A young Chicago clerk, Elmer
Ephraim Ellsworth organized a company of Zouaves for the Union Army at the
beginning of the Civil War. Zouaves were troops known for their
exotic Algerian-inspired costumes and flamboyant drill. They
performed at the White House in 1860. In May 1861 his New York
Zouave regiment helped to take Alexandria, Virginia, where he was killed
in a dispute over removal of the Confederate flag. He was a friend
and election aide of Abraham Lincoln and the first prominent Union
casualty of the war.
Though young, Elmer became
'like a son' to President Lincoln who was so greatly upset at the death of
the young man that an elaborate funeral was held for Elmer Ephraim
Ellsworth in the White House.
more about him here!