Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth was born in Malta, New York back in 1837. He grew up in Mechanicville, New York before moving to New York City. In 1854 he moved to Rockford, Illinois working for a patent company. In 1880, he moved to Springfield, Illinois to work with Abraham Lincoln, where Lincoln helped him in his law studies.

He assisted in the Lincoln campaign for president and accompanied him to Washington, D.C. Standing only 5’6” tall Lincoln referred to him as “the greatest little man I ever met”. In 1857, he joined the local militia company the “Rockford Greys” as a drillmaster. He moved again to Chicago, Illinois were the was promoted to the rank of Colonel in charge of Chicago’s Nation Guard Cadets. After the fall of Fort Sumter in 1861 he joining the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment commissioned as the regiment’s commanding officer. Crossing the Potomac River, he observed a Confederate flag at the Marshall House. Once he got to the house he went to the roof with Private Francis E. Brownell. They cut the flag down and was headed out when the owner of the Marshall House James W. Jackson came from behind a door and shot him with a double barrel shotgun, making Elmer the first Union officer to die in the American Civil War.

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray  imagine Lincoln saying "the greatest little man I ever met"... LOL

Nov 11, 2019 03:08 AM #1
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

That is quite a story. Someone had to be the first officer to die and this man was outstanding for many reasons

Nov 11, 2019 03:32 AM #2
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

The beginning of removing the Confederate flag!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Nov 11, 2019 04:17 AM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Small but mighty and very determined. What a senseless loss. Enjoy your day!

Nov 11, 2019 05:23 AM #4
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - that's another story I haven't previously known.  

Nov 11, 2019 05:33 AM #5
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That definitely shows that it is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog!

Nov 11, 2019 05:36 AM #6
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, James. As much as I learned about the Civil War in school, it's astounding to me that we never heard this man's name as the first casualty of the war. Perfect post for Veterans Day.

Nov 11, 2019 06:06 AM #7
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. This is quite the story. Never knew and was moved by it.

Nov 11, 2019 07:15 AM #8
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Reminds me of a football team. The "star" positions get the attention, but the guys in the trenches do the most work and provide the means for the "stars" to succeed.

Nov 11, 2019 07:38 AM #9
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a great post for Veteran's day, no wonder Lincoln referred to him as the greatest little man.  


Nov 11, 2019 09:34 AM #10
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray,

I am fairly sure that Elmer would not have wanted that to be his claim to fame but maybe he would have...

Nov 11, 2019 12:12 PM #11
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I guess someone had to be the first officer to die in that war. He was far from the last.

Nov 11, 2019 01:28 PM #12
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing an interesting bit of Civil War history.  Sounds like he really was the greatest little man.

Nov 11, 2019 09:39 PM #13
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Loved this historical trivia and no I had no idea.... with that said hope you had a Fantastic Veterans Day, Endre

Nov 11, 2019 10:34 PM #14
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Wow, I did not know Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth was the first Union officer to die in the American Civil War.

Nov 14, 2019 12:50 PM #15
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