Thomas Howard Ruger (April
2, 1833 – June 3, 1907) was an American soldier and lawyer who served as a Union general in
the American Civil War.
war, he was a superintendent
of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New
born in Lima, New York, and moved to
Wisconsin in 1846.
He graduated from the U.S. Military
Academy in 1854, third in his class of 46, and was commissioned a
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
resigned in 1855 to become a lawyer in Wisconsin.
Ruger was appointed lieutenant colonel
Volunteer Infantry Regiment
in June 1861, and promoted to
on August 20.
commanded his regiment in Maryland and the
Valley campaigns. He participated in the Battle of
Antietam, in which he was wounded while acting commander of
a brigade in the 1st Division, XII
Corps. Commissioned brigadier general of
volunteers in November 1862, Ruger led his brigade of the XII
Corps, Army of the Potomac, in
the Battle of
Chancellorsville, and commanded the division of Brig.
Alpheus Williams temporarily at Gettysburg. (Col. Silas
Colgrove led the brigade in that battle, participating in the
defense of Culp's
Hill.) In the summer of 1863, Ruger was in New York City, where he aided in suppressing draft riots.
Brig. Gen. Ruger led a brigade of XX
in Maj. Gen. William T.
Sherman's advance into Georgia until November 1864, and with a division of
XXIII Corps took part in the
B. Hood's army in
major general of
volunteers, November 30, 1864, for services at the Battle of
Franklin. Ruger organized a division at Nashville and led his command to North Carolina in June 1865, and then had charge of the department
of that state until June 1866.
He was mustered out of his
volunteer commission, accepting a regular army
colonel, July 28, 1866, and on March 2, 1867, was brevetted
brigadier general, regular army, for his services at
participated in Reconstruction as
the military governor of Georgia and in the Freedmen's
Bureau in Alabama in 1868.
He was the superintendent of the
U.S. Military Academy from 1871 to 1876, and retired, in 1897, with
the rank of major general in the regular army. He died in Stamford,
Connecticut, and is buried in West Point National