Roswell S. Ripley Paper

Manuscript Collection #49
Ripley, R. S. (Roswell Sabine), 1823-1887
Physical description
0.108 Cubic Feet, 1 item, a report (7 pages).
Preferred Citation
Roswell S. Ripley Paper (#49), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Letter (1862) consisting of a report sent to Maj. J. W. Ratchford on the actions of Ripley's Brigade during the Seven Days' Battles (Peninsula Campaign).

Biographical/historical information

Brigadier General Roswell Sabine Ripley (1823-1887, born in Ohio) graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1843. Before resigning his commission in 1853, he served with merit in the Mexican and Seminole Wars. Subsequent to leaving army service, he settled in South Carolina, where he was a businessman and also active in the state militia. He was named Major of South Carolina ordnance in 1860. As a lt. colonel, he commanded the reconditioned forts, Moultrie and Sumter. In 1861, he was appointed brigadier general, C.S.A. After serving with Pemberton in South Carolina, Ripley was a brigade commander in the Army of Northern Virginia. Wounded at Antietam, he returned to South Carolina as commander of the 1st Artillery District. After the fall of Charleston, in 1864, Ripley joined the Army of the West at Bentonville. After Bentonville, he left the United States for Britain where he stayed for a number of years. Ripley died in New York in 1887.

Scope and arrangement

The report, dated July 11, 1862, prepared by Brigadier General Ripley was sent to Major J. W. Ratchforde, adjutant to Major General D. H. Hill. Ripley commanded the Fifth Brigade in D. H. Hill's division. The battle action described in the report recounts in detail the activities of Ripley's brigade in the Seven Days' Battles (Peninsular Campaign, June 25 - July 1, 1862) in which General Robert E. Lee dislodged the Union Army under General McClellan from its positions before Richmond. Ripley recounts the movement of his troops across the Chickahominy River to support A. P. Hill's division, then holding a position on the Mechanicsville Road near Ellison's Mill. Battle action at Mechanicsville, Ellison's Mill, and Malvern Hill is described. Of particular interest is Ripley's accounting of battle losses and his comments on the deaths of Colonel Montfort S. Stokes, Commander of the 1st N. C. Infantry, and Gaston Meares, Commander of the 3rd N. C. Infantry.

Administrative information
Custodial History

March 18, 1968, 1 item; Letter of Ripley to J. W. Ratchforde. Transferred from the J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University.

Processing information

Processed by D. Lennon, May 1968

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Hill, A. P. (A. Powell)
Hill, D. H. (Daniel Harvey), 1821-1889
Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807-1870
Meares, Gaston, -1862
Ripley, R. S. (Roswell Sabine), 1823-1887
Stokes, Montfort Sidney, 1810-1862
Corporate Names
Confederate States of America. Army--Officers
Seven Days' Battles, Va., 1862
Chickahominy River (Va.)--History, Military
Ellison's Mill (Va.)--History, Military
Malvern Hill (Va.)--History, Military
Mechanicsville (Hanover County, Va.)--History, Military
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Casualties
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865