Colonel Ellsworth's uniform

civilwarincolor

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#1
I thought that this was an interesting display of artifacts that includes Colonel Ellsworth uniform (1st Union Officer killed).

Last year I saw his hat on display at Fort Ward in Alexandria, VA. This is from a post war display of artifacts in the National Archives collection.

Note that this is a cross eyed stereo view. To see it in 3D cross your eyes until the two images merge as one 3D image.

4190203465_dba17949ca_o.jpg


The coat still exists and is part of the New York State Military Museum
ellsworth-coat.jpg
 

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Bonny Blue Flag

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#2
The bw photo seems to show the blood traces on the jacket, where in the color photo the jacket seems to have been cleaned up.

Reminds us of the price alot of soldiers paid for the future of our nation.

Very moving. Thank you so much for posting these pics.

--BBF
 

redbob

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#4
Gray was the color of choice for many militia units on both sides and since it was early in the war, he probably hadn't had another uniform made in blue.
 

civilwarincolor

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#5
The bw photo seems to show the blood traces on the jacket, where in the color photo the jacket seems to have been cleaned up.

Reminds us of the price alot of soldiers paid for the future of our nation.

Very moving. Thank you so much for posting these pics.

--BBF

Your welcome.

I agree about the blood stains. Not sure if it was cleaned over the years, or just faded over time.
 

kholland

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#6
Gray was the color of choice for many militia units on both sides and since it was early in the war, he probably hadn't had another uniform made in blue.
Which is why 1st Manassas was so confusing with a mix of blue and gray on both sides.Griffin found this out when his artillery battery was approached by the 33d Virginia wearing uniforms of many colors. He reacted too late and took many casualties. Add to that the flags used the same colors and it was chaos.
 

civilwarincolor

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#7
What was Ellsworth buried in ? Why is the uniform gray? Just asking...

No idea what he was buried in.

As far as the color, Ellsworth led a group of NY Fire Zouaves. They were a group of firemen that practiced and performed in parades prior to the war. The color of the uniform was gray. Even at the end of the war, one the NY 7th regiment that accompanied Lincoln's casket in New York was known as the "grey jackets" due to their all grey uniform.

This was the opening months of the war when Ellsworth was killed (he died in May of 1861) there was a wide range of uniform colors throughout the war, but in particular at the beginning. Here is a colorized image of Brownell (known as Ellsworth avenger) showing what the uniform would have looked like in 1861. BTW, that uniform is now on display in the Manassas battlefield museum.

p695490680-6.jpg

More about Brownell here
 

M E Wolf

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#8
Many uniforms were blue or gray--that was one of the biggest problems at the beginning of the Civil War, as all these militia and units formed by people had their own notion as to what their uniforms would appear as. Finally, it was decided to be "Cadet Gray" by the Uniform & Equipment Board of the Provisional Government of the CSA.

Even so, there wasn't a uniformity of Gray --and Butternut was also added.

Many a friendly fire caused casualties on both sides as there wasn't a distinction of uniforms--old Army officers wore their uniform yet were Confederate--they had just didn't have organization but, chaos from an emergency response.

Ellsworth's Zouaves patterened their uniforms from the "French" design. They were like a drill team rather than an active force until Lincoln's call for troops. With so many Army Regulars out West--some captured as POWs, Lincoln needed some military presence to ease the public's mind and secure the Governmental properties. There were very few "Night Watchmen" employed in Washington, D.C. (Forerunner of the Metropolitan Police Department); nobody was guarding the arsenal--so it was wide open, not a soldier posted anywhere when Lincoln went for a tour of the City.

Ellsworth's kepi is still at Fort Ward Museum, Alexandria, Virginia

M. E. Wolf
 

major bill

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#10
My home state of Michiagn had 4 regiments at 1st Mananas, 2 in blue,1 in grey and 1 that had been issued grey, but had a partial issue of black and some blue uniforms issue as well. Some of the Union militia (New York) called up for the Gettysburg Campaign still wore grey in 1863.
 
