Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RIPLEY, James Wolfe, soldier, born in Wind-ham, Connecticut, 10 December, 1794; died in Hartford, Connecticut, 16 March, 1870. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1814, entered the artillery, served in the second war with Great Britain, and participated in the defence of Sackett's Harbor. He became battalion quartermaster of artillery in 1816, 1st lieutenant in 1818, was engaged during the Seminole war in the seizure of Pensacola and the capture of San Carlos de Barrancas, and was commissioner for running the boundary-line of the Florida Indian reservations in 1823-'4. He became captain in 1825, was in command at Charleston harbor during the threatened South Carolina nullification disturbances in 1832-'3, and became major in 1838. He was superintendent of the Springfield armory in 1841-'54, and in May, 1848, was brevetted lieutenant-colonel "for the performance of his duty in the prosecution of the Mexican war." He became full lieutenant-colonel in 1854, was chief of ordnance in the Department of the Pacific in 1855-'7, and became colonel and chief of ordnance, United States army, which he held till his retirement in 1863. He received the brevet of brigadier-general, United States army, in July, 1861, and in August was promoted to the full rank. From his retirement until his death he was inspector of the armament of fortifications on the New England coast. In March, 1865, he received the brevet of major-general, United States army, for "long and faithful service."--His nephew, Roswell Sabine, soldier, born in Worthington, Franklin County, Ohio, 14 March, 1823; died in New York city, 26 March, 1887, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1843, served in the Mexican war, where he was engaged at Monterey, Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and the capture of the city of Mexico, and was brevetted captain for Cerro Gordo and major for Chapultepee. He engaged in the Florida war in 1849, but resigned from the army in 1853 and engaged in business in Charleston, South Carolina At the beginning of the civil war he entered the Confederate service directed the fire on Fort Sumter, 13 April, 1861, and in August of that year was appointed brigadier-general, with command of the Department of South Carolina and its coast defences. He was in charge of the 2d military district of that state from December, 1861, till May, 1862, commanded a brigade that was composed of two Georgia and two North Carolina regiments in the defence of Richmond, Virginia, in June, 1862, and with it participated in the battles of Mechanicsville. Gaines's Mills, Malvern Hill, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. He then returned to South Carolina in charge of the 1st military district of that state, constructed the defences of Charleston, and met the naval attack on 7 April, 1863. After the evacuation of that city he joined General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, and continued with him till the surrender. He went abroad after the war, resided in Paris for several years, and subsequently returned and engaged in business in Charleston, South Carolina He published a "History of the Mexican War" (2 vols., New York, 1849).
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