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More About The Blood Of Ellsworth

More About The Blood Of Ellsworth image
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Vhile going Uirough the Normal School museum at Ypsilanti in company with Prof. Sherzer not long since and prying into the recesses of various torgotten relies there preserved, there were brought to light two bottles apout three inches long and an inch in diameter. In one there were some eoel einders saturated with blood and an old and badly faded label yellow with age pasted upon the bottle conveyed the Information that the bottle contained some of the blood of Col. Ellsworth ine other bottle was about half full of a dark red liquid and the label gave out the information that the bottle contained the blood of Jackson, the murrterer of the gallant Ellsworth. The bottle seemed to be carelessly sealed and yet the blood after the lapse of more than 30 years was still in a liquid condition. There was some further writing upon the labels which the writer does not at this time recall. The history of these two interesting relies that is, how they carne to be in the museum there, no person now about the institution can relate. They were probably sent to the institution by some alumnus or friend who was a inember of the First Michigan Infantry which was with Ellsworth in Alexandria at the time of his murder. It is strange what a train of thought such relies wil! awaken in the mind.- Ann Arbor Argus. The above was brought to the attention of D. A. Wise, of this city and it now turns out that he is the man who forwarded the two little bottles to the Normal School. The following is his interesting story: "Col. E. E. Ellsworth was In command of the famous New. York Fire Zouaves and upon the formal secession of Virginia they were dispatched together with the First Michigan Infantry to occupy Alexandria. Early on the morning of May 24, 1861, the Zouaves went down by steamboat. while the First Michigan Infantry took the river road. As soon as Col. Ellsworth landed. which was about half past five ó'clock, he discovered the rebel flag floating over the Marshall house and immediately took a sergeant and three privates to capture the fiag. He was an impetuous man, brave as the bravest, and one bottle at the Normal museum contains the first blood shed In the capture of a flag of the rebellion while the other contains the first shed in its defense. The Marshall house wat owned by James W. Jackson and the following was his business card: MARSHALL HOUSE, James W. Jackson, Propr., Cor. Pitt and King Sts., Alexandria, Virginia. Virginia is determined and will eonquer under the command of Jeff Davis. "It seemed that Jackson had been warned that the 'Yankees' would haul down the confedérate flag if they landed in Alexandria and he boasted that the man who touched it would pay for it with his life. Col. Ellsworth, with his detatchment proceeded up to the hotel and immediately ascended the stairs without meeting any resistance. Going out upon the roof Col. Ellsworth took down the flag and highly elated started to descend the stairs at the same time exclaiming, 'Boys, I've got the first prize.' 'And I the second.' sal.l Jackson, coming out of his bedroom in hls night clothes, and immediately fired his gun at Ellsworth with fatal effect. Francis E. Browneji. who was in Ells■vorth's command. then fired upon Jackson and pinned him to the floor with his bayonet. Ellsworth's body was sent to Washington and Jackson's body was laid out in his own bedroom. Capt. Whittelsey, of the First Michigan, had been appointed provost marshal and I, being first lieutenant, took charge of my company. On the morning of the 24th of May a short time after what we might cali 'these murders' my company was detailed to the Marshall house to protect the property. I procured six of Jackson's friends to act as pall bearers and they carrled the body of Jackson to the hearse, which, followed by his widow and daughter, was driven beyond the lines and where he was buried I do not know. After hjs being carried away I took two small viala and as the blood of both men had not yet been cleaned away I scraped up n my knife blade some of each froro off the oil cloth and sealed the bottles up. On the morning of the 26th I sent them to Prof. Welsh, who was then principal of the Normal School. With the proper labels on them I made the request that he have them analyzed to see which was the bluest and beet blood, but (laughingly) the request was never granted. I put the lnscriptions on the vials and they are my handwritlng. There are no gravel stones or pieces of coal in the bottles whatever, but simply congealed 3r crystalized blood. The bottles contain the slmon pure blood that, as has been stated. was the first to be shed in the capture and defense of a flag of the gTeat rebeUlon."


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News