On this day in the Civil War, Union officer Elmer Ellsworth is killed while attempting to remove a Confederate flag from a hotel roof in Alexandria, Virginia. Ellsworth is the first Union soldier killed in combat in the Civil War.

The North makes Ellsworth a martyr for the cause of the Union. President Lincoln was a close friend of Elmer Ellsworth.

ellsworth 2

Elmer Ellsworth

(Photo Credit: Library of Congress)

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