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H.A. Herbert

H.A. Herbert

Confederate (CSV)


Hilary Abner Herbert

(1834 - 1919)

Home State: Alabama

Education: U of Alabama, U of Virginia, Class of 1856

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 8th Alabama Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Sharpsburg

At age 12 he moved to Greenville, Alabama. After college at the Universities of Alabama (1853-54) and Virginia (55-56), he practiced law in Greenville. He was commissioned Captain of the "Greenville Guards" - Company F of the 8th Alabama Infantry - on 1 May 1861. On 5 May 1862 he was promoted Major of the Regiment. He was wounded and captured at Seven Pines in June. He was back in service by 2nd Manassas in August.

On the Campaign

He was senior officer of his Regiment present on the Campaign, and was in command of the Brigade at Sharpsburg, after Major Williams of the 9th Alabama was wounded, until he too was hit.

The rest of the War

He was wounded yet again at the Battle of the Wilderness on 6 May 1864. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in November 1864 and Colonel of the 8th Alabama by the end of the War.

After the War

After the War he returned to his law practice in Greenville until 1872, then Montgomery. He was elected to the US Congress in 1877, and served 8 terms (to 1892) - notably as Chair of the Committee on Naval Affairs. He was President Cleveland's Secretary of the Navy from 1893 - 97, then returned to the practice of law, in Washington DC, until his death.

References & notes

Military service from the Alabama Archives1, also the home of an excellent post-War photo of him, with personal and professional details from the Congress.2 His picture from a photograph in Miller.3


03/12/1834; Laurensville, SC


03/06/1919; Tampa, FL; burial in Oakwood Cemetery, Montgomery, AL


1   State of Alabama, State Archives, and Dr. Edwin C. Bridges, director, and staff, Alabama Department of Archives & History, Published c.2000, first accessed 08 July 2005, <>, Source page: /civilwar/index.cfm  [AotW citation 1210]

2   US Congress, Congressional Biographical Directory, Published c. 2000, first accessed 01 January 2002, <>, Source page: /scripts/  [AotW citation 1211]

3   Miller, Francis Trevelyan, editor in chief, Photographic History of the Civil War, 10 vols., New York: The Review of Reviews Co., 1911-12, Vol. 10, pg. 27  [AotW citation 29398]