, to protect it more effectually from access by vessels attempting to carry reinforcements and supplies to Fort Sumter
Upon his arrival at New Orleans, Governor Moore
furnished him with a copy of the Ordinance of Secession, and informed him that his services were required to complete the defences to the approaches of the city, which were already in full possession of the State
His answer was that he could not do so until he had formally resigned his commission in the United States
This he did that day, and then joined, as a private, the battalion of Orleans Guards, composed of the élite
of the Creole
population of the city of New Orleans
This command had just been organized by Colonel Numa Augustin
, than whom no better citizen soldier was known, in the volunteer service of the State
The excitement and enthusiasm of the people of Louisiana
and of New Orleans, especially, were intense.
The shrill sound of the fife, the beating of drums, squad drills at street corners and in public avenues, and an ever-increasing military spirit greeted one at every step.
New Orleans had been transformed into a garrison town.
All who met Major Beauregard
on the streets, friends and even strangers, would shake him warmly by the hand, expressing the hope that he would be with them in the hour of trial, should such hour ever come.
The general impression appeared to be that the ruling party of the Northern States
would not oppose the peaceable withdrawal of the Southern States
from the Union
, by making war on them.
During his short sojourn at the North Major Beauregard
had seen and heard enough to make him doubt that such would be the result, and it became a matter of conscience for him to dispel the illusions of his too-hopeful fellow-citizens.
The people of the State of Louisiana
, in convention assembled, after full discussion by their ablest and best men, reached the conclusion that secession had become a necessity and was the only course to be pursued.
The State called upon her sons for assistance, and, as one of them, Major Beauregard
responded; though, after having been twenty-two years in the United States army, two of these spent in a short but glorious foreign war, where friendships had been created and cemented with blood, it was not to be expected that he should, without reluctance, dissever ties that had thus lasted through youth to mature manhood.