Marshall House Flag
While going through some boxes that belonged to her parents, Gale Bay made a startling discovery: in an envelope labeled “relics” she found a swatch of tattered, red fabric about an inch round which apparently belonged to her Great-grandfather, Ira Wilson, also known as Ira Underhill Travis.
Her family had collected several letters that Ira Wilson wrote from Alexandria, VA including one in May of 1861 in which he refers to his slain commander, Col. Ellsworth. A Col. Elmer Ellsworth was the first Union officer killed in the Civil War. A Virginia innkeeper shot Ellsworth at close range as he removed a confederate flag that President Lincoln could see from the White House.
Gale asks History Detectives host Gwen Wright to find out if this red piece of fabric came from the flag that cost Col. Ellsworth his life.
Letters Home from Ira Wilson
- Also in Season 10 1775 Almanac What do these crumbling pages reveal about divided loyalties during the American Revolution?
- Also with Gwen Wright Society Circus Program Why are some of New York's wealthiest planning a circus at the depth of the Great Depression?
- Related Investigation Face Jug What does this ceramic face reveal about the Middle Passage and a captive people’s search for identity?
- Also with Gwen Wright Bettie Page Slide Is this a lost Bettie Page image by Irving Klaw?
- Related Investigation Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa? Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared without a trace in 1975. Was he murdered? If so, who killed him and why?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Natchez House How did a free man of color come to own this house twelve years before emancipation?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.