Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a Louisiana-born general of the Confederate States Army. He had graduated second in his class from West Point in 1838 and was an admirer of Napoleon. He achieved fame early in the Civil War for commanding the Fort Sumter bombardment and as the victor of the first battle of Manassas. He later served in the Western Theater (including Shiloh and Corinth), Charleston, and the defense of Richmond, but his career was hampered by friction with Jefferson Davis and other generals.
This is one of approximately 1000 military telegrams in P.G.T. Beauregard’s papers at the Rosenbach.
Head Quarters May 18th 1862
By telegraph from Memphis Tenn
To Gen Beauregard
If gunboats can aid us now or hereafter in holding this river between Fort Pillow and Vicksburg in gaining entire possession of it would it not be best to take iron from the Mobile + Ohio railroad +Memphis +Ohio road. Send it down the Miss + up the Yazoo + by casing some of our best boats with it + with cotton bales convert them into gunboats + rams.
Citation: John T. Trezevant, telegram to G. T. Beauregard. Memphis; 18 May 1862. AMs 1168/11