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#11
yes I knew about the other colors I know that the sharpshooters wore green I just never pictured Ellsworth in gray I knew there was a lot of mixup in the beginning of the war because of the blue uniforms Thanks everyone!
 

M E Wolf

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#12
Where Ellsworth was shot down, was at the Marshall House, a boarding house in Alexandria City, Virginia -- Marshall ran up a Confederate National Flag and it was seen from the White House unobstructed. Being that the location is so close to the Washington Arsenal (Fort Leslie P. McNair now days), it was deemed as a threat.

Ellsworth's men were security detailed at the White House and Lincoln and his sons were extremely fond of this Colonel and the renowned bravery of Fire Fighters who joined him from New York (aka Fire Zouaves) were part of a detail by then Colonel Stone, in charge of the D.C. Militia charged to secure the Long Bridge (where the railroad bridge is now located and near 14th Street Bridge) and secure Alexandria City. The U.S.S. Pawnee was also detailed to this movement, as canon shot could reach the Arsenal from Alexandria's shores. (Again, it has to be reminded that nobody had visions of a civil war or disunion).

Ellsworth having climbed the steps to bring the CSA National Flag down off the flag pole, was met by Marshall and shot, and the Sergeant with Ellsworth shot Marshall in return but, the death of Ellsworth, in my opinion did more to burn a larger 'anger' in Lincoln had the incident not take place.

Further, post war stories about 'then' Colonel R. E. Lee voicing clearly his desire that no secession take place and influential as he was, I am of the opinion had the Marshall-Ellsworth incident not taken place, which was before First Bull Run/Manassas, history's path might have been altered. There was little resistance by the Dominion Rifles that were the militia unit for Alexandria, City -- Their commanding officer would be suspect and nearly captured and executed had it not been for General Lee's personally stepping in - this man, Montgomery Coarse would later become a General in addition to being Lee's banker along with his brother who remained in a civilian capacity and ran the bank when Alexandria was occupied and placed under Marshal Law until the close of the war.

What I find interesting though, few remember or recognize Alexandria City as being the first captured, first occupied city in Virginia and before First Bull Run. Colonel W. T. Sherman's "West Point Artillery" was assigned on the banks of the Potomac on the Alexandria, Virginia side prior to being part of the march to First Bull Run and placed in charge of Infantry.

Beauregard, to whom caused the withdraw of General Johnson's Army, which included Longstreet, JEB Stuart and other future important Generals, to include T. J. Jackson (Stonewall), etc., snatched the only opportunity for Longstreet and Stuart to recapture Alexandria and possibly sack Washington after the route the Union Army from the battlefield of First Bull Run. Longstreet's headquarters was in Falls Church and Stuart had his artillery positioned close to shell Bailey's Crossroads. (Bailey's Crossroads was the winter home of Bailey's Circus which would merge to become Barnum & Bailey's Circus). It is where I can appreciate the effort of General Longstreet in relieving Alexandria but, ordered from superiors away. General Longstreet would soon after recommend Colonel JEB Stuart for the rank of Brigadier-General through General Johnson and would be approved. It is why I have a special place for Longstreet and sad that he wasn't given good credit for all the efforts in liberating Alexandria City.

However, history is what it is and not 'what ifs.' I can appreciate the need for Lincoln to have a buffer around Washington as the banks on the Virginia side are higher and could lob artillery into the city and destroy the functions of Government, et.al. The working City wasn't all that big. Farms were beyond "H" Street N.W., and thus rather small compared to what most are familiar with today.

Just some thoughts.

M. E. Wolf
 

civilwarincolor

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#15
Further, post war stories about 'then' Colonel R. E. Lee voicing clearly his desire that no secession take place and influential as he was, I am of the opinion had the Marshall-Ellsworth incident not taken place, which was before First Bull Run/Manassas, history's path might have been altered. There was little resistance by the Dominion Rifles that were the militia unit for Alexandria, City -- Their commanding officer would be suspect and nearly captured and executed had it not been for General Lee's personally stepping in - this man, Montgomery Coarse would later become a General in addition to being Lee's banker along with his brother who remained in a civilian capacity and ran the bank when Alexandria was occupied and placed under Marshal Law until the close of the war.
I always find the tangle of history interesting how one event leads to another and another. Had only one link in the chain broken the difference it would make today.

