Charles R. Ellet

Charles Rivers Ellet

Charles Rivers Ellet (June 1, 1843 – October 29, 1863) was a medical student who became a colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was most noted for his command of the ram Queen of the West during the Vicksburg Campaign in 1863.

Contents

Life

Ellet was born on June 1, 1843 in Philadelphia, the son of the noted civil engineer Charles Ellet, Jr. He was studying medicine at Georgetown University when the Civil War began. He served as an Army Assistant Surgeon during 1861-62.

In the spring of 1862, when his father established the U.S. Ram Fleet, an Army unit of river steamers converted to rams, Charles Rivers Ellet transferred to that organization. Promoted to the rank of colonel later in the year, he commanded the ram Queen of the West during her daring independent operations below Vicksburg in February 1863.

While operating on the Red River and after capturing some rebel riverboats, Ellet moved the Queen upstream to investigate reports of steamships at Gordon's Landing near Marksville, Louisiana. She came under heavy fire by the shore batteries of Fort DeRussy and was run aground onto the right bank by her pilot instead of backing down river as ordered. She was directly under Confederate guns, which pounded her until Ellet ordered "abandon ship,". The Queen was not burned out of concern for the Captain of the ship who was wounded and could not be moved. In his official report, Ellet alleged the grounding was done purposely by the replacement pilot who he accused in his report of being a rebel sympathizer. During their escape downstream, the pilot also grounded the captured Era running the paddles long after contact, whereupon the pilot was placed under arrest[1].

Ellet was next placed in command of the ram Switzerland, in which he steamed past the Vicksburg fortifications in March 1863. He later commanded the infantry of the Mississippi Marine Brigade until his health failed.

Ellet died at Bunker Hill, Illinois.

Namesake

USS Ellet (DD-398), which was in service in 1939-1946, was named in honor of Charles Rivers Ellet and other members of his family.

See also

References

  1. ^ Colonel Ellet (1863), Frank Moore, ed., Doc 105: Loss of the Queen of the West, The Rebellion Record, p. 385, http://books.google.com/?id=Bi4OAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA385&lpg=RA1-PA385 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Charles Ellet, Jr. — Charles Ellet, Jr. Born January 1, 1810(1810 01 01) Bucks County, Pennsylvania Died June 21, 1862(1862 06 21 …   Wikipedia

  • Ellet, Charles — ▪ American engineer born Jan. 1, 1810, Penn s Manor, Pa., U.S. died June 21, 1862, Cairo, Ill.       American engineer who built the first wire cable suspension bridge in America.       After working for three years as a surveyor and assistant… …   Universalium

  • Ellet, Charles — SUBJECT AREA: Civil engineering [br] b. 1 January 1810 Penn s Manor, Pennsylvania, USA d. 21 June 1862 Cairo, Illinois, USA [br] American engineer who built the world s first long span wire cable bridge. [br] Ellet worked for three years as a… …   Biographical history of technology

  • Ellet — /el it/, n. Charles, Jr., 1810 62, U.S. civil engineer: builder of suspension bridges. * * * …   Universalium

  • Ellet — /el it/, n. Charles, Jr., 1810 62, U.S. civil engineer: builder of suspension bridges …   Useful english dictionary

  • Alfred W. Ellet — Infobox Military Person name=Alfred W. Ellet born= birth date|1820|10|11 died= death date and age|1895|1|9|1820|10|11 caption=Alfred W. Ellet nickname= placeofbirth=Bucks County, Pennsylvania placeofdeath=El Dorado, Kansas placeofburial=… …   Wikipedia

  • USS Ellet (DD-398) — For other ships of the same name, see USS Ellet. Career (US) …   Wikipedia

  • John A. Ellet — Lieutenant Colonel John A. Ellet (1838 ndash; 1892) was an officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War. He was the nephew of Colonel Charles Ellet, Jr. and General Alfred W. Ellet.He commanded the ironclad USS Lancaster until… …   Wikipedia

  • John Miller Srodes — (July 17, 1809 September 30, 1882), was Captain of the U.S. Ram Lioness of the Mississippi Marine Brigade from April 28, 1862 to July 16, 1862. He played an important role in the Battle of Memphis.Early lifeJohn Miller Srodes was born on Grant’s… …   Wikipedia

  • Mississippi Marine Brigade — Col. Ellet s ram USS Lioness approach …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.