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    [Battle of Chancellorsville]. Thomas H. Ruger Autograph Letter Signed "Howard." Eight pages, 5.25" x 8.25", Stafford Court House, May 7, 1863. Written to his wife one day after the Battle of Chancellorsville, Ruger discusses their "...defeat in the late battle." He goes on to clarify his use of the word defeat: "I say defeat for we have fallen back. We were not defeated so far as fighting was concerned...My brigade drove the rebels without trouble but they kept bringing up fresh troops and we were retired after all our ammunition was exhausted...I think there is but one opinion among intelligent officers, and that is that we could have gained a decisive victory if the forces had been properly handled. A large part of our army did no fighting...But I will say that I was never more convinced that we have the ability to whip the rebel army than I was that after the battle."

    He continues his analysis of the battle by complaining about the lack of leadership, asserting that they "...would have gained a great victory if McClellan had commanded, for he has the very qualities that were necessary on the field...," but "...from what I know I think the rebels must have lost many more in killed & wounded than we did. Our loss in killed & wounded was not large for the whole army, but was heavy for the numbers actually in the hard fighting." The remainder of the letter concerns domestic matters. Folds with light toning of the edges. With the original transmittal envelope.

    More Information:

    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 and led troops at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He remained in the regular army after the war and was breveted a brigadier general for his actions 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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