Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth Artist: N. Thomas Copy after: Mathew B. Brady (Photographer)

Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth / N. Thomas, Copy after: Mathew B. Brady (Photographer) / Hand-colored lithograph on paper, 1861 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

150th Commemoration of the Civil War: The Death of Ellsworth

Exhibited April 29, 2011 - March 18, 2012

Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth in Alexandria, Va. Ellsworth was the first Union officer to be killed in the four-year-long struggle. A friend of President Abraham Lincoln, Ellsworth commanded a regiment of New York Fire Zouaves—regiments raised for volunteer service—which participated in the invasion of Northern Virginia on May 24, 1861.

Ellsworth’s death at the hands of a local innkeeper made headlines throughout the country and he became a martyr in the North and an inspirational figure for legions of Yankees marching off to war.