Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Ellsworth, Elmer Ephraim (1837-1861) On the Death of Col. Ellsworth

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03617.09 Author/Creator: Ellsworth, Elmer Ephraim (1837-1861) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Sheet music Date: circa 1861 Pagination: 1 p. ; 19.8 x 13.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Published by J. Magee at 316 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Image at the top is same as image at GLC03617.07. Depicits Ellsworth falling backward as he was shot. He is grasping the Confederate flag while another soldier returns fire with a rifle over his shoulder. Colored with red and blue. Three stanza song. First stanza says: "The muffled drum beats low; / Our nation's flag droops here, / Drap'd in the dark weeds of wo; / A sword is on the bier. / A saddened nation weeps, / Where her dead soldier sleeps."

Background Information: Colonel Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, was commander of the 11th New York Infantry, a unit of Zouaves from the New York City Fire Department. He was ...killed on 24 May 1861, attempting to remove a Confederate flag from the Marshall House, a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. See More

People: Ellsworth, E. E. (Elmer Ephraim)., 1837-1861

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistoryUnion ForcesConfederate States of AmericaDeathPropagandaAmerican FlagArt, Music, Theater, and Film

Sub Era: The American Civil War

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources