Colonel 8th New York Infantry
Died in 1863 from injuries received at Warrenton, Virginia
(1812-63) Born in Germany, he fought with the "Bavarian Legion." In 1848, he participated in the revolution against the monarchy and had to seek asylum in Switzerland, but was expelled the following year and came to the United States, settling in Rockland County, New York. His reputation as a revolutionary patriot enabled him to recruit a regiment which was mustered into the Federal service in 1861, as the 8th New York Infantry, with Blenker serving as their colonel. He was appointed brigadier general on August 9, 1861, and at the battle of 1st Bull Run, he had command of a brigade, which was part of Colonel Dixon Miles's division, and performed capably in covering the Union rear on their confused retreat toward Washington. General Blenker later commanded a division in the 1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign against Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson. He was mustered out of the U.S. Army on March 31, 1863, for health reasons, and died on October 31, 1863, of injuries sustained while with his command at Warrenton, Virginia, leaving behind his wife, son and three daughters in dire circumstances.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 3 7/8 card. Excellent quality, full standing view of Blenker wearing a double breasted frock coat, with a monocle hanging from his breast, with rank of colonel. He is also wearing his kepi with hat wreath insignia with the regimental numeral "8," sash, high top leather boots, and holding his sword inside of the scabbard at his side. He poses next to a studio chair and a column. Back mark: E. Anthony, 501 Broadway, New York, From Photographic Negative in Brady's National Portrait Gallery. Card mount is very slightly trimmed. Very sharp image. Desirable pose.