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Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Marshall House

City of Alexandria Est. 1749

 
 
Marshall House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
1. Marshall House Marker
Inscription. In the early morning hours of May 24, 1861, the day after a public referendum in Virginia supported secession from the United States, Alexandria was invaded by Union forces crossing the Potomac. Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, the young commander of the 11th New York Fire Zouaves taking part in the invasion was a close confidant and friend of President Abraham Lincoln. Within minutes of arriving in the city, Ellsworth attempted to remove a secessionist flag from the rooftop flagpole of the Marshall House hostelry that once stood at this corner. As he descended the stairs after successfully removing the flag, proprietor James W. Jackson emerged from the shadows and killed Ellsworth with a gunshot to the chest at point blank range. Jackson himself was then immediately shot and bayoneted by Corporal Francis Brownell of Troy, New York, who later received the Medal of Honor for his actions as he accompanied Ellsworth on that fateful day. Thus were the first two deaths from violence, representing each side of the national conflict, during the American Civil War.

In the days and months after the altercation on King Street, both Ellsworth and Jackson became martyrs to the defense of their country on native soil. Rallying cries of "Remember Ellsworth!" and "Remember Jackson!" were used to recruit enlistments and support by Northern and
Marshall House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
2. Marshall House Marker
Southern leaders, and the men were immortalized as heroes in popular culture and in commemorative wares of the period. In the years after their deaths, their first or last names were often chosen for newborn males throughout the country by those loyal to each man's respective cause.

Artifacts associated with this event, including architectural items from the Marshall House, a piece of the controversial flag, and the "kepi" cap Ellsworth wore that morning are on view at Alexandria's Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site, 4301 West Braddock Road. Fort Ward is the best surviving example of the system of 168 forts and batteries known as the "Defenses of Washington" that protected the nation's capital during the Civil War. Public transit to Fort Ward is available by taking a DASH bus from the King Street Metro Station.
 
Erected by City of Alexandria.
 
Location. 38° 48.284′ N, 77° 2.683′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of King Street and South Pitt Street, on the right when traveling east on King Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Edgar Warfield (a few steps from this marker); Franklin P. Backus Courthouse
Marshall House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
3. Marshall House Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Gadsby's Tavern Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington in Alexandria (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Washington's Tenement House (about 300 feet away); Electric Railway (about 300 feet away); Market Square (about 300 feet away); Site of First Services of the Salvation Army (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
 
Categories. Parks & Recreational AreasWar, US Civil
 
Marshall House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
4. Marshall House Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 31, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 31, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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