b. 17/03/1846 New York. d. 11/07/1903 San Francisco, California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 28-29/04/1863 Grand Gulf, Mississippi.
He was born in New York City, New York. At 13, he set out on his own and worked for the Merrill Drug Company in St. Louis and Western Union. He joined the Union Army as a teenager and served under Generals William Tecumseh Sherman, Nathaniel Lyon and Ulysses S. Grant. For his actions in conjunction with Sergeant Henry A. Hammel and Private Joseph Pesch on April 28 and 29, 1863, Private Guerin was awarded the Medal of Honor on March 10, 1896.
After the war, he returned to St. Louis and did menial jobs at a photographic gallery. He found better pay stringing telegraph wire for a railroad, but returned to photography, going into partnership and setting up Remington, Guerin, and Mills Gallery in Ottumwa, Iowa. He was eventually bought out and returned to St. Louis, where he worked for several established photographers, learning the trade.
Finally, in 1876, he set up shop on his own. When he won an award at the 1878 Paris World’s Fair, he became an overnight success. He established a reputation, received international recognition for his portraits, and was several times president of the National Photographic Society. He opened several more galleries in the city, owning a total of six over his 27-year career. Pioneering women photographers Emme and Mayme Gerhard studied with him for three years. When he retired in January 1903, he sold his studio to them.
Guerin died of a heart attack on July 11, 1903. He was buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, the same resting place as his Medal of Honor co-recipients, Hammel and Pesch.
With two comrades voluntarily took position on board the steamer Cheeseman, in charge of all the guns and ammunition of the battery, and remained in charge of the same for a considerable time while the steamer was unmanageable and subjected to a heavy fire from the enemy.
BURIAL LOCATION: BELLEFONTAINE CEMETERY, ST LOUIS, MISSOURI.
BLOCK 155/157, LOT 4001.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.