From 1858-1863 he supervised Matthew Brady's Washington, D.C. photography gallery. After leaving Brady, Gardner became noted for his Civil War photographs and was among those allowed to photograph the hanging of the Lincoln Conspirators.
Gardner was commissioned as photographer with the survey team investigating a proposed route to extend the Union Pacific Railway along the 35th parallel during 1867-1868. In the original portfolio, which Gardner titled, Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, there were 127 photographs. No complete portfolio of this work is known to remain.
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Northern Arizona University
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