While he was a Lieutenant in Napoleon's army, he was given a battlefield promotion for valor by the Emperor himself.
After the restoration of the Bourbons, he, like several other former French officers, migrated to the New World; in his case, to New Orleans. He gained employ variously as an architect, surveyor, and even edited a French language newspaper. Being in New Orleans, he also managed to fight a few duels.
One of his contributions was the establishment of an artillery unit in the local militia. He wrote a handbook on tactics for light artillery.
Anyway, while surveying Uptown New Orleans, for the Faubourg Bouligny neighborhood, he chose the names of the streets, all on a Napoleonic theme. Napoleon Avenue was the major thoroughfare; and there was a Josephine Street. Several streets were named after Napoleon's victories, such as Berlin, Cadiz, Austerlitz, Marengo, Jena, and others. After all, Napoleon awarded him the Legion of Honor. Semi-ironically, these streets were in the American district!
During World War I, Berlin Street was re-named General Pershing. This was a bit of misapplied patriotism, since the street was named after the Napoleonic victory and not the city.
A legend has it that his grandchildren used to tease him as to why there was an absence of Waterloo Street. It reliably pissed the old man off!
|Pierre Benjamin Buisson|