Alexandria Monument Honors Murderer

An additional name, that of James W. Jackson, was added to the east side of the Alexandria Confederate Monument in 1900. Jackson, a civilian, was actually Alexandria’s first Civil War casualty, dying before any of the soldiers with whose names his is inscribed. An ardent secessionist, Jackson was the innkeeper of the Marshall House Hotel. In April 1861, he had hoisted Alexandria’s first Confederate flag over his establishment and vowed to blow to bits any Yankee who interfered with it. On the morning of May 24, 1861, as 24-year-old Colonel Elmer Ellsworth of the 11th New York Infantry marched through the occupied town, he noticed the flag. With a detail of comrades, he left the column, entered the hotel, climbed the stairs, and tore it down. True to his word, Jackson shot Ellsworth dead, only to be killed himself by another Zouave. It was said that Ellworth’s and Jackson’s blood ran together down the steps. Today a bronze plaque on the southeast corner of Pitt and King Streets, just a few blocks from the Confederate statue, marks the spot where both men died.

Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington, Part 3, page 178
by: Kathryn Allamong Jacobs

Virginia Committee Kills Bill to Allow Local Control of Confederate Monuments

Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D)

Senate Bill 444, the Memorial for Veterans bill, introduced in the Virginia Senate by Senator Jennifer T. Wexton:

Provides that a locality may remove, relocate, or alter a war monument or memorial, regardless of when erected.

The Committee on Local Government, comprised of 7 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted along party lines to “Pass by indefinitely” Wexton’s bill. ┬áThe 7 Republicans voting to kill the bill were Senators Stanley, Hanger, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Chase, Sturtevant, and Carrico. ┬áVoting “no” on the motion to kill the bill were Democrats Marsden, Favola, Lewis, Surovell, McPike, and McClellan.

SB 444 would have stricken language passed in the Virginia legislature in 1890.

If such are erected, it shall be unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation and care of same. For purposes of this section, “disturb or interfere with” includes removal of, damaging or defacing monuments or memorials, or, in the case of the War Between the States, the placement of Union markings or monuments on previously designated Confederate memorials or the placement of Confederate markings or monuments on previously designated Union memorials.

Wexton, a Democrat, represents parts of Fairfax and Loudon counties, and was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2014. Wexton is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, challenging the incumbent, Republican Barbara Comstock.