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Civil War Soldiers - Ellet

Ellet, Alfred W., brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born at Penn's Manor, Bucks county, Pa., worked on a farm, and studied civil engineering at Bristol academy. When his brother, Charles Ellet, was ordered by the war department, in 1861, to purchase vessels and convert them into rams, he accompanied him, being commissioned lieutenant-colonel. They completed their fleet at Cincinnati and steamed down the river to Memphis, defeating the Confederate fleet there, on June 6, 1862, and sinking or disabling eight of the nine Confederate ironclads. Col. Charles Ellet received a wound in the battle which proved fatal and left the command of the fleet to Alfred, the appointment being confirmed later by the secretary of war. With the "Monarch," accompanied by the "Lancaster," he steamed 50 miles up the Yazoo river and discovered and reported the presence of the "Arkansas." He was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers, Nov. 1, 1862, for gallant and meritorious service at the capture of Memphis, and in 1863 was assigned to the Department of the Mississippi and placed in command of the marine brigade. He added to his distinctions in March, 1863, by running the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg, and after that was kept busy moving Gen. Grant's troops. He burned Austin, Miss., May 24, 1863, in retaliation for information furnished by citizens to the Confederates of Gen. Chalmer's command, which nearly resulted in the capture of one of his transports. Gen. Ellet resigned his commission, Dec. 31, 1864, and engaged in the practice of his profession as a civil engineer. He died in Kansas in 1895.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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