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    [Thomas H. Ruger]. Archive Regarding His Appointment to Command a Division in the Army of the Ohio. Consisting of twelve letters, telegrams, and orders and one train ticket spanning the months October through December 1864. 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.

    In the fall of 1864, Ruger was in command of a brigade, following Gen. William T. Sherman during his invasion of Georgia, but he longed to command a division. On October 2, 1864, he wrote to Maj. Gen. George H. "Pap" Thomas, commander of the Dept. of the Cumberland, on occupation duty at Atlanta requesting that "...I be assigned to the command of a Division of troops now organized or to [be] organized under your command. I have commanded a brigade two years and wish a Division unless it is desired that I remain in my present command." Clearly unhappy being in Georgia, the following day he sends a telegram to Gen. William Whipple further requesting a transfer where he could " of real service at present I should prefer it to remaining in my present position..." He receives a reply from Whipple the next day: "The Maj Gen Comdg has no proper command to which he can assign you at present..."

    One month later, on November 5, Ruger received a telegram from Maj. Gen. John Schofield offering him the division he desires: "I would like to give you comd of a Div of the 23rd...Genl Thomas consents to your transfer to my army...If you accept show this to Genl Sherman & ask him for the necessary orders." He wires to Sherman, forwarding Schofield's message and stating further that he "...would like to make this Campaign, but as I now have...a chance for a Div. I have the honor to request that, unless I can have a Div. on this Campaign, I be ordered to report to...Schofield for assignment..." The next day Ruger received Special Orders, No. 120 ordering him "...with his personal staff [to] report in person to Maj. Gen. Sherman..." where he received his orders, Special Field Orders, No. 118, ordering him "...transferred from the Department of the Cumberland to the Dept. of the Ohio...with him his personal staff..." as well as a ticket for himself "...& Servants & Baggage..." to travel from Atlanta to Chattanooga aboard the U.S. Military Railroad. Ruger found himself at Nashville on November 11, where he was formally "...assigned to the Command of the 2d. Div. 23d A. C..." and ordered to Johnsonville, Tennessee, to assume command. He did not stay with the Second Division long, however, as on December 8, he was "...relieved from the command of the 2d. Division...and assigned to the command of the 1st Division..." in the same corps.

    Three weeks later, Ruger and his division fought at the Battle of Franklin and, for his actions, was breveted a Maj. Genl. He mustered out of his volunteer commission 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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