Today in History:

Colonel Lovell (1861-1862)

CSS Colonel Lovell, a 521-ton side-wheel steamer, was built at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1845. Under the name Hercules, she was taken over by the Confederacy at New Orleans in 1861, converted to a "cottonclad" ram and renamed Colonel Lovell. As part of the River Defense Fleet, she took part in naval actions off Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on 10 May 1862, and Memphis on 6 June. In the latter battle, Colonel Lovell suffered engine failure and was rammed twice by Federal warships, causing her to sink in deep water.

This page features our only views of CSS Colonel Lovell.

Photo #: NH 42755

"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: Colonel Lovell, General Beauregard, General M. Jeff Thompson, General Bragg, General Sumter, Little Rebel and General Earl van Dorn.
The Federal ironclads, in the center and right, are: Carondelet, Cincinnati, Mound City, Benton, Saint Louis, Cairo and Pittsburg. A tug is seen in the right foreground.

Photo #: NH 42367

"The Total Annihilation of the Rebel Fleet by the Federal Fleet under Commodore Davis."

"On the Morning of June 6th 1862, off Memphis, Ten."

Lithograph by Middleton, Strobridge & Co.
In the foreground, the print depicts the Confederate ships (from left to right): General M. Jeff Thompson (shown sinking); Little Rebel (shown burning); General Sterling Price; General Beauregard (shown being rammed by the Ellet Ram Monarch); General Bragg (shown aground) and Colonel Lovell (shown sinking).
In the background are the Federal warships (from left to right): Queen of the West; Cairo; Carondelet; Louisville; Saint Louis; a tug; and Benton.
The city of Memphis is in the right distance, with a wharf boat by the shore.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation.