MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Re-enactors, historians and residents of an upstate city are honoring the New Yorker who was the first Union officer to die in the Civil War.
A ceremony Sunday morning in Mechanicville at the grave of Col. Elmer Ellsworth, marks the death of the 24-year-old leader of a New York regiment sent to occupy Alexandria, Va., in May 1861.
Ellsworth had just removed a Confederate flag from atop the Marshall House hotel when he was shot by its proprietor, James Jackson, a staunch secessionist. A soldier in Ellsworth's detail then shot Jackson dead.
Ellsworth was considered a hero in the north, and his death inspired thousands of men to enlist. Jackson was hailed as a hero in the south.
The 150th anniversary of what became known as the "Ellsworth incident" is May 24.
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