First Lieutenant 29th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), July 24, 1861; died July 28, 1863, near Helena, Ark., of disease contracted in the service.
Lieutenant Ezra Ripley was born August 10 1826, being the son of the late Rev. Samuel Ripley of Waltham, and the grandson of the venerable Dr. Ezra Ripley of Concord, Massachusetts. His mother, Sarah (Bradford) Ripley, still lives at Concord,—a lady beloved and honored as are few persons in any community. Through her he was descended directly from the Pilgrim Governor Bradford. His grandfather, Gamaliel Bradford, was a lieutenant, and his great-grandfather, of the same name, was a colonel, in the war of the Revolution. His paternal grandmother was also the grandmother of Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson of Concord. He graduated at Harvard College in 1846, and was married, in May, 1853, to Miss Harriet M. Hayden of East Cambridge, who survives him. He had no children. In 1861 he had been for ten years a lawyer at East Cambridge, had been there twice appointed to honorable public offices, and was engaged in a large and increasing practice. But when the war broke out he gave up his business, and took part at once in the formation of a military company; the blood that was in him would not suffer him to doubt or linger. And yet he was a slender, delicate, sensitive, and peculiarly unwarlike person,— often the subject of his own laughter for a timidity which he humorously exaggerated into something more than feminine. His health, too, was anything but robust. For these reasons most of his friends opposed his going to the war; but he would heed no opposition, and with steadfast enthusiasm set his face to do what seemed to him to be his duty. And from beginning to end, his patriotism had the support—constant, gentle, self-sacrificing, and inexpressibly comforting—of the person who was dearest to him.