Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

CSS General Van Dorn


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Ram:
  • Laid down, date and location unknown
  • Fitted out at New Orleans in 1862 for Confederate service
  • CSS General Earl Van Dorn operated under the direction of the Confederate army, attached to the Mississippi River Defense Fleet commanded by Capt. J. E. Montgomery
  • The ram operated off Fort Pillow, TN, in defense of the river approaches to Memphis
  • On 10 May 1862, General Earl Van Dorn, CAPT. I. D. Fulkerson in command, along with seven other vessels of Montgomery's fleet, attacked the ironclad gunboats of the Federal Mississippi Flotilla off Fort Pillow
  • In the action of Plum Point Bend, which followed, General Earl Van Dorn succeeded in silencing Federal Mortar Boat No. 16 and also USS Mound City forcing her to run aground
  • On 1 June 1862 General Van Dorn and the other ships of Montgomery's fleet held off Federal rams and gunboats that appeared at Fort Pillow until Fort Pillow was successfully evacuated
  • On 8 June 1862 the Mississippi Federal Flotilla engaged and destroyed the confederate fleet off Memphis with the exception of General Earl Van Dorn
  • CSS General Earl Van Dorn was chased up the Yazoo River and destroyed by fire and explosion, 26 June 1862, to prevent her being captured by the Federal flotilla CSS General Earl Van Dorn
    Specifications:
    Displacement unknown
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Armament one 32-pdr
    Propulsion steam

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    General Van Doran 41k
    Namesake

    Earl Van Dorn (September 17, 1820 – May 7, 1863) was a career United States Army officer and great-nephew of Andrew Jackson, fighting with distinction during the Mexican–American War and against several tribes of Native Americans.
    In the American Civil War, he served as a Confederate general, appointed commander of the Trans-Mississippi District. At the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in March 1862, he was defeated by a smaller Union force, partly because he had abandoned his supply-wagons for the sake of speed, leaving his men under-equipped in cold weather. At the Second Battle of Corinth in October 1862, he was again defeated through a failure of reconnaissance and removed from high command. He then scored two notable successes as a cavalry commander, capturing a large Union supply depot at Holly Springs and an enemy position at Thompson’s Station, Tennessee. In May 1863, he was shot dead at his headquarters at Spring Hill by a doctor who claimed that Van Dorn had carried on an affair with his wife.
    Tommy Trampp
    General Earn Van Dorn 373k Gun Boat battle off Fort Pillow - between the federal gun boats:
    USS Benton,
    USS Cincinnati and
    USS Carondelt and the Confederate Gun Boats
    CSS General Van Dorn and
    CSS Mc Rae - during the America Civil War was published in the Illustrated London News (ILN) on the 14th of June 1862
    Tommy Trampp
    General Earn Van Dorn 373k "Battle of Fort Pillow, First position" Engraving published in Rear Admiral Henry Walke's Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War in the United States ... (1877), depicting the action between the Confederate River Defense Fleet and Federal ironclads near Fort Pillow, Tennessee, 10 May 1862. Confederate ships, seen at right, include (from left to right):
    CSS General Earl Van Dorn,
    CSS General Sterling Price,
    CSS General Bragg,
    CSS General Sumter and
    CSS Little Rebel. The Federal ironclads, in the center and left, are (from left to right):
    USS Mound City,
    USS Carondelet and
    USS Cincinnati. A Federal mortar boat is by the river bank in the lower right.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 2049
    Tommy Trampp
    General Van Dorn 255k "Battle of Fort Pillow, 3rd Position" Engraving published in Rear Admiral Henry Walke's Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War in the United States ... (1877), depicting the action between the Confederate River Defense Fleet and Federal ironclads near Fort Pillow, Tennessee, 10 May 1862. Confederate ships, seen at left, include:
    CSS Colonel Lovell,
    CSS General Beauregard,
    CSS General M. Jeff Thompson,
    CSS General Bragg,
    CSS General Sumter,
    CSS Little Rebel and
    CSS General Earl van Dorn. The Federal ironclads, in the center and right, are:
    USS Carondelet,
    USS Cincinnati,
    USS Mound City,
    USS Benton,
    USS Saint Louis,
    USS Cairo and
    USS Pittsburg. A tug is seen in the right foreground.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42755
    Tommy Trampp
    General Van Dorn 232k "Closing-Scene of the Naval Engagement Before Memphis, Tennessee., 6 June 1862" Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, 1862. Ships shown are (from left to right):
    CSS General Earl Van Dorn (escaping, with the Federal fleet in pursuit);
    CSS General Sumter (captured);
    CSS General Beauregard (sinking) and
    CSS General M. Jeff Thompson (blowing up).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59053
    Tommy Trampp

    CSS General Earl Van Dorn
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Old Navy" Steam and Sail Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 22 July 2016