CSS General Earl Van Dorn
|Name:||CSS General Earl Van Dorn|
|Namesake:||Earl Van Dorn|
|Operator:||Confederate States Navy|
|Fate:||Burned to avoid capture, 26 June 1862|
|Type:||Side-wheel River Steamer|
|Part of:||River Defense Fleet|
|Operations:||Battle of Plum Point Bend
Battle of Memphis
The CSS General Earl Van Dorn, a side-wheel river steamer, was fitted out in early 1862 at New Orleans, Louisiana as a River Defense Fleet "cottonclad" ram.
In late March, she steamed up the Mississippi River to Memphis, Tennessee, where her outfitting was completed. In the naval action off Fort Pillow on May 10, she attacked a Union mortar boat with gunfire and rammed the ironclad USS Mound City.
On June 1, she helped cover the Confederate evacuation of Fort Pillow, then retreated to Memphis, where, on June 6 she was the only survivor of the River Defense Fleet's final battle. After escaping to Yazoo City, Mississippi, General Earl Van Dorn was burned on June 26, 1862 to avoid capture by Federal warships.
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