|United States Ram Fleet|
Side Wheel Ram
|Active||1862 - 1864|
|Branch||United States Army|
|Charles Ellet, Jr. - Alfred W. Ellet|
In March 1862, the U.S. Army authorized the noted civil engineer Charles Ellet, Jr., to establish a flotilla of steam rams for employment on the Western Rivers. Ellet converted several powerful river towboats, heavily reinforcing their hulls for ramming. These ships had light protection for their boilers, engines and upper works (upper works were protected with wood and cotton). They were originally given no artillery, later they were fitted with several guns. With the rank of colonel, Ellet led his force in action during the Battle of Memphis on June 6, 1862, where rams played an important role in the Union victory against the Confederate River Defense Fleet. However, Colonel Ellet died several days later of a wound received at that action.
Mississippi Marine BrigadeEdit
After Charles Ellet's death, his younger brother Alfred W. Ellet took command of the rams. The unit was reorganized as the Mississippi Marine Brigade in early 1863. Under the younger Ellet's leadership, the rams figured prominently in actions around and below Vicksburg, Mississippi, into 1863. Ellet's ram fleet was under the command of the army even after the transfer of the Western Gunboat Flotilla to the navy and was always somewhat independent of navy command. The Ellet fleet was disestablished in August 1864, and its surviving ships were transferred to other duties.
The Ram Fleet included the following ships:
- USS Lancaster
- USS Monarch
- USS Queen of the West
- USS Switzerland
- USS Lioness
- USS Mingo
- USS Samson
- USS Fulton
- USS T. D. Horner
- Crandall, Warren D.; Isaac D. Newel (1907). History of the Ram Fleet and the Mississippi Marine Brigade in the War for the Union on the Mississippi and its tributaries : the story of the Ellets and their men. St. Louis: Buschart Bros. http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=BookList&dbid=29357.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command.
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|