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Ferdinand A. Berger

View at Kansas Memory

Date: Between 1861 and 1865

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Photograph

Call Number: E495 K2.Inf8 Co.A *2

Unit ID: 225436

Biographical sketch: Charles Henry Slawson was born September 11, 1839 in Whiteside County, Illinois. In 1857, at the age of 18, he moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska. Later he went to Colorado, possibly to mine gold. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Charles returned to Illinois where he joined Company A of the 7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry for a three-month enlistment. During this period of Slawson's enlistment, the company served in Cairo, Illinois and St. Louis Missouri. When his three-month enlistment ended on July 25, 1861, he was probably mustered out at St. Louis. Around this time, a group of sixty men led by Marion Brooks from Spring Hill, Illinois came to St. Louis. The Illinois quota was full at the time, so they went t St. Louis to wait for an opening. According to "A Family History of Alvin Brooks: Articles and Documents", compiled by Bruce Brooks, while the men were waiting in St. Louis, they were approached by James Lane. He asked "if they were interested in going on an expedition to Mexico." Lacking other opportunities, the group, along with others from Kansas and Nebraska, followed Lane to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. They got as far as Fort Riley when Lane left the group, so the Kansas and Nebraska men went home, leaving the Illinois companies I and H to return to Fort Leavenworth. Col. John A. Martin was organizing the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry and asked the Illinois companies to join him. Many of the Spring Hill recruits including Charles Slawson and his brother Jesse enlisted in the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry but they were credited to the Illinois quota. In the fall of 1861, Second Lieutenant John Conover of the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry had been given permission to undertake the organization of Company I. By December he had recruited 44 men and was mustered in as a First Lieutenant, eventually rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel. There were 43 men from Spring Hill, Illinois on the Company I roster.

Summary: This is a carte de visite of First Lieutenant Ferdinand A. Berger from Leavenworth, Kansas, who served in the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry. The carte de visite was originally in an album belonging to Lt. Charles H. Slawson, who served in Company I of the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry.

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Title (Main title): Ferdinand A. Berger


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