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WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060



(Sch: t. 101; s. 7 k.; cpl. 40; a. 1 24-pdr. rifle)


C. S. privateer brig Beauregard, formerly the schooner Priscilla C. Ferguson, owned by a group headed by A. F. W. Abrams of Charleston, S.C., was commissioned there 14 October 1861. She sailed short in complement on 5 November, commanded by Capt. Gilbert Hay as master, with two lieutenants, a purser and 23 seamen. Beauregard ran the blockade unobserved, although reported 24 October by a Northern shipmaster to Secretary of the Navy Welles in Washington as fitting out at Charleston along with Dixie, destined for longer life as a privateer than Beauregard.


One week out of home port, Captain Hay was surprised in the Bahama Channel by U.S. bark W. G. Anderson, Lt. William C. Rogers, whose attention was attracted to the schooner when only 4 miles off by "many men on her decks." Rogers overhauled Beauregard after a 2-hour chase and recorded that Hay "brought a letter of marque from J. Davis which he surrendered with his vessel. We put a prize master and crew on board and transferred the prisoners to our ship. * * * On boarding her the crew * * * committed all the destruction they could, throwing overboard the arms and ammunition, spiking the gun, and cutting the sails and rigging to pieces. She was otherwise in bad order and poorly found. * * * Took prisoners and vessel to Key West." Arrived there the 19th, the $15,000 Beauregard was in due course condemned by the prize court, sold to the U.S. Navy for $1,810 on 24 February 1862 and, name unchanged, ably served Flag Officer McKean thereafter in the Eastern Gulf Blockading Squadron.




Certain references to CSN transport Beauregard in official documents where area of operation is not specified, are difficult to separate from those pertaining to the larger C.S. Army steamer of the same name plying the western rivers. Apparently an old vessel whose former name has not been preserved, she was operated by the C.S. Navy carrying troops, guns and munitions along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts. From November 1861 or earlier until Savannah fell, 21 December 1864, it is frequently noted that her services were much in demand, although neither their nature nor her particulars are precisely described. Her last known assignment, along with General Lee and Jeff Davis, was to tow the floating battery Georgia to a better position. Less than 2 weeks later she and General Lee were both captured by General Sherman's forces entering Savannah.




C.S. Schooner Beauregard is several times referred to in Confederate records as "one of our transports," moving cargo for both Navy and Army along the Virginia-North Carolina coast early in 1862. On 4 May Capt. J. Milligan, CSA, Signal Officer at Norfolk, reported to Richmond, "Schooner Beauregard, bound from City Point to Norfolk with a cargo of coal for the Virginia, was burned by the enemy off Ragged Island this morning at 2 a.m. * * *"




Official references as early as March 1864 indicate C.S. Army steamer Beauregard had been for some time an outstanding unit of the western river fleet serving the Confederate Army's Quartermaster Department. On 22 March she is mentioned as "the most valuable boat" transporting cannon and ammunition from Grand Ecore to Shreveport, La. She and steamers General Quitman and Countess moved two divisions of infantry, cavalry and artillery across the Red River in mid-April 1865. Maj. Gen. F. J. Herron, USA, found her with the pump boat Champion at Mound City, 6 June, and took possession of both.