Alfred W. Ellet

Alfred W. Ellet

Alfred W. Ellet
Born (1820-10-11)October 11, 1820
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Died January 9, 1895(1895-01-09) (aged 74)
El Dorado, Kansas
Place of burial Buena Vista Cemetery, El Dorado, Kansas
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1864
Rank Brigadier General
Unit 59th Illinois Infantry
United States Ram Fleet, Mississippi Marine Brigade
Commands held United States Ram Fleet, Mississippi Marine Brigade
Battles/wars Battle of Pea Ridge
Vicksburg Campaign
Relations Charles Ellet, Jr., Charles Rivers Ellet, John A. Ellet

Alfred Washington Ellet (October 11, 1820 January 9, 1895) was a civil engineer and a brigadier general in the Union Army who commanded the United States Ram Fleet during the American Civil War.


Alfred Ellet was born at Penn's Manor Bucks County, Pennsylvania on the banks of the Delaware River and was the youngest of six sons and the second youngest of fourteen children.[1] In 1824, his family moved to Philadelphia where he attended the public schools. At age 16, he went to Bunker Hill, Illinois to take up farming.

A farmer and dry goods store owner, he was a resident of Illinois when the Civil War broke out.[2] In August 1861, Ellet was commissioned a captain in the 9th Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which later became the 59th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. In March 1862, he fought in the Battle of Pea Ridge. When his elder brother, Col. Charles Ellet, Jr., undertook the conversion of several river steamers to rams in the spring of 1862, Alfred Ellet became lieutenant colonel of Charles Ellet's U.S. Ram Fleet.

Following Charles Ellet's death in June 1862, Alfred took over the unit and was appointed brigadier general of the newly formed Mississippi Marine Brigade the following November. He commanded the Mississippi Marine Brigade during operations on the Western Rivers until 1864, when the unit was disestablished. He resigned his commission late in that year to return to civilian life.

Following the Civil War, Ellet was a businessman and civic leader in El Dorado, Kansas, where he died. He is buried there in Belle Vista Cemetery.


USS Ellet (DD-398), which was in service in 1939-46, was named in honor of Alfred W. Ellet and other members of his family.

See also


  1. Crandall, Warren D.; Isaac D. Newel (1907). History of the Ram Fleet and the Mississippi Marine Brigade in the War for the Union on the Mississippi and its tributaries : the story of the Ellets and their men. St. Louis: Buschart Bros.
  2. Ellet Family. "Ellet Family Papers, 1839-1968" (2 linear ft.). Special Collections M698. Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command.

External links

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