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Thomas H. Ruger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas Howard Ruger (April 2, 1833 – June 3, 1907) was an American soldier and lawyer who served as a Union general in the American Civil War. After the war, he was a superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Early life

Ruger was born in Lima, New York, and moved to Janesville, Wisconsin in 1846. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1854, third in his class of 46, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He resigned in 1855 to become a lawyer in Wisconsin.

Civil War

Ruger was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment in June 1861, and promoted to colonel on August 20. Ruger commanded his regiment in Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley campaigns. He participated in the Battle of Antietam, in which he was wounded while acting commander of a brigade in the 1st Division, XII Corps. Commissioned brigadier general of volunteers in November 1862, Ruger led his brigade of the XII Corps, Army of the Potomac, in the Battle of Chancellorsville, and commanded the division of Brig. Gen. Alpheus Williams temporarily at Gettysburg.[1] (Col. Silas Colgrove led the brigade in that battle, participating in the defense of Culp's Hill.) In the summer of 1863, Ruger was in New York City, where he aided in suppressing draft riots.

Ruger led a brigade of XX Corps in Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign until November 1864, and with a division of XXIII Corps took part in the campaign against General John B. Hood's army in Tennessee. He was appointed a brevet major general of volunteers, November 30, 1864, for services at the Battle of Franklin. Ruger organized a division at Nashville and led his command to North Carolina in June 1865, and then had charge of the department of that state until June 1866.[2] He was mustered out of his volunteer commission, accepting a regular army commission as colonel, July 28, 1866, and on March 2, 1867, was brevetted brigadier general, regular army, for his services at Gettysburg.

Later years

Ruger participated in Reconstruction as the military governor of Georgia and in the Freedmen's Bureau in Alabama in 1868. He was the superintendent of the United States Military Academy from 1871 to 1876. Other commands he held were the Department of the South (1876–78), the Infantry and Cavalry School of Application (1885-86), the Department of Dakota (1886–91), the Military Division of the Pacific (1891), the Department of California (1891–94), the Military Division of the Missouri (1894-95) and the Department of the East (1895–97). In 1887 Ruger led the army's expedition into the Big Horn Mountains during the Crow War. He retired, in 1897, with the rank of major general in the Regular Army.

He was a Veteran Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and an Honorary Companion of the Military Order of Foreign Wars.

He died in Stamford, Connecticut, and is buried in West Point National Cemetery.[3]

Fort Ruger at Diamond Head on Oahu is named in his honor.

See also


  1. ^ Spruill, Matt (2011). Decisions at Gettysburg : The Nineteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Campaign. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-1572337459.
  2. ^ Vagts, Detlev F. (2008). "Military Commissions: The Forgotten Reconstruction Chapter". American University International Law Review. 23: 241. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Georgia Governors' Gravesites Field Guide, 1776 - 2003" (PDF). Georgia Historic Preservation Division. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 18, 2006. Retrieved April 19, 2009.


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Thomas Gamble Pitcher
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
John McAllister Schofield
Preceded by
Elwell Otis
Commandant of the Command and General Staff College
June 1885 – May 1886
Succeeded by
Alexander McDowell McCook
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles J. Jenkins
Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
Rufus Bullock
This page was last edited on 9 April 2021, at 23:11
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