Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Harold Wilson

Committee Member

Peter Stewart

Committee Member

Carl Boyd

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47C42


During the American Civil War the centuries-old concept of the naval ram as a military weapon was revived. The most active theater of battle for naval rams was the Western rivers. The Mississippi River in the vicinity of Vicksburg saw the first modern instance of ram fleet meeting ram fleet. To combat Confederate attacks on union vessels operating on the rivers, the Mississippi Marine Brigade was added to the Ram Fleet in 1863. This brigade was a combined force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery with naval transports which would land and attack at the first sign of Confederate activity. This thesis will follow the development and employment of this unique naval land force with the premise that neither the unit nor the Ellet family, who provided the leadership and were the driving force for the organization, have received their just share of credit in recorded history.


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