Ellet, Charles, Jr., COL

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Last Rank
Colonel (Staff)
Last Service Branch
Engineer Corps
Primary Unit
1861-1862, Civil War Military Units
Service Years
1861 - 1862

Engineer Corps

Colonel (Staff)

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by David C. Baker to remember Ellet, Charles, Jr., COL.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
William Penn Manor, Pennsylvania
Last Address
Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Casualty Date
Jun 21, 1862
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Civil War
Location of Interment
Laurel Hill Cemetery - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section C, Lot 12

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 Military Association Memberships
Civil War Fallen
  1862, Civil War Fallen - Assoc. Page

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 Unit Assignments
US Army
  1861-1862, Civil War Military Units
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1862-1862 Civil War/Battle of Memphis
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Civil War Union Army Officer, Civil Engineer. Built the first permanent wire suspension bridges in America (across the Schuylkill River at Fairmont, Pennsylvania, 1842; over the Niagara River at the Falls in 1849; across the Ohio River at Wheeling in 1849). He also built the "Mountain Top Track" across the summit of the Blue Ridge at Rock Fish Gap, Virginia in 1854. An advocate of the battering ram as a naval war vessel, he was ultimately commissioned a Colonel of Engineers by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Ellet converted nine steam ships into ramming vessels (designated the "Mississippi Ram Fleet"). He led his ships in the victorious Federal attack upon the Confederate fleet at the battle of Memphis on the Mississippi River, June 6, 1862. The assault destroyed most of the defending Confederate ships. Colonel Ellet was shot in the knee during the naval fight, and the wound he sustained caused his death 16 days later, making him the only casualty on the Union side from the battle. His son, Charles Rivers Ellet, commanded one of the ram boats in the engagement. 




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