Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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RUGER, Thomas Howard, soldier, born in Lima, Livingston County, New York, 2 April, 1833. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1854, assigned to the engineer corps, and worked on the defences of New Orleans, Louisiana, but resigned, 1 April, 1855, and from 1856 till the civil war practised law in Janesville, Wisconsin He became lieutenant-colonel of the 3d Wisconsin regiment, 29 June, 1861, and its colonel on 20 August, and commanded it in Maryland and the Shenandoah valley till August, 1862, after which he was in the northern Virginia and Maryland campaigns. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, 29 November, 1862, led a brigade in the Rappahannock campaigns, and commanded a division at Gettysburg. In the summer of 1863 he was in New York city, where he aided in suppressing the draft riots. He then guarded the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad in Tennessee till April, 1864, led a brigade in Sherman's advance into Georgia till November, 1864, and with a division of the 23d corps took part in the campaign against General John B. Hood's army in Tennessee, receiving the brevet of major-general of volunteers, .30 November, 1864, for services at the battle of Franklin. He then organized a division at Nashville, