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Elmer Ellsworth     $45.00
Elmer Ellsworth
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Elmer E. Ellsworth was the first conspicuous causalty of the American Civil War and the first Union officer killed in the War.  This photo originates from a Carte de visite of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth (1837-1861).  Ellsworth served as an officer with the 11th New York Infantry.

On May 24, 1861 (the day after Virginia's secession was ratified by referendum), President Abraham Lincoln looked out from the White House across the Potomac River, and saw a large Confederate flag prominently displayed over the town of Alexandria, Virginia. Ellsworth immediately offered to retrieve the flag for Lincoln.

Ellsworth led the 11th New York across the Potomac and into the streets of Alexandria uncontested. He detached some men to take the railroad station, while he led others to secure the telegraph office and get that Confederate flag, which was flying above the Marshall House Inn. Ellsworth and four men went upstairs and cut down the flag. As Ellsworth came downstairs with the flag, the owner, James W. Jackson, killed him with a shotgun blast to the chest. Corporal Francis E. Brownell, of Troy, New York, immediately killed Jackson. Brownell was later awarded a Medal of Honor for his actions.

When President Lincoln learned of Ellsworth's death he exclaimed, "My boy! My boy! Was it necessary this sacrifice should be made?"  Deeply saddened by his friend's death, Lincoln ordered an honor guard to bring his friend's body to the White House, where he lay in state in the East Room. Ellsworth was then taken to the City Hall in New York City, where thousands of Union supporters came to see the first man to fall for the Union cause. Ellsworth was then buried in his hometown of Mechanicville, in the Hudson View Cemetery. Thousands of Union supporters rallied around Ellsworth's cause and enlisted. "Remember Ellsworth" was a patriotic slogan: the 44th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment called itself the "Ellsworth Avengers", as well as "The People's Ellsworth Regiment."

This historic picture of Elmer Ellsworth was taken about 1861 by a photographer in the New York City studio of Mathew Brady.  This picture of Elmer Ellsworth would look great in an album or framed display.

 

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