Friday, November 30, 2012

Elmer E. Ellsworth and John J. Williams, the first and last to die in the American Civil War


Ellsworth was one of Lincoln’s broheims back in Illinois and at the start of the Civil War (May 24, 1861), offered to capture an oversized Confederate flag from atop a hotel in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. Abe agreed and Ellsworth lead his men, the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment into the town. It was going well until the hotel owner shot him in the chest with a shotgun (the owner was then promptly shot by one of Ellsworth’s men).

Williams was killed at a battle at a place called Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas on May 13, 1865. Technically, this battle happened right after the Civil War ended, but its close enough that Williams is generally considered the last soldier to die in the War.

I actually have no idea why I think this is interesting, but knowing who the first and last people to die in a war just is. Another point of interest is the fact that they eleven days apart. How freaky would it have been if Ellsworth and Williams had died on the same day, but four years apart?

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