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[266] With comparatively slender means Beauregard completely baffled and kept at bay the prodigious armament with which the Federal Government sought to reduce the ‘cradle of secession.’ For nearly six months his works sustained a fire which has rarely, if ever, been excelled in persistence and weight of metal. When Fort Sumter had become simply a heap of rubbish he continued to hold it and to defeat every attempt on the part of his assailants to capture it. At the end of the year the Federals gave up in despair, and the Confederate flag continued to float over Fort Sumter until Sherman's march northwards from Savannah, in the early part of 1865, compelled the evacuation of the city. There is probably in modern warfare no more splendid instance of a skilful and determined defence than that of Charleston, and it will ever remain a noble testimony to the ability of Beauregard.

In the Spring of 1864, General Beauregard was called from Charleston, with a large part of his forces, to Richmond and Petersburg, to take part in the defence of the Confederate Capital. Here, General Beauregard's achievements were such as to add deservedly to his reputation. He saved the Southern approaches to Richmond and, perhaps, that city itself, by defeating and ‘bottling up’ Butler at Bermuda Hundred. But his greatest feat in this campaign was his defence of Petersburg on June the 15th, 16th, and 17th. General Grant managed his crossing of the James so well as to deceive General Lee for some days and to keep him in ignorance of his real design. In this way Grant succeeded in throwing a large part of the Federal army against Petersburg, before General Lee reached there with the advance of his army on June 18. Beauregard meantime held the defences of Petersburg, and made a brilliant and tenacious struggle for them. He managed his small force with such skill and courage as to keep back the half of the Federal army, and though forced from his advanced positions he saved the city, and placed his troops on the lines which the Army of Northern Virginia was to defend with such wonderful pluck for more than nine months thereafter.

We have not space to follow General Beauregard's career in the West in connection with Hood's disastrous campaign, or his operations in Sherman's front in the spring of 1865, until General J. E. Johnston was placed in command. There was nothing done on either of these fields, however, that could add to the reputation which General Beauregard won at Charleston and Petersburg.

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