(1802–67) Union naval officer, born in Maryland. Ringgold served from 1823 to 1825 as part of the “mosquito fleet” that controlled piracy in the West Indies. In 1838 he joined an expedition, led by Charles Wilkes, to explore Pacific Ocean sailing routes and South Seas whaling grounds. After this trip, Ringgold helped chart the west coast of North America. From 1853 to 1856, he led an expedition, planned in conjunction with that of Captain Matthew C. Perry, to explore eastern routes from California to the Far East. Concerns about Ringgold's mental stability led to his being removed from his post and from the active duty roster, but he won a review of his case that reversed the rulings. During the Civil War, in 1861, during a furious gale outside Port Royal, South Carolina, he courageously rescued 400 marines from a foundering vessel; this action and the rescue of a second vessel, the Vermont, in 1862, earned him congressional recognition.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.