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.
Richmond Sept 14 1861
My dear General
The enclosed note from my little daughter was written by her without suggestion or alteration in any way, and the design for a flag is entirely her own conception. She has insisted so stringently on sending it to you that I did not feel at liberty to refuse her. I consent the more readily because I am sure you will appreciate it in the spirit in which it is sent.
She signs herself with the usual vanity of her sex—“daughter of the Secretary of War”—and she gives me the opportunity to say that my official connection with the Army is about to terminate, having tendered my resignation to the President a few days since.
What I have done in the office has been honestly done, and when the history of the war is written I feel that the [laggard justice?] of popular approval will be [bestirred?].
Wishing you a long life and continued success.
I am, dear General,
L P Walker
I send you a design entirely my own for a Confederate flag. I have never been satisfied with the Confederate flag because it is too much like that of the United States. I am a little girl nine years old and though I have never seen you I feel as though I know you.
Matilda Pope Walker
Daughter of the Secretary of War
Citation: C. Richmond, 14 September 1861. AMs 360/20