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 Charles Ellet, Jr

Charles Ellet, Jr

William Penn Manor, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 21 Jun 1862 (aged 52)
Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois, USA
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section C, Lot 12
Memorial ID 5772 · View Source
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Civil War Union Army Officer, Civil Engineer. Built the first permanent wire suspension bridges in America (across the Schuylkill River at Fairmont, Pennsylvania, 1842; over the Niagara River at the Falls in 1849; across the Ohio River at Wheeling in 1849). He also built the "Mountain Top Track" across the summit of the Blue Ridge at Rock Fish Gap, Virginia in 1854. An advocate of the battering ram as a naval war vessel, he was ultimately commissioned a Colonel of Engineers by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Ellet converted nine steam ships into ramming vessels (designated the "Mississippi Ram Fleet"). He led his ships in the victorious Federal attack upon the Confederate fleet at the battle of Memphis on the Mississippi River, June 6, 1862. The assault destroyed most of the defending Confederate ships. Colonel Ellet was shot in the knee during the naval fight, and the wound he sustained caused his death 16 days later, making him the only casualty on the Union side from the battle. His son, Charles Rivers Ellet, commanded one of the ram boats in the engagement.

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Charles Ellet, Jr.
Jan. 1, 1810 - June 21, 1862
Eminent Civil Engineer,
Canal, Railroad
Suspension Bridge Builder
Wheeling, 1849




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 28 Jun 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5772
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Ellet, Jr (1 Jan 1810–21 Jun 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5772, citing Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .