The First Battles: April 1861 to February 1862

One Special Young Man

Was there anyone else of whom special notice was made? Any young rising star?

There were many. But out of all of them, one stands out. His name was Elmer Ellsworth.

Born in upstate New York in 1837, Ellsworth was a dreamy, introspective boy who nursed delusions of grandeur. His workaday parents did not know what to make of their son, who knitted uniforms and spoke of far-off places, and he seems to have made his way almost entirely on his own. By 1859, he was clerking in a law office in Chicago, eating porridge or whatever else came to hand and forming a group of Zouaves. Ellsworth’s Zouave group toured the northern part of the nation in 1859; a year later, he came to the attention of Abraham Lincoln. Ellsworth rode to Washington, D.C., aboard Lincoln’s presidential train, and when the war began he went to New York City, announcing his desire to recruit and form the New York Fire Zouaves.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App