Looking Back to the American Revolution

The first officer killed in the Revolution. Warren. The first officer killed in the present Rebellion. Ellsworth [graphic]

Portraits of Joseph Warren and Elmer Ellsworth, 1861-1865, Published by Samuel Curtis Upham (1819-1885), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gift of William Caleb Loring, 33°, A85/012/0355.

Patriotic stationery publishers in the North often included imagery that linked the Civil War—the “present Rebellion”—with the American Revolution. These connections were often explicit, such as pairing Joseph Warren (1741-1775) with Elmer Ellsworth (1837-1861). Warren was an early casualty of the American Revolution and Ellsworth was the first officer killed in the Civil War. Publishers also called attention to the shared dates—April 19—of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, which marked the beginning of the American Revolution to the Baltimore Riot in 1861, which marked the first deaths by hostile action in American Civil War.