Priscilla's daily activities and her observations about contemporary events, social life, friends, and family members. Civil War activities described in the diaries include battles at Manassas, Virginia and Mansfield, skirmishes and battles in Terrebonne, Lafourche and Calcasieu Parishes and in the towns of Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
Zoe J. Campbell Diaries, Mss. 1274
The diaries list Campbell's expenses (1857-1860), her condolence visits (1860-1861), her piano lessons (1857-1859), and the costs of rail travel from Algiers (near New Orleans) to nearby places (1860). Beginning in May 1861, the diaries record events related to the Civil War. Events and topics discussed include the secession of North Carolina; the killing of Colonel Ellsworth at Alexandria, Virginia; the Washington Artillery of New Orleans; battles at Manassas and Lexington, Missouri; Confederate prisoners of war including women prisoners; the bombardment of New Orleans; the Federal occupation; devaluation of Confederate money; the closing and burning of commercial banks in New Orleans; a crevasse damaging a New Orleans levee; citizens relief for orphans of Confederate families; and a Negro emancipation parade. Also mentioned are social events in New Orleans, medical prescriptions, religion, and the Catholic Church.
Civil War Letters, Mss. 983
Letters written by Union soldiers detail camp life and refer to military engagements at Centerville, Manassas, Williamsburg and Richmond. Letters were written primarily from army camps including Camp Brightwood and Camp Babcock.
Mary E. Compton Family Papers, Mss. 1299
Personal papers include items related to the management of Walnut Grove Plantation and personal letters of the Compton family, including enlargement prints of Civil War and post Civil War letters from Captain Henry E. Handerson. These letters describe life at Camp Bienville, detail the losses suffered by Stafford's Brigade at the Battle of Manassas, provide information about Confederate soldiers from Rapides Parish who served in Virginia.
William Davis Cotton Family Papers, Mss. 4780
Letters from Drury P. Gibson to Mary Gibson Cotton describe life in various camps in Georgia and Virginia as a member of Major Chatham Wheat's Battalion. He discusses battles in Manassas, Williamsburg, and Richmond, Va., and provides information about the specific battlefields, life inside each camp, and his role as physician and surgeon in his battalion.
Thomas J. Goree Papers, Mss. 886
The collection consists of photographic copies and a bound typescript of correspondence of Thomas J. Goree. Goree's Civil War letters (1861-1864) are written from Longstreet's headquarters in Virginia and are addressed to friends and members of his family in Texas. These letters describe General Longstreet's command, the battle of Manassas, railroad transportation, illnesses, the battle of Chickahominy, and actions of John Bell Hood in Tennessee.
Henry N. Schlick Papers, Mss. 1686
The Civil War correspondence among Henry, John, and Theodore discusses family matters, the high cost of living during war times, war casualties, contrabands, hardships of camp life, and various troop activities and movements. Specific campaigns mentioned include Bull Run, Peninsular, Gettysburg, and Spotsylvania.
Stewart Family Correspondence, Mss. 1002
Typed transcriptions of letters and a poem associated with the Stewart family. Included are a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Ben Stewart of Beaver Creek, Ala., from W.H. Clark, a soldier stationed near Manassas, Va., who boasts of the number and strength of Confederate forces arrayed there and the comparative weakness of opposing U.S. Army troops.
William Terry and Family Papers, Mss. 915
Papers consist of personal correspondence of the Terry and related Jefferies families, in addition to miscellaneous items of the Ellett and Baillio families. Civil War letters written by members of the Jefferies family comment on troop movements, battles (e.g., Manassas, Yorktown, and Fort Pickens), and concern for slaves and property.
Wright-Boyd Family Papers, Mss. 3362
Papers consist of correspondence, diaries, journals, memoirs, business papers and photographs of members of the Wright and Boyd families. Several letters written to Mary Wright document David Workman’s experiences in the Louisiana Seminary and as a Confederate soldier. Correspondence from David to other members of his family includes a letter to his Aunt, Belle Cheney (Aug. 1, 1861) describing the battle of Manassas [Bull Run] and his convalescence after measles at the home of the Newman family in Gordonsville, Virginia, and to Esther Wright Boyd (Oct. 10, 1861) describing conditions in military hospitals in Virginia.

Pre-1900 Publications
Barnard, J. G. The C.S.A. and the Battle of Bull Run. (A Letter to an English Friend.) New York: D. Van Nostrand; [etc., etc.] 1862.
Beauregard, G. T. (Gustave Toutant). A Commentary on the Campaign and Battle of Manassas, of July 1861… with a Summary of the Art of War. New York, London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1891.
Beauregard, G. T. (Gustave Toutant). Principles and Maxims of the Art of War; Outpost Service; General Instructions for Battle; Reviews. New Orleans: E.A. Brandao & Co., 1884.
Beauregard, G. T. (Gustave Toutant). The Louisiana State Lottery. A Card from Generals Beauregard & Early to the Public. New Orleans: L. Graham Print, [1879].
Coffin, Charles Carleton. Four Years of Fighting: A Volume of Personal Observation with the Army and Navy, From the First Battle of Bull Run to the Fall of Richmond. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1866.
Confederate States of America, War Dept. Official Reports of Generals Johnston and Beauregard of the battle of Manassas, July 21st, 1861. Richmond, Enquirer Book and Job Press, 1862.
Confederate States of America, War Dept. Report of General G. T. Beauregard of the Defence of Charleston. Richmond: R. M. Smith, public printer (on behalf of Confederate States of America, War Department), 1864.
Smith, Gustavus Woodson. Generals J. E. Johnston and G. T. Beauregard at the battle of Manassas, July 1861. New York, C. G. Crawford, printer, 1892.
Stedman, Edmund C. The Battle of Bull Run. New York: Rudd & Carleton, 1861.

review of CIVIL WAR TREASURES:
Louisiana Legends: Collections feature items related to P. G. T. Beauregard, as well as the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)
, by Jewett, Leah Wood, Civil War Book Review, (Spring 2009).