|View single post by Widow|
|Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2006 10:13 am||
|Hello, Dale, welcome to this discussion board.
You have a real treasure in that collection of letters. I don't mean financial value. How exciting to read the real thing, to see 1st Manassas (Bull Run) from the perspective of a simple private.
Please do take care of your collection. If they are the original documents, I hope you have them insured and stored in a fireproof, waterproof safe. They MUST not be lost or damaged!
I live in Fairfax County, VA, so I recognize some of the locations your young soldier mentioned en route to the battle.
Marshall's Hotel, in Alexandria, where Col. Elmer Ellsworth was killed by the proprietor, still stands. It's no longer a hotel, but there is a plaque on the outside wall at the corner, marking the spot.
After the Federals occupied Alexandria, Ellsworth had seen a Confederate flag flying from the roof of the hotel. He went up and confiscated it. The hotel proprietor, Mr. Jackson, took offense at the theft of his private property. In the stairwell, Jackson shot Ellsworth, then one of Ellsworth's men killed Jackson. It must have been a jumble of cussing, yelling, screaming, hot-n-heavy emotions, smoke, noise, and confusion.
Jackson was one of the first civilians killed in the war. He was considered a martyr to the Confederate cause, just as Ellsworth was in the North.
Elmer Ellsworth had been a celebrity for several years with his crack precision drill teams decked out in the flashy Zouave garb. They were popular traveling entertainers. Lincoln was a fan and friend. So Ellsworth's death was not ho-hum just another soldier, it was a big shock to the people in the North.