Darius Hubert (1823-1893), a French-born Jesuit, made his home in
Louisiana in the 1840s and served churches and schools in Grand
Coteau, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. In 1861, he pronounced a
blessing at the Louisiana Secession Convention and became the first
chaplain of any denomination appointed to Confederate service.
Hubert served with the First Louisiana Infantry in Robert E. Lee's
Army of Northern Virginia for the entirety of the war, afterward
returning to New Orleans, where he continued his ministry among
veterans as a trusted pastor and comrade. One of just three
full-time Catholic chaplains in Lee's army, only Hubert returned
permanently to the South after surrender. In postwar New Orleans,
he was unanimously elected chaplain of the veterans of the eastern
campaign and became well-known for his eloquent public prayers at
memorial events, funerals of prominent figures such as Jefferson
Davis, and dedications of Confederate monuments. In this first-ever
biography of Hubert, Katherine Bentley Jeffrey offers a
far-reaching account of his extraordinary life. Born in
revolutionary France, Hubert entered the Society of Jesus as a
young man and left his homeland with fellow Jesuits to join the New
Orleans mission. In antebellum Louisiana, he interacted with slaves
and free people of color, felt the effects of anti-Catholic and
anti-Jesuit propaganda, experienced disputes and dysfunction with
the trustees of his Baton Rouge church, and survived a near-fatal
encounter with Know-Nothing vigilantism. As a chaplain with the
Army of Northern Virginia, Hubert witnessed harrowing battles and
their equally traumatic aftermath in surgeons' tents and hospitals.
After the war, he was a spiritual director, friend, mentor, and
intermediary in the fractious and politically divided Crescent
City, where he both honored Confederate memory and promoted
reconciliation and social harmony. Hubert's complicated and
tumultuous life is notable both for its connection to the most
compelling events of the era and its illumination of the complex
and unexpected ways religion intersected with politics, war, and
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