Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HEBERT, Paul Octave, soldier, born in Bayou Goula, Herville parish, Louisiana, 12 November, 1818; died in New Orleans, 29 August, 1880. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1840, in the class with William T. Sherman, George H. Thomas, and other officers who afterward became distinguished. In 1841-'2 he was assistant professor of engineering at the military academy, and in 1843-'5 employed at the western passes of the mouth of the Mississippi river. He resigned from the army in 1841, was appointed chief engineer of the state of Louisiana, and in an official report opposed the "Raceourci cut-off." He held this office until the Mexican war, when he was reappointed in the army as lieutenant-colonel of the 14th volunteer infantry, and participated in the battles of Contreras and Chapultepee, and the capture of the city of Mexico, receiving the brevet of colonel for bravery at the battle of Molino del Rey. When the army disbanded, in 1848, he returned to his plantation at Bayou Goula, Louisiana In 18,51 he was sent as United States commissioner to the World's fair at Paris. He was a member of the convention that framed a new state constitution in 1852, and in 1853-'6 was governor of the state. One of the notable appointments of his term was that of General William T. Sherman as president of the Louisiana military academy. In 1861 he was appointed a brigadier-general of the provisional Confederate army, and was afterward confirmed in that rank by the Confederate congress. He was first in command of Louisiana, then of the trans-Mississippi department, afterward of Texas, and the Galveston defences. In 1873 he became stale engineer and commissioner on the Mississippi levee.
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