About Eleazer Wheelock Ripley
Eleazer Wheelock Ripley (1782–1839) , was a graduate of Dartmouth College, a distinguished Brigadier General in the War of 1812, and a U. S. Representative from Louisiana from 1835 until 1839.
Ripley, served a term in the Massachusetts state legislature. When the Anglo-American War of 1812 broke out, he founded the 21st United States Infantry Regiment in August 1812. Most of the Regiment's soldiers came from Massachusetts and Maine. Soldiers from the regiment took part in several battles including York and Sacketts Harbor. Ripley commanded them at the Battle of Crysler's Farm.
Early in 1814, Ripley was promoted to Brigadier General. (Lieutenant Colonel James Miller, late of the 4th US Infantry Regiment was appointed to succeed him in command of the 21st Infantry.) Ripley was appointed to command a brigade (including the 21st Infantry) in Major General Jacob Brown's Left Division on the Niagara River. At the Battle of Lundy's Lane, Ripley's brigade captured and held the British guns until the American withdrawal. However, he was blamed by Brown for losing the guns during the withdrawal and later demanded a court martial to clear his name.
He briefly commanded the division during the Siege of Fort Erie after Brown was wounded at Lundy's Lane, but was superseded by Brigadier General Edmund Pendleton Gaines. He was conspicuous in the repulse of a British assault on 16 August, and in an American sortie on September 17, in which he was wounded.
Ripley was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the precursor to the Medal of Honor for his wartime service. He left the army in 1820 to enter his career in politics. He was the subject of a United States Supreme Court decision U.S. v Ripley which was decided in 1833. As a result of this decision, Ripley owed the United States a sum of money that he had expended while serving as a Major General by brevet. The building involved in the lawsuit is the oldest building in Uptown New Orleans
His efforts during the war were recognized by the renaming of village of Staunton, Ohio to Ripley, Ohio, in his honor. Other places named after him are Ripley County, Indiana, Ripley County, Missouri, and Ripley, New York.