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    Description

    [Death of Col. Elmer Ellsworth]. Piece of the Blood-Stained Confederate Flag Removed from the Marshall House by Union Colonel Elmer Ellsworth. On May 24, 1861, one day after Virginia officially seceded from the United States, Federal troops entered Northern Virginia. Col. Elmer Ellsworth, a friend of President Lincoln's who had once served as a clerk in Lincoln's law office, and his newly raised 11th New York Infantry entered the town of Alexandria to assist in her occupation. Ellsworth, with four of his men in tow, headed for the Marshall House Hotel, who for several weeks had been flying an eight by fourteen foot Confederate flag from her roof. Ellsworth made his way unhindered to the roof and removed the flag, but on his way down, he was met by James W. Jackson, the proprietor of the hotel, who shot Ellsworth at point-blank range with a double-barrel shotgun, making him the first officer killed during the war. Jackson was subsequently killed by Corporal Francis Brownell, one of Ellsworth's men.

    This small piece of the fabric is a swatch of the original flag that Ellsworth held as he died. It was cut away as a souvenir and given to Union Gen. Abram Duryée, commander of the 5th New York Infantry until his resignation from the army in January 1863, and was passed down through his family. Measuring approximately 2" x 2", the fragment of blue cloth features staining in the lighter area (which is likely a piece of the flag's hoist) that was later tested and confirmed to be blood stains. Accompanying the fragment is the envelope it was once housed in bearing with an ink inscription reading, "Col Ellsworth stain of his blood / Piece of the American Confederate Flag that Col Ellsworth held in his hand when shot by Jackson." This lot contains extensive provenance and is a particularly attractive piece of early Civil War history!


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2015
    12th-13th Friday-Saturday
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