Caroline Deslonde Beauregard Marguerite Caroline Deslonde had been born in St. John the Baptist Parish in 1831, the daughter of a wealthy sugar planter. In 1860, she met and married Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who had been a widower for ten years. Theirs was by all accounts a whirlwind courtship, and the two were very much dedicated to one another. They were, however, destined to have little time together. Caroline, as she was known, was of delicate constitution, and often ill. In January, 1861, when Beauregard became Superintendent of West Point, it was decided that rather than risk the rigors of a northern winter, his wife should remain behind in Louisiana. But, due to his well known secessionist sympathies, his tenure in that position lasted only five days, when he was dismissed. The couple enjoyed a brief, blissful reunion. But at the beginning of March, the General was called away again, this time as commander of Confederate forces around Charleston. They had another brief reunion in January, 1862, before Beauregard took up his new post as second-in-command in the Army of Mississippi. They would never meet again. In October, 1861, just before leaving for his momentous voyage to Europe, Confederate diplomat John Slidell offered the use of his New Orleans mansion to Caroline and her mother should they ever need it. Slidell was married to Caroline’s sister, Mathilde Deslonde. When Beauregard left for his new command, the two ladies moved into the Slidell mansion. Thus, Mme Beauregard and her mother were living there when the city fell to the Federal navy and army at the beginning of May. As part of his duty to secure any property in New Orleans, whose owner was away in rebel service, Gen. Benjamin F. Butler sent his Aide-de-Camp, Lt. J. B. Kinsman, and a dozen men to take possession of the Slidell mansion. Arriving at the address, Kinsman was graciously greeted by the two ladies, who behaved, we are told, “with great refinement and dignity.” Informed of their presence, Gen. Butler immediately ordered the guard removed, and commanded that the ladies privacy be respected. “And woe be to be the man -- whether rebel or Union -- who dares to offer her the slightest insult or molestation,” comments one newspaper. But, Mme Beauregard’s health, never strong, was noticeably failing. Apprised of this, Beauregard sent on more than one occasion, friends and relatives to inquire about her. They all received permission and cooperation from Butler’s office. On one occasion, Caroline’s first cousin, Surgeon Andrew Chartant, came on a flag-of-truce from Vicksburg, and was permitted to examine her and prescribe medicines. But by December, she was very seriously ill. Among the Benjamin F. Butler Papers in the Library of Congress is found a copy of the following: Headquarters, Dept. of the Gulf, New Orleans, December 5th 1862General G. Beauregard General: this note will be handed you by your relatives, Mr. and Mts. Proctor, who go to meet you under a pass from me. They will inform you of the dangerous and, it is feared, soon to be fatal illness of your wife. You have every sympathy with your affliction. If you wish to visit Mrs. Beauregard, this will be a safeguard, pass, and protection to come to New Orleans and return. All officers and soldiers of the United States will respect this pass. I have the honor to be Your obt. Servant Benj. F. Butler, Maj Gen Commdg But, the Proctors also brought a personal message from Caroline, urging him not to come if duty called: "The country comes before," she is said to have proclaimed. Mme Beauregard lingered for over a year longer, until March 2, 1864, when she passed away. Maj.Gen. Nathaniel Banks, then commanding the Department of the Gulf, provided a steamer and an escort to conduct to her her native Saint John the Baptist Parish, where she was buried in St. John Catholic Cemetery in Edgard, La. [all pictures from Her Find-a-Grave page.]There is also an entry about her in the Civil War Women blog, but, while it tells us a great deal about the general, has almost nothing to say about her.