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[100]

After serving for a time as ‘Third Lieutenant’ in the East Cambridge company in camp at home, he was nominated by General Butler, in the summer of 1861, to be First Lieutenant in what was afterwards Company B of the Twenty-ninth Massachusetts Regiment,—--then a company of the old ‘Massachusetts Battalion,’ at Fortress Monroe. This company and Company I, of the same regiment, were the oldest volunteer troops in the three years service,—having been mustered in on May 14, 1861. In the same modest but honorable place Lieutenant Ripley remained—a First Lieutenant—until the time of his death. Some reasons interfered with his promotion, which were in a high degree honorable to him, but they cannot properly be mentioned here.

Yet he was not without marked honor from his superior officers. While stationed at Fortress Monroe and at Newport News he was quite constantly employed as Judge-Advocate. Early in the year 1862 General Mansfield placed him upon his staff. This position he resigned in June of that year, when his regiment was ordered up the Peninsula, and it was made certain that his general was still to remain behind at Newport News. In Kentucky, he served on the staff of Colonel Pierce, Acting Brigadier-General; and at the time of his death he was Acting Assistant Adjutant-General to Colonel Christ, then acting as Brigadier-General near Vicksburg.

The abilities and character of Lieutenant Ripley justified the confidence of these officers, and might well have assured him a higher nominal rank. But there never was a person more modest, more eager to prefer others before himself, or more indifferent to his own prospects of advancement, when there was occasion to assert some neglected piece of justice. Had he lived a little longer, there is reason to believe that he would presently have received the nomination of colonel to one of the new colored regiments. He was not aware of this; but it is known that he would have rejoiced to belong to those troops in any capacity. For such a position he had distinguished qualifications,— skill, humanity, and a great and inherited interest in the welfare of the African race. He had a

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