The Graduate Center - City University of New York

"Col. Ellsworth Requiem March."

This sheet music cover memorializes Colonel Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth who gained national fame as the first casualty of the Civil War. He was shot after removing the Confederate flag from an inn in Alexandria, Virginia. After his death on May 24, 1861, Union army supporters used his name and fame to rally soldiers and boost recruitment. While sheet music had been sold in the U.S. since the 1790s, illustrated covers did not become common until the mid-nineteenth century when they became a popular source of household decoration that could be displayed on pianos and music stands in middle-class homes.

Date: 1861

Publisher: Chicago: Root & Cady

Source: Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins University