Ripley A. Hale
Age 34. Residence Strawberry Point, nativity Maine. Enlisted Aug. 14, 1862. Mustered Aug. 22, 1862. Promoted Eighth Corporal May 17, 1863; Seventh Corporal May 26, 1863; Fifth Corporal June 23. 1863; Third Corporal July 26, 1863; Second Corporal Nov. 11, 1863; First Corporal May 1, 1864.
Transferred to the Navy as a Seaman, by general order No. 182, July 1, 1864, served aboard the iron-hulled screw steamer USS Antona, a British blockade runner captured in 1863, blockaded the western Gulf of Mexico, mostly the Texas coast. Naval enlistment expired August 16, 1866. A Captain on the West India Trade for five years, before moving to Iowa in 1855 and called Captain or Cap by his friends.
Samuel H. Knickerbocker
Age 38. Residence Strawberry Point. Enlisted Aug. 15, 1862. Mustered Aug. 22, 1862.
Transferred to the Navy as a Seaman, by general order No. 182, July 1, 1864 at New Orleans, served aboard the sloop-of-war USS Portsmouth, launched 1843, operated as station ship at New Orleans. Naval enlistment expired October 13, 1865.
Eric D. Starnes: "In the rosters I have seen Ripley A. Hale and Samuel H. Knickerbocker shown as going into the Marine Brigade. The four other members of the 21st that transferred to the Mississippi Marine Brigade actually did, but Hale & Knickerbocker transferred into the US Navy.
In Gilbert Cooley's letters he says that they were "...aboard the USS Chickasaw during the Battle of Mobile Bay." Cooley also writes about them both being on a sloop: "... men from USS Chickasaw captured a sloop and a small boat on August 9, 1864, running dispatches."
The following is from a letter written at Morganza, LA on August 23, 1864:
Mortimer Strunk received a letter from S. Knickerbocker yesterday, he is on board the Moniter Chickasaw in the harbor of Mobile. He & Cap. Hale were both in the fight & did not get a Scratch. They are both sick of the Gunboat Servace and would be anxious to Serve their time out in Co. D.
Before the battle their commander Perkins wrote:
"The cabin is so hot that I cannot stay in it. When we are under steam the thermometer, below decks, goes up to 150 degrees, and in the engine room to 214 degrees."
And about conditions during the battle:
"The vessel below was becoming hotter and hotter. The ventilation system had also failed, for when the guns had been fired over the intake openings, the concussions burst the ducts. Powder fumes were sucked in through the breaks fouling the air and causing an explosion hazard to the powder being passed up to the turret."
~information contributed by Eric D. Starnes
Return to Clayton co. Military index