Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Union Queen

The USS Queen of the West was run aground February 14th 1863 in the Red River.

The USS Queen of the West, a ram was commanded by Colonel Charles River Ellet.  She was part of the Union flotilla that won control of the Mississippi River in 1862 as far south as Vicksburg, Mississippi.  She closed out 1862 clearing the Yazoo River of Confederate torpedoes.

While ramming the CSS City of Vicksburg on February 2nd 1863, the USS Queen of the West was forced down stream while her fought fires in her bow and near her starboard wheel.  On the 12th the Queen started down the Red River.  Near the Atchafalaya River she landed a party that destroyed some Confederate wagons.  They were fired on from the shore and the Queen’s senior officer was wounded.  The USS Queen of the West was about 15 miles from the mouth Black River when she came under heavy fire from batteries of Fort DeRussy.  The Queen was run aground and pounded by Confederate shells until Ellet had to order her abandoned.  Ellet didn’t have the Queen burnt, because the Captain; who had been wounded couldn’t be moved.  Ellet’s report of the grounding blamed a replacement pilot for purposely running the Queen aground.

The Queen was used by the Confederate navy until April 11th 1863, when a shell set her afire.

No comments: