previous next

[176] the rebel. She was then struck by one of the rebel rams, but not injured. She then pushed on and struck the Beauregard, and burst in her side. Simultaneously the Beauregard was struck in the boiler by a shot from one of our gunboats. The Monarch then pushed at the gunboat Little Rebel, the rebel flag-ship, and having but little headway, pushed her before her, the rebel commodore and crew escaping. The Monarch then, finding the Beauregard sinking, took her in tow until she sank in shoal water. Then, in compliance with the request of Col. Davis, Lieut.-Col. Ellett despatched the Monarch and the Switzerland in pursuit of the remaining gunboat and some transports which had escaped the gunboats, and two of my rams have gone below.

I cannot too much praise the conduct of the pilots and engineers and military guard of the Monarch and the Queen, the brave conduct of Capt. Dryden, or the heroic conduct of Lieut.-Col. Ellett. I will name all parties in special report.

I am myself the only person in my fleet who was disabled.

Charles Ellett, Jr., Colonel Commanding Ram-Fleet.

opposite Memphis, June 6, 1862.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
It is proper and due to the brave men on the Queen and the Monarch to say to you briefly, that two of the rebel steamers were sunk out-right and immediately by the shock of my two rams. One, with a large amount of cotton on board, was disabled by an accidental collision with the Queen, and secured by her crew. After I was personally disabled, another rebel boat, which was also hit by a shot from the gunboats, was sunk by the Monarch, and towed into shoal water by that boat. Still another, also injured by the fire of our gunboats, was pushed into shore and secured by the Monarch. Of the gunboats, I can only say that they bore themselves, as our navy always does, bravely and well.

Charles Ellett, Jr., Colonel Commanding Ram-Fleet.

U. S. Ram Switzerland, June 7 P. M., Opposite Memphis.
To Hon. E. M. Stanton:
Yesterday after the engagement with the rebel fleet had nearly terminated, and the gunboats and one of my rams had passed below, I was informed that a white flag had been raised in the city. I immediately sent my son, a medical cadet, Charles R. Ellett, ashore, with a flag of truce, and the following note to the authorities:

opposite Memphis, June 6th, 1862.
I understand that the city of Memphis has surrendered. I therefore send my son with two U. S. flags, with instructions to raise one upon the Custom-House and the other upon the Court-House, as evidence of the return of your city to the care and protection of the Constitution.


Chas. Ellett, Jr., Colonel Commanding.

The bearer of the flag and the above note was accompanied by Lieut. Crankell of the Fifty-ninth Illinois regiment, and two men of the boatguard.

The following is the reply of the Mayor of the city:

Mayor's office, Memphis, Tenn., June 6, 1862.
Charles Ellett, Jr., Commanding, etc.:
sir: Your note of this date is received and the contents noted. The civil authorities of this city are not advised of its surrender to the forces of the United States Government, and our reply to you is simply to state respectfully that we have no forces to oppose the raising of the flags you have directed to be raised over the Custom-House and Post-Office. Respectfully,


John Park, Mayor.

On receiving this reply the small party proceeded to the Post-Office to raise the National flag, and were there joined by the Mayor. It is proper to say that the conduct of the Mayor and some of the citizens was unexceptionable, but the party was surrounded by an excited crowd, using angry and threatening language.

They ascended to the top of the Post-Office and planted the flag, although fired upon several times and stoned by the mob below. Still I believe this conduct was reprobated by the people of standing in the place. Indeed, many evidences of an extended Union sentiment in the place reached me.



Charles Ellett, Jr., Colonel Commanding.

opposite Memphis, June 10, 1862.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
There are several facts touching the naval engagement of the sixth inst., at this place, which I wish to place on record. Approaching Memphis, the gunboats were in advance. I had received no notice that a fight was expected, but was informed on landing within sight of Memphis that the enemy's gunboats had retreated down the river.

My first intimation of the presence of the enemy was a shot which passed over my boat. I had four of my most powerful rams in advance and ready for any emergency.

The others were towing the barges. On advancing to the attack, I expected, of course, to be followed by the Monarch, the Lancaster, and the Switzerland.

The Monarch came in gallantly. Some of the officers of the Lancaster, which now held the next place in line, became excited and confused, but the engineers behaved well.

The pilot erred in the signals, and backed the boat ashore and disabled her rudder.

The captain of the Switzerland construed the general signal order to keep half a mile in the rear of the Lancaster to mean that he was to keep half a mile behind her in the engagement, and therefore failed to participate.

Hence the whole brunt of the fight fell upon the Queen and Monarch. Had either the Lancaster

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Memphis (Tennessee, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Ellett (7)
Edwin M. Stanton (3)
John Park (1)
Charles R. Ellett (1)
Dave Dryden (1)
C. H. Davis (1)
Crankell (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 6th, 1862 AD (3)
June 10th, 1862 AD (1)
6th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: