Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery opens 1st Civil War exhibit

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington is opening the first of seven exhibits to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

(Photo: Jay Westcott)

On Friday, the museum opens "The Death of Ellsworth." It features a historic painting of Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth, who was the first Union officer to be killed in the Civil War. Ellsworth commanded a volunteer regiment that invaded northern Virginia in 1861.

Ellsworth was killed by a local innkeeper in Alexandria, Va. The death made national headlines, and Ellsworth was made a martyr to inspire the North during the war.

Objects on view include the painting, "Death of Ellsworth," by Alonzo Chappel, as well as memorial lithographs produced in Ellsworth's honor.

The museum will mark each year of the war with rotating exhibits.

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