This is an incredible stereographic image of the Marshall House in Alexandria. We found this amazing shot at the Library of Congress.

… and the reason this building is important is because it’s where the first Union officer was killed during the Civil War. The day after Virginia’s secession from the Union was ratified, a Confederate flag flew above the Marshall House, visible from the White House. President Lincoln was none too pleased, and his friend and army colonel, Elmer Ellsworth, offered to retrieve it.

Ellsworth was successful in traveling across the Potomac to Alexandria, uncontested, going up to the building’s roof to cut the flag down. As he came down the stairs, he was confronted by a shotgun-wielding  James Jackson, who blasted Ellsworth in the chest. Elmer died instantly and was the first Union officer to be killed in the Civil War.

[Click here for larger, high-quality version.]
The Marshall House in Alexandria during the Civil War
The Marshall House in Alexandria during the Civil War

And here is the back of the card.

[Click here for larger, high-quality version.]
back of photographic print on stereo card for the Marshall House
back of photographic print on stereo card for the Marshall House
Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.