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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Wars & Conflicts
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Queen of the West
(SwRam: t. 212 or 406; l. 180'; b. 37'6"; dph. 8'; cpl. 120; a. 1 30-pdr., 1 20-pdr, 3 12-pdr. how.)

Queen of the West, Cincinnati-built in 1854, was purchased and converted into a ram by the United States Army in 1862. She was one of the vessels of Ellet's Ram Fleet operating in conjunction with the U.S. Navy. The Confederates sank her off Fort de Russy, La., on the Red River, on 14 February 1863, and later raised her.

Queen of the West, cottonclad with iron protection around her machinery, operated thereafter under the Confederate Army. In conjunction with another Confederate ram, Webb, she forced the surrender of USS Indianola off the Red River on 24 February 1863. On 14 April 1863 she was attacked on the Atchafalaya River, La., by the Union vessels Estrella, Calhoun, and Arizona. A shell from Calhoun set fire to Queen of the West's cotton and her burning wreck drifted down the river for several hours before she grounded and exploded.