War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0927

Search Civil War Official Records



Page 927
Chapter XXII. MEMPHIS, TENN.

had come in collision with the Queen worked herself in to shore near the same place, and I sent a portion of the crew of the Queen, at their own solicitation, to take the rebel and secure her crew as prisoners. Our hope at first was to save this rebel gunboat, which is reported to be a very fine vessel, but she soon settled; but though Commodore Davis has sent a force to raise her, success, I understand, is regarded as doubtful.*

Incidents of the naval engagement at Memphis.

U. S. STEAM-RAM SWITZERLAND, June 10, 1862.

The rebel boats were all rams, provided with guns, so as to serve both as rams and gunboats. My boats were not provided with guns. The rebel boats were very heavily plated with railroad iron. My boats were without iron plating and had been spoken of in ridicule as the "brown-paper rams." The General Lovell, the boat which was first struck by the Queen, had a crew of 86 men, of whom 18 only are said to have been saved. The General Price, another rebel boat which also came into collision with the Queen and was disabled, had a crew of 18 men, according to the count made by the crew of the Queen, to whom they surrendered. The Queen and the Monarch together struck five boats, one of which was sunk, simultaneously; another in a few minutes; a third floated long enough to be towed to shore by the boat that struck her; a fourth, the General Price, sank very slowly, and it was at first supposed could be easily raised. The fifth was chased to the shore by the Monarch and received but a slight blow, and will therefore be saved.

These facts go to show that ram fighting and prizes are scarcely compatible. The boilers of the rebel boats, so far as we have had a chance to see, are placed below decks, and the hulls therefore could be made as strong for ramming as we could desire.***

---------------

*Report discontinued at this point " or account of Colonel Ellet's exhaustion" and never resumed.

---------------



Page 927
Chapter XXII. MEMPHIS, TENN.