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    [Battle of Antietam]. Thomas H. Ruger Autograph Letter Signed "Howard." Four integral pages, 5" x 8", "Camp near Sandy Hook Md," September 21, 1862. Thomas H. Ruger (1833-1907), a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, reenlisted in the volunteer army with the outbreak of the Civil War where he saw action at the Battle of Antietam. Here Ruger is writing home to his wife to let her know that he has survived and gives a short account of the carnage. He writes, in part: "I wrote you a few lines after the battle to let you know that I was safe, but I do not know that you will receive it before you do this. It was a great battle. My regt [3rd Wisconsin Infantry] suffered very severely. It behaved with great steadiness and gallantry."

    Of the loss of life he reports that they "...had only about 340 men at most, and then were two hundred and two or three killed & wounded almost two thirds. All the officers who were with the regiment at the battle but four were wounded most of them severely. One I am sorry to say has since died of his wounds." He then gives a brief recap of Lee's failed invasion of the North, culminating with the Battle of Antietam: "The rebels are on the other side of the [Potomac] river. They were badly whipped in the three battles in Maryland. The last was a general engagement, between their army and most of it, and ours." Folds with some staining at the upper and right edges. Slight chipping of the right edge. With the original transmittal envelope.

    Shortly after the battle, Colonel Ruger was given command of a brigade whom he would lead at the Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Ruger remained in the army for the rest of his career. He mustered out of his volunteer commission (as a brevet major general) in June 1866, accepting a commission in the regular army with the rank of colonel, though he was given a brevet promotion to Brig. Gen. in 1867 for his service at Gettysburg. He served as the military governor of Georgia and as head of the Department of the South during Reconstruction. He was also the superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy before being posted on the frontier, participating in the Crow War.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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