Plate 1. Marshal House, Alexandria

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Description (Brief)
Photograph of Marshall House, Alexandria, VA. The view of Alexandria shows that the town was rather built up. The Marshall House is on the corner surrounded by many other buildings, such as the Dry Good Store, the Bookstore, and the "Great Western Clothing House". There are a couple women standing outside the shops, which are surrounded by sidewalk.
Text and photograph from Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War, Vol. II. Negative by William R. Pywell, text and positive by Alexander Gardner.
The Marshall House, at the commencement of the war, was a dingy old hotel, kept by a man generally known in that section by the name of Jim Jackson. It was in this building that Col. Ellsworth of the New York Fire Zouaves was killed, in May, 1861. Our troops had surprised and captured the city just before daylight, and as Col, Ellsworth was posting his troops about the town, he discovered a Confederate flag waving from the roof of the Marshall House. Accompanied by Private Brownell, the Colonel went up through the building after the flag, and on coming down was shot on the stair case by the proprietor, Jackson. Brownell instantly killed Jackson, and with others hurried to Washington with Ellsworth's remains.
The intelligence of his death was kept from the Zouaves for several hours, until measures could be taken to prevent them from destroying the city, which it was feared they would attempt in revenge for killing of their commander. Brownell was shortly after appointed lieutenant in the regular army. Relic hunters soon carried away from the hotel everything movable, including the carpets, furniture, and window shutters, and cut away the whole of the staircase and door where Ellsworth was shot. Finally Northern men took possession of the building, and fitted it up for business so, so changing the interior as to be scarcely recognizable by those who visited it in 1861.
Currently not on view
date made
Gardner, Alexander
place made
United States: Virginia, Alexandria
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 9 in; 17.78 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
related event
Civil War
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gardner's Sketchbook
Civil War
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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