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Excerpt from Outline of the Forthcoming History of the Mississippi River Ram Fleet and Marine BrigadeInception of the Ram Fleet enterprise. Charles Ellet, Jr., of Philadelphia, and his published letters and articles on the subject. ConstructionMoreExcerpt from Outline of the Forthcoming History of the Mississippi River Ram Fleet and Marine BrigadeInception of the Ram Fleet enterprise. Charles Ellet, Jr., of Philadelphia, and his published letters and articles on the subject. Construction authorized by War Department - March, 1862 - under his supervision. Instructions, orders and correspondence (March-May), under which seven Ohio River steamboats were purchased by the government, and reconstructed at various shipyards, under Ellets personal direction, and made into rams. Four were side-wheel - Queen of the West, Monarch, Switzerland and Lancaster, and three, stern-wheel - Lioness, Sampson and Mingo. Also two smaller stern-wheel tenders - Fulton and Horner. All made solid in their prows, their boilers and engines protected by heavy timbers, and pilot houses shielded with boiler iron. Work on these boats pressed with the utmost dispatch, at Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and New Albany, and completed in two months time. Crews for each boat selected from experienced river men, and at Ellets request, a detail of six officers and fifty men from the Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry in the field, was made by an order from the War Department, to command and defend the rams, the selection being made by his brother, Captain Alfred W. Ellet Company I, who was included in the detail. The command of the fleet (which began assembling at New Albany, May 20) was given Charles Ellet, its projector and architect, with the rank of Colonel of the Staff, and Captain A. W. Ellet was promoted to be Staff Lieutenant Colonel and second in command. The line officers of the detail were assigned, one to each vessel, the Queen (flagship) and the Monarch under the officers above named. The non-commissioned officers and enlisted men (a picked body of soldiers) distributed as boat guards. Instruction at once began by Colonel Ellet, preparing officers and men for their duties in managing and fighting the rams.Fleet reached Footes squadron, lying above Fort Pillow, May 26. Flag Officer Davis in command, urged by Ellet to attack fort, he promising to run by and fight the rebel gunboats. Several days of hesitation and delay followed, Ellet meanwhile making daily reconnaisances and executing threatening maneuvers. Evening - 4 - Ellet was within range of Pillows guns with two rams, but drew no fire, and from smoke and other indications judged enemy was evacuating- and early next morning Lieutenant Colonel Ellet went down in yawl to the fort, found it deserted, and hoisted the union flag. Colonel Ellet with three rams was close at hand. They at once proceeded down to Randolph, which was also found hastily abandoned, and heavy guns destroyed. During the day Davis gunboats passed down, anchoring late, five miles above Memphis. The Ram Fleet passed the night, landed - 5 - at Tennessee shore, about eighteen miles above the city.About the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.comThis book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully- any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.