One question I have for you is the section about Lee. This does not seem to coincide with the dates of events as I know them.

Colonel Ellsworth was killed on May 24th, 1861, the day after Virginia ratified the secession that had been approved on April 17th. Robert E. Lee resigned on April 20th, more than a month before Ellsworth death.

While Ellsworth death was prior to 1st Manassas by almost two months, it was well after Lee had resigned and Virginia had approved secession. It would seem that history had moved far enough prior to Ellsworth death that, while it inflamed Lincoln and became a rallying cry for the North (as did Marshall house proprietor James Jackson's death in the South), nothing would have changed (for Lee or Virginia) had the two survived and never met.

Not sure if I missed something...
 

civilwarincolor

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#16
Note to self: see large hole in tunic, DO NOT mess with Confederate flag.

That was from a shotgun too, so to keep that tight of a spread he must have been inches from the barrel. Can't think of a good way, but that is a horrible way to die.


(Pardon the aside, but my comment on good/bad way to die reminded me of a very bad joke - "When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did -- in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car" - Jack Handey
 

AUG

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#17
Ellsworth's regiment, the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry, went on to fight at First Manassas and saw some of the heaviest fighting around Henry House Hill.

On the morning of July 21, Farnham's men were awoken at 2:00 a.m. to begin their march to intercept the Confederate army. McDowell's plan for the day was for divisions under Colonel Daniel Tyler and Brig. Gen. Heintzelman to cross Bull Run at Sudley Ford, expected to be only several miles north of their camp. Poor scouting by Union chief engineer John G.Barnard resulted in a 14-mile (23 km) march for men entering battle that morning. During the march, lead units engaged skirmishers east of Sudley's Ford with artillery in the early dawn. McDowell had divided his three divisions, sending Heintzelman to the north, sweeping down to cover the Union right, and thus his was the last division to engage. The other two divisions, under Tyler and David Hunter, engaged first on the Union left and center, at Matthews Hill. With those divisions facing heavy resistance, Heintzelman's division with the 11th New York was called forward at the double-quick. One observer commented that the 11th New York looked more like firemen randomly running to a fire than soldiers marching towards the front.

As the fight moved from Matthews Hill to Henry House Hill the 11th New York fought beside the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and a battalion of Union regulars. These units were ordered to support two batteries of cannon on the Federal right flank led by Captains Charles Griffin and James B. Ricketts. The 11th New York and 1st Minnesota were directed into position at the top of Henry House Hill by Major William Farquhar Barry, McDowell's chief of artillery, and ordered to assault the Confederate line. On the initial confrontation with the 33rd Virginia Infantry on the left of Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's line, both the Union and Confederate forces were initially confused because the 11th New York were wearing gray and the Virginians were clad in dark blue frock coats and dark blue trousers. Both sides soon opened fire, and the New Yorkers and Minnesotans fell back from the hill.

As the 11th New York and 1st Minnesota were regrouping along the Manassas-Sudley Road, they were encountered by Confederate Colonel J. E. B. Stuart and his 150 cavalrymen. Stuart mistook the gray-clad New Yorkers for retreating Confederates and quickly rode forward, shouting, “Don’t run, boys; we are here.” But after seeing a color bearer passing with the United States flag, he realized his mistake.Stuart ordered a small band of "Black Horse" cavalry, led by R. Welby Carter and the men of his Loudoun Company, to charge from the right and strike the 11th's rear guard. The 11th New York saw them coming and shifted formations to meet Carter's men. The 11th's volleys quickly killed eight of the riders and wounded nine with the rest escaping back into the woods; the charge had little effect on the organization of Fire Zouaves. While repulsing the cavalry charge, Colonel Farnham was wounded, but remained on the field aided by Lt. Colonel John Cregier and Major Loeser.

By 2:00 p.m., the 11th New York and 1st Minnesota were joined by the 14th Brooklyn Regiment and again took their place behind the Union guns. However, soon confusion again erupted on the battlefield in front of them. As the gunners confronted the blue-clad 33rd Virginia, Major Barry ordered Ricketts to hold his fire, allowing the Virginians to charge the batteries and capture the guns. While the 14th Brooklyn was able to quickly retake the guns, the Union regiments supporting the cannon were unable to withstand the near constant barrage from Confederate artillery and infantry and fell back again to the Manassas-Sudley Road. The 11th New York, 69th New York Militia and 14th Brooklyn would charge Henry Hill four times, first in an effort to protect Ricketts' and Griffin's cannon, and later to push back the advancing Confederate forces, but each attempt failed. In the wild melee, the 69th's color bearers were killed and its colors lost but an officer of the 11th, Captain John Wildey, was able to recapture the Irish color.

When the order to withdraw from the field came later that evening from General McDowell, the 11th New York served as a rearguard. It was during this retreat that the regiment saw its heaviest casualties. Although accounts of the battle differ, most sources list 177 men lost at Bull Run, with 35 men killed, 74 wounded, and another 68 missing and presumed captured. Those that were taken prisoner were initially confined in Richmond. In September, they were transferred to Castle Pinckney, South Carolina, where they remained until they were paroled the following May.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11th_New_York_Volunteer_Infantry_Regiment

Here is a photograph of some of the 11th NY's prisoners at Castle Pinckney, SC. It was said that not all of them were wearing their full uniform at 1st Manassas. Some were wearing a mix of their uniform with mixed civilian shirts and hats.

Expired Image Removed
 

ErnieMac

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#18
I read a book a while back (title escapes my memory right now) that went into some detail on Ellsworth’s pre-war biography. He was a native of New York, but relocated in Illinois in 1857 taking jobs as legal clerks. In 1859 he created the Chicago Zouaves. Ellsworth was the colonel and he drilled the men rigorously through a program of military marches and acrobatic tactical maneuvers. The unit went on a barnstorming tour across the north in 1860.

After returning he took a position in Lincoln’s law office in Springfield. He was supposed to be a working as a clerk while studying law, but spent a significant port of his time with the presidential campaign. He became a close and intimate friend of the family and was asked to accompany them to Washington.

When Lincoln called for volunteers in April Ellsworth headed for New York City (the scene of a number of appearances with his Chicago Zouaves) where he raised the New York Fire Zouaves. After his death his body was returned to his hometown of Mechanicville NY for burial. I’ve attached a couple of links, one a New York Time article concerning the tour of the Chicago Zouaves and the other concerning the 1997 theft and recovery of the bronze eagle mounted atop his cemetery monument.

http://www.nytimes.com/1860/07/09/n...ry-companies-to-look-after-their-laurels.html
http://www.glwillard154.org/the_ellsworth_eagle_.htm
 

civilwarincolor

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#19
After returning he took a position in Lincoln’s law office in Springfield. He was supposed to be a working as a clerk while studying law, but spent a significant port of his time with the presidential campaign. He became a close and intimate friend of the family and was asked to accompany them to Washington.
That helps to explain many things I read about him being a personal friend of Lincoln's. I could not see how a Colonel in a NY fire brigade parade unit became personal friends of Lincoln.

Thanks.
 

kel1985

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#20
I thought that this was an interesting display of artifacts that includes Colonel Ellsworth uniform (1st Union Officer killed).

Last year I saw his hat on display at Fort Ward in Alexandria, VA. This is from a post war display of artifacts in the National Archives collection.

Note that this is a cross eyed stereo view. To see it in 3D cross your eyes until the two images merge as one 3D image.

4190203465_dba17949ca_o.jpg


The coat still exists and is part of the New York State Military Museum
Expired Image Removed
Whoa!!! When I crossed my eyes, it became a single image and in color!!!
 



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