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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth: The First Military Casualty of the American Civil War

From: civilwarundertaker.net


Colonel Ellsworth was the first military casualty of the American Civil War. On May 24, 1861, along with his New York City Volunteer Regiment (made up mostly of New York City Firemen) Colonel Ellsworth went to remove a large Confederate flag from the roof of the Marshall House Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. It was there that he was shot in the chest with a shotgun blast and killed.

Upon the return of his body to the Washington Navy Yard, Dr. Thomas Holmes visited President Lincoln and offered to embalm the body free of charge. He was subsequently given permission to do so. It is reported that Mrs. Lincoln was so impressed with Colonel Ellsworth's appearance, that at the death of President and Mrs. Lincoln's son, Willie, she requested that the same embalmer prepare their son's body.


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