Brownell, Francis E.
Rare signature of “Ellsworth’s Avenger”, Medal of Honor recipient
Autograph ID: 2818
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1840-1894) US Army soldier, recipient of Medal of Honor for killing murderer of Elmer E. Ellsworth, colonel of 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Brownell’s actions marked the first action in the Civil War to merit the award. Enlisted in 11th NY, assigned to Company A. In first days of the war, as the 11th entered Alexandria, Va. on May 24, 1861, Col. Ellsworth took him and several others to capture the telegraph office. On their way, one of Ellsworth’s men spotted a Confederate flag atop the Marshall House inn. Ellsworth’s group entered the inn and quickly cut down the flag, but they encountered proprietor James Jackson as they descended the stairs. Jackson killed Ellsworth with a shotgun blast to the chest, Brownell responded by fatally shooting Jackson. After the war, Brownell twice was denied the Medal of honor in recognition of his actions in killing Jackson. A 3rd attempt with the assistance of his congressman was granted and he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1877. Following the War, Brownell worked as a clerk with the Pension Office.
Bottom 1-¼ x 8-½ fragment of DS “F. E. Brownell” as Special Examiner while with Pension Office, adds his Washington DC address. Partial date stamp verso offers year 1889.”