b. 1813 Dresden, Saxony, Germany. d. 10/11/1875 New York.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 1839-1871 Service
A German-American soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his 32 years of service in the US Army. He is one of only two people (the other being general Adolphus Greely) who received the Medal of Honor for his entire career rather than a single action. He was born in Dresden, Germany.
Gerber immigrated to the United States in the 1830s and enlisted in the 4th US Infantry in 1839, retiring a first time in 1844. He joined the 1st Engineer Battalion when it was created in 1846 and served in the Mexican-American War. During the Battle of Mexico City, he is said to have saved the life of then second lieutenant George B. McClellan.
During the American Civil War, Gerber was responsible for training volunteer recruits into combat engineers. In September 1864, he was promoted to Sergeant Major, becoming the senior enlisted soldier in the Corps of Engineers and the first person to hold this rank. He was appointed adjutant of the Corps of Engineers in February 1867. He was offered a commission on several occasions, but declined each time.
Upon his retirement in November 1871, Gerber received the Medal of Honor for his entire career. He was the first US Army engineer to receive the medal.
Distinguished gallantry in many actions and in recognition of long, faithful and meritorious services covering a period of thirty-two years.
BURIAL LOCATION: CYPRESS HILLS NATIONAL CEMETERY, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
Plot: Section 2, Grave 1601
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