Friday, February 08, 2013

John E or ( F). Ridley.

John E. Ridley.
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John F. Ridley was born in Berlin, Worcester county, Mass, March 3oth, 1840. He lived there a few years ; then moving to Canton, Mass, where he stayed a short time, thence to Lynn, Mass, living there until 1843, from thence to Andover, Mass., where he entered the dry goods store of Ira, Truell & Co., of Lawrence in the fall of 1859. Staying there until the fall, 1860, and then entering the employ of W. A. Balcom.

Enlisted August 9th, 1862, in Company B, Forty-first Massachusetts Infantry, under Captain L. D. Sergeant afterwards Major and Colonel of the Third Massachu setts Cavalry, going from Lawrence to the camp at Lynnfield, and from there to Boxford. He went to Union Race Course, Long Island, N. Y., and at that place, sometime in November, 1862, was detailed, and put into the Signal Corps.

John E. Ridley Taken Prisoner.
Hardly had the " Sachem " come within range of the enemy's batteries, when a shot struck her steampipe and disabled her. On board of her were Dane, Borden, Cobb, and Ridley, all belonging to the regiment, detailed at Long Island by Col. Chickering at Banks' request. Borden came from Company A, Captain Vinal ; Ridley from Company B, Captain Noyes ; and Cobb from Company C, Captain Swift. They were all good men, and had, by meritorious conduct, commended themselves to their superior officers. When the " Sachem " was struck by the shot from the enemy's battery, she Hauled down her colors and surrendered. After continuing the fight for about twenty minutes, the " Clifton " followed suit. When the shot struck the "Sachem," Borden and Cobb were killed by the scalding steam.

When the gunboat surrendered, Lieutenant Dane and private Ridley were, of course, made prisoners. Abraham F. Borden was a good soldier, and a brave man. His home was in New Bedford. He was married, and left a wife and two childen to mourn his sad end. Andrew P. Cobb enlisted in Roxbury. His home was on the Cape, in the village of Hyannis. A widowed mother mourned his death for many years. His name is on the soldier's monument in the town of Barnstable.

Writing of this unfortunate affair, Ridley says : " I learned after the " Johnnies " got us into Texas, that Borden and Cobb were taken on shore, and buried on Texas soil. That is all I could ever learn of them."

Concerning his experiences as a prisoner of war. Flagman Ridley writes : " At the time I was taken prisoner with Lieutenant Dane, on September 8th, 1863, we were carried up the river to Sabine City. From this we were taken to Beaumont. At Beaumont we were put on board some platform cars, and carried to Houston, Texas. Spent Sunday at latter place (we were captured on Thursday); from Houston we went to the town of Hampstead, and were put into a camp where there were some sheds. Here we were kept awhile, and then "paroled" for the road. An exchange was soon to take place- at Shreveport, La.

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