Lot 2
  • 2

Beauregard, P.G.T.

6,000 - 8,000 USD
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  • ink and paper
Autograph letter signed ("G.T. Beauregard"). 4 page (10 x 7 3/4 in.; 256 x 198 mm), in brown ink on blue paper, Charleston, October 7th 1863, to general Braxton Bragg in Chattanooga; formerly folded, remnants of mounting on the last page.

Catalogue Note

Beauregard expresses his disagreement on the Chattanooga campaign and Confederate Army strategy.

After the defeat of Gettysburg and the victory of Chickamauga, the Confederate army planned to run another offensive to the North. Beauregard expresses his opposition to that strategy, proposing that Confederate forces, divided on the field, concentrate on the south side of the Potomac: "I have been informed from Richmond that the Army of Va is about to take the offensive again to prevent Meade from reinforcing Rosecrans thus repeating to a certain extent the campaing of the last July into Pennsylvania which did not save Middle Tennessee and the Mississippi Valley? (...) It is evident to my mind that (...) Lee cannot prevent Rosecrans from being reinforced by about 40.000 or 50.000 men (...) Rosecrans has now about your own supposed effective force - say: 60.000 man of all arms- he will then have about 110.000 men against 30.000. War being a contest of "Masses against fractions", all other things being equal you would certainly be defeated!". There follows a list of possible hypothetical disasters for the Confederacy. "(...) Can these calamities be avoided and in what way? If my opinion for once could be listened to, I would say again, act entirely on the defensive".
Then, as a pinch to Bragg or even more to Davis, Beauregard wants to take forthcoming glory for the strategy: "Should you approve of this plan, can you not address it as your own to the War Dept in the hope of its being adopted: what I desire is our success. I care not who gets the credit for it (...) let us then unite all our efforts in a last struggle."

After Davis gave the command of the West to Bragg against Beauregard's will, Beauregard remains unhappy and his frustration appears very clear in his letter to his rival.