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Close up of Elmer Ellsworth




A Requiem

This cover of A Requiem in memory of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth is decorated with scenes recalling his brief and tragic Civil War service. As the commander of the 11th New York Infantry, Ellsworth led his men into Alexandria, Virginia, at dawn on May 24, 1861. Ellsworth saw a large Confederate flag flying over the roof of the Marshall House hotel on King Street. This was the first rebel flag to have been raised in the city, and allegedly it was visible from Washington, several miles to the north. With a small detail of men, Ellsworth hastened to the hotel and made his way to the rooftop flagpole, where he lowered the flag. While Ellsworth was rolling it up, the soldiers were descending the staircase when from out of the shadows they were surprised by the innkeeper, James W. Jackson. Jackson leveled a double-barrel shotgun at Ellsworth and killed him instantly with a shot to the chest. Jackson, whose second shot missed, was himself shot and bayoneted to death by Private Francis E. Brownell.

Sam De Vincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Behring Center


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