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Brigadier-General Thomas H. Ruger, U.S.A.


Brigadier-General Thomas H. Ruger was born in New York, and graduated from the U. S. Military Academy July 1, 1854, when he was appointed brevet second lieutenant Corps of Engineers. He served at New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1854-55, and resigned from the service April 1, 1855.

In civil life he was counsellor-at-law at Janesville, Wisconsin, from 1856 to 1861, when he again entered the service as lieutenant-colonel of the Third Wisconsin Volunteers, serving in command of his regiment in operations in Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley from July, 1861, to August, 1862, in the mean time having been promoted colonel of his regiment, to date from August 20, 1861.

Colonel Ruger was engaged in the movement to Harrisonburg, Virginia, February, 1862; combat of Winchester, May 25, 1862; retreat to Williamsport, Maryland, May, 1862, and advance to Little Washington, Virginia, July, 1862; in the Northern Virginia campaign, being engaged in the battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862; in the Maryland campaign (Army of the Potomac), being engaged in the battle of Antietam, and subsequent march to Falmouth, Virginia.

He was appointed brigadier-general U. S. Volunteers November 29, 1862, and commanded a brigade in the Twelfth Corps, Army of the Potomac, in the Rappahannock campaign, being engaged in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 2-4, 1863; in the Pennsylvania campaign, being engaged in the battle of Gettysburg (where he commanded a division), July 1-3, 1863, and subsequent march to Warrenton, Virginia. He participated in suppressing the draft-riots in New York City, August to September, 1863, and when that trouble ceased was on duty in Tennessee, October, 1863, to April, 1864. He was then assigned to the command of a brigade of the Twentieth Corps in the invasion of Georgia, being engaged in the battles of Resaca, May 15, 1864, and New Hope Church, May 25, 1864; action of Kulp House, June 22, 1864; combat of Peach-Tree Creek, July 20, 1864, and in numerous skirmishes on the march from May to July, 1864; siege of Atlanta, July 22 to September 2, 1864, and occupation of Atlanta, September 2 to November 8, 1864. He commanded a division of the Twenty-third Corps in the Tennessee campaign against the rebel army of General Hood, November 15 to December 8, 1864, being engaged in operations about Columbia and battle of Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864.

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He then organized the First Division of the Twenty-third Corps, and was in command of. his division in the operations in North Carolina, being engaged in the movement up the Neuse River, February to March, 1865; action at Wier's Fork, near Kinston, March 10, 1865; surrender of the insurgent army under General J. E. Johnston at Darien Station, April 26, 1865, and in command of the Department and District of North Carolina, June 27, 1865, to September 1, 1866, when he was mustered out of the volunteer service, having been reappointed in the U. S. Army, with the rank of colonel of the Thirty-third Infantry, July 28, 1866.

General Ruger was brevetted major-general U. S. Volunteers November 30, 1864, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Franklin, and brevet brigadier-general U. S. Army, March 2, 1867, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Gettysburg.

While in command of his regiment at Atlanta, he was made provisional governor of the State of Georgia from January 13 to July 4, 1868, and was in command of the District of Alabama to February 1, 1869. He was transferred to the Eighteenth Infantry March 15, 1869.

General Ruger commanded the Department of the South from March 5 to May 31, 1869, and, after serving with his regiment until September 1, 1871, was detailed as superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy, where he remained until September 1, 1876; he was then placed in command of the Department of the South to July 1, 1878. He commanded Fort Assinaboine, together with the District of Montana, to October 1, 1879, and then commanded the District of Montana to May 13, 1885. He commanded his regiment and the post of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Infantry and Cavalry School of Application from June 29, 1885, to April 8, 1886, when he was appointed brigadier-general U. S. Army March 19, 1886, and assigned to the command of the Department of the Missouri, remaining to May 4, 1886, and then transferred to the Department of Dakota, which command he retained until April, 1891, when he was transferred to the command of the Military Division of the Pacific. The military divisions being discontinued in July, 1891, General Ruger was assigned to the command of the Department of California, which he now retains.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.


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