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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

CSS Colonel Lovell


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Ram:
  • Built in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1843 as the sidewheel steamer Hercules, owned by the Ocean Towing Co. of New Orleans
  • Taken over in 1861 by General M., Lovell, commanding the New Orleans military district
  • Converted to a cottonclad ram by installation of double pine bulwarks filled with compressed cotton and one-inch iron plates on each bow
  • Operated under the direction of the Confederate War Department and was attached to COMO. J. E. Montgomery's Mississippi River Defense Fleet
  • On 10 May 1862, while operating off Fort Pillow, TN., Colonel Lovell, and seven of Montgomery's vessels, attacked the ironclad gunboats of the Federal Mississippi Flotilla
  • In the action of Plum Point Bend which followed the Confederates forced the Federal gunboats USS Cincinnati and USS Mound City to run aground were left in sinking condition
  • The Confederate flotilla held off the Federal Squadron until Fort Pillow was successfully evacuated on 1 June 1862
  • Final Disposition, on 6 June while coaling at Memphis the Federal Mississippi Flotilla appeared off the city engaging Mongomery's flotilla
  • During the action CSS Colonel Lovell's engines malfunctioned and she was then rammed amidships by USS Queen of the West, and USS Monarch, sinking in middle of the river
    Specifications:
    Displacement 521 t.
    Length 162'
    Beam 30' 10"
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft 11'
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Armament unknown
    Propulsion steam

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    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 Beauregard 177k "The Great Naval Battle before Memphis, June 6, 1862". Engraving after a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in "Harper's Weekly", depicting the action between the Confederate River Defense Fleet and Federal warships off Memphis, Tennessee. In the foreground, the print depicts the Confederate ships (from left to right):
    CSS General M. Jeff Thompson (shown sinking);
    CSS Little Rebel (shown burning);
    CSS General Sterling Price;
    CSS General Beauregard (shown being jammed by the Ellet Ram
    USS Monarch;
    CSS General Bragg (shown aground) and
    CSS Colonel Lovell (shown sinking). In the background are the Federal warships (from left to right):
    USS Queen of the West;
    USS Cairo;
    USS Carondelet;
    USS Louisville;
    USS Saint Louis; a tug; and
    USS Benton. The city of Memphis is in the right distance, with a wharf boat by the shore. Harpers Weekly, 28 June 1862.
    Sons of the South - Memphis Naval Battle
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58891
    Robert Hurst
    Col. Lovell 132k "Photo Caption "The Queen of the West and the Monarch steamed past the Confederate ironclads at full speed an charged the vessels, the Queen of the West selecting the [Colonel] Lovell near the middle of the enemy's line of battle. The [Colonel] Lovell advanced to meet her, and a mutually destructive collision seemed inevitable; but suddenly the [Colonel] Lovell swerved and headed in shore. The Queen of the West smashed into her such terrific momentum the the Confederate was nearly cut in two, and disappeared in a few minutes." Tommy Trampp

    CSS Colonel Lovell
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 2 September 2016