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    Thomas Ruger collection of Civil War and Reconstruction-dated military documents

    [Civil War] and [Reconstruction]. Thomas H. Ruger Archive, containing over 145 military documents and letters spanning the Civil War and Reconstruction years of 1861-1879. Items have been well cared for and bear expected wear and only minor soiling.

    Thomas H. Ruger led a colorful military life. After graduating third in his West Point class of 1854, he resigned to pursue a career in law. When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, he reenlisted in the volunteer army as a lieutenant colonel on the field staff of the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry. By September 1861, he was a colonel commanding the 3rd Wisconsin Volunteers and carrying out the important mission handed down from President Lincoln himself of arresting part of the Maryland legislature. Ruger served throughout the rest of the war with distinction, surfacing at important junctures like Antietam, Gettysburg, the New York City draft riots, and in Sherman's March to the Sea. He remained in the army after the war, serving in various important capacities such as military governor of Georgia; commander of the Department of the South; Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, for the State of Alabama; superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy; and, later, on the frontier during the Indian Wars.

    The following items from this archive are of particular significance: Union General George H. Gordon ALS dated November 6, 1865, asking Ruger for an affidavit regarding an "unmitigated falsehood" of "my not moving up in time at the battle of Cedar Mt. testified to by one Clark" from a "Rascal in [General Nathaniel P.] Banks staff"; War Secretary Edwin Stanton letter signed and dated August 29, 1866, from Washington appointing Ruger "Colonel of the Thirty-third Regiment of Infantry"; an "Official Copy" of an O. O. Howard letter dated August 1868 appointing Ruger "Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, for the State of Alabama"; Thomas Ruger ALS dated February 24, 1869, informing his father that his regiment "has been ordered to Texas"; General George Meade LS dated March 1869 notifying Ruger that he had been given "Command of the Department of the South"; Alfred H. Terry ALS to Ruger dated March 12, 1871, regarding lost pay account certificates; William Farrar Smith ALS to Ruger dated December 1876 (five pages); Assistant Adjutant General Chauncey McKeever Western Union telegram regarding the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, dated July 27, 1877 (Chauncey orders Ruger "During these disturbances" to proceed "to Louisville & exercise control of the troops"); Thomas Ruger ALS dated May 20, 1878, to Edward McPherson regarding clerical errors in the wording of a telegram; Winfield Scott Hancock ALS dated March 21, 1879, regarding a recommendation; and a Union Major General William W. Belknap excised signature.

    The following Civil War-dated items are also included: pre-war letters to Ruger as an attorney; Wisconsin Governor Alexander Randall military appointment signed appointing Ruger "Engineer-in-Chief of the Wisconsin State Militia" (April 18, 1861, 15.5" x 11"); several responses from the U.S. Engineer Department in 1861 to letters that Ruger had sent requesting an appointment, such as a letter from the Engineer Department in Washington dated April 25, 1861, notifying Ruger that his letter offering his services had been received; one letter from the Savage Revolving Firearms Company (May 30, 1861) recommending "one of our pistols, which I think you will find an effective weapon"; a letter from 2nd Division, 12th Army Corps, notifying Ruger in Virginia that he has been assigned the command of the 1st Brigade (October 2, 1862); several requests and notices for leaves of absence; a doctor's notice certifying that "Brig. Genl Thomas H. Ruger . . . has inflammation of the liver and bowels and that in consequence thereof, he is, in my opinion, unfit for duty and unable to travel" (October 7, 1864); and much more.

    Also included are the following Reconstruction-dated items: four-page retained copy of a letter from General George Meade to General U. S. Grant, dated November 8, 1865; documents dated 1865 related to Ruger's commission of "Major General of Volunteer by Brevet"; letter from a colonel at the headquarters of the Military Division of Tennessee in December 1865 requesting that Ruger send him "a complete summary of your military history, from the breaking out of the Rebellion up to the present time" so that it may be forwarded "with the proper recommendation for your appointment or promotion in the army"; over two dozen post-Civil War ordnance reports issued to Brigadier General Ruger; numerous military telegraphs; several "Special Orders" and general orders; documents honorably mustering Ruger out of service in 1866; Andrew Johnson military appointment with stamped signature signed by Edwin Stanton on March 5, 1867, appointing Ruger "Colonel of the Thirty-third Regiment of Infantry" (very clean with folds) accompanied by a partly-printed letter of transmittal; numerous letters and documents assigning Ruger to various commands, including some transferring the command of the South to him (1869); court-martial documents; and much more.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 590

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