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Carl Bersch

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Name  Carl Bersch

Carl Bersch httpsc2staticflickrcom436443291501030e432

Carl Bersch (1834–1914) was an artist who created the only known sketch of President Abraham Lincoln being carried from the Ford Theatre.



Bersch was born in Zweibrücken, Germany and he studied fine arts in Munich. Bersch came to the United States in 1860 and lived in Memphis and Baltimore before moving to Washington DC. He worked in Matthew Brady's photography studio.

Before the assassination

Bersch was sitting on a porch near the Ford Theatre on the evening that President Abraham Lincoln went to watch his last play. He was sketching a group of Union soldiers and musicians in a victory procession up Tenth Street.

After the shot

Bersch noticed a commotion in the area of the theatre door. As a group brought the president's body towards William Petersen's boardinghouse, Bersch sketched the "solemn and reverent cortege." Later, he expanded the sketch into an oil painting that he titled "Lincoln Borne by Loving Hands." It is the only known visual that recorded the end-of-war celebration that was overtaken by the news of Lincoln's murder.

Later years

After the Civil War, he lived in Baltimore until about 1900 and then returned to Washington DC. He visited Europe in 1907–1908 and remained in Baltimore, after this, for the rest of his life.


He died in Baltimore, Maryland in 1914.


Carl Bersch Wikipedia

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