CSS COLONEL LOVELL (1861)
Built: Cincinnati, Ohio
Service: River Defense Fleet, 1861-1862
Home Port: Memphis, Tennessee
Dimensions: 162' Length, 30' 10" Beam, 11' Draft
Armament: 1xSmoothebore (likely 32 or 42lb)
Engines: Dual Paddlewheel
Speed: Unknown;estimated 9-10 Knots
Fate: Rammed and sunk at the Battle of Memphis, June 6th 1862.
Colonel Lovell was a sidewheel cottonclad ram, acquired and converted in 1861 for use by the Confederacy's River Defense Fleet, originally built as the civilian steamer Hercules at Cincinnati, Ohio. She spent her career defending the Upper Mississippi as part of the River Defense Fleet. Although her precise armament is unknown, it is generally known that she carried a large smoothebore in her bow, likely a 32 or 42 pounder. She was classified as a ram, and may have had a reinforced ram bow, though not all vessels in the River Defense Fleet classified as such had such modifications made.
Colonel Lovell was part of the attacking force at theBattle of Plum Point in May, 1862, which successfully delayed the advance of the Western Gunboat Flotilla and allowed the evacuation of Fort Pillow. During the engagement she fired on the Union fleet, but did not actually ram any of the Union vessels, she was moderately damaged as a result of fire taken from the USS Benton. She was heavily damaged at the Battle of Memphis the next month when rammed by the USS Queen of the West, drifting out of control into further waters. She went down quickly, taking many of her crew with her.