Ellet, Charles Rivers, 1843-1863

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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. 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.
Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Ellet family. Ellet family papers, 1839-1968, bulk 1861-1864. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Cabell, William Daniel, 1834-1904. Papers of William Daniel Cabell and the Cabell and Ellet families [manuscript], 1798-1955. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Weather Bureau National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary. Correspondence, 1863-1879 Smithsonian Institution Archives
creatorOf Baynham, William, 1749-1814,. Papers of the Hunter-Garnett Family [manuscript] 1703-1970 (bulk, 1770-1880). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Brown, J. Crosby (James Crosby), 1929-1990. Research notes on steam-navigation on canals. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Gibbes, Lewis Reeves, 1810-1894. Lewis Reeves Gibbes papers, 1793-1894 (bulk 1838-1894). Library of Congress
referencedIn Hulett, Theodore Graves. History of the Niagara iron basket, 1890 Aug. 14. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn Harvard, Gray Herbarium. Historic Letters.
referencedIn Ellet, Mary Israel, 1780-1870. Mary Ellet autobiography, 1870. Historical Society of Delaware
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 60: Meteorological Project, 1849 1875.
referencedIn University Of Michigan Library, Special Collections. Charles Ellet Papers.
referencedIn Warren, William Fredrick, 1840-1926. Papers, 1862-1923. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn Bache, A. D. (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867. Alexander Dallas Bache Papers, 1821-1869 Smithsonian Institution Archives
creatorOf Ellet, Charles, 1810-1862. Correspondence with Robert Montgomery Bird, 1849-1853. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Historical Society Of Pennsylvania. A. A. Humphreys Collection.
referencedIn Ellet, Alfred Washington, 1820-1895. Papers, 1759-1870. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Goodwin, Josiah H., 1841-1918. Josiah Goodwin diaries and research collection, 1862-1864, 1983-1984. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Dunnington, Francis P. University of Virginia maps and plats [manuscript], 1856-1869, n.d. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Autograph File, E, 1564-1961. Houghton Library
referencedIn Coffin, James H. (James Henry), 1806-1873. James Henry Coffin Papers, 1848-1884 Smithsonian Institution Archives
referencedIn Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, Pa.). Committee on Science and Arts. Records, 1824-1900 [microform]. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Brown, John Howard, 1840-1917. American naval heroes : Charles H. Davis, Charles Ellet, Samuel F. Dupont, David D. Porter / [by John Howard Brown] The Mariners' Museum Library
referencedIn Brown, Alexander, 1843-1906. Letter to W. D. Cabell. Virginia. 1892 Mar. 29. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn National Archives And Records Administration. Naval Observatory Records.
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIe. 1845-1865. American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Philip Case Lockwood memorial collection of Civil War portraits and autographs, 1862-ca. 1886. Houghton Library
referencedIn Ohio Historical Society, Archives/Library, Ms. Coll.. Lewis Davis Campbell Papers (Mss 72).
referencedIn Library Of Congress, Manuscript Division. Alexander Dallas Bache Papers.
referencedIn Gibbes, Lewis Reeves, 1810-1894. Papers, 1793-1894 (bulk 1838-1894) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Cross-Reference Envelope of Colonel Charles R. Ellet, Field and Staff, Marine Regiment, U.S. Volunteers United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Compiled Military Service Record of Colonel Charles R. Ellet, 1st Infantry Mississippi Marine Brigade United States. National Archives and Records Administration
Relation Name
correspondedWith Alexander, John H. person
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
correspondedWith Bache, Alexander Dallas person
correspondedWith Blodget, Lorin person
associatedWith Brown, Alexander, 1843-1906. person
associatedWith Brown, J. Crosby (James Crosby), 1929-1990. person
associatedWith Brown, John Howard, 1840-1917. person
associatedWith Cabell, William Daniel, 1834-1904. person
associatedWith Cabell, William Daniel, 1834-1904. person
sibling of Ellet, Alfred Washington, 1820-1895 person
associatedWith Ellet, Alfred Washington, 1820-1895. person
associatedWith Ellet family. family
associatedWith Ellet, Mary Israel, 1780-1870. person
correspondedWith Foreman, Edward (Dr.) person
correspondedWith Fox, Gustavus Vasa person
associatedWith Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, Pa.). Committee on Science and Arts. corporateBody
correspondedWith Gibbes, Lewis Reeves, 1810-1894. person
associatedWith Goodwin, Josiah H., 1841-1918. person
correspondedWith Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878 person
associatedWith Hulett, Theodore Graves. person
associatedWith Humboldt, F. W. H. Alexander Von person
correspondedWith Humphreys, A. A. (General) person
associatedWith Jewett, Charles Coffin person
associatedWith Lockwood, Philip Case, 1844-1897 person
associatedWith Lockwood, Philip Case, 1844-1897 person
associatedWith Lyell, Charles, Sir person
correspondedWith Mantell, Reginald person
correspondedWith Morse, Samuel F. B. person
correspondedWith Smith, Fred A. person
correspondedWith Smithsonian Institution corporateBody
correspondedWith Steuart, George H. person
memberOf United States. Army. Mississippi Marine Brigade corporateBody
associatedWith Warren, William Fredrick, 1840-1926. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Township of Bunker Hill IL US
Vicksburg MS US
Philadelphia PA US
Scientific publications
Smithsonian Building
Smithsonian Library
Civil engineering
Physical geography
Quackery Or Pseudo Science
Smithsonian Publications
Smithsonian Endowment
Army Engineers
Exchanges Of Publications
Medical students
Soldiers--19 century.--United States


Birth 1843-06-01

Death 1863-10-29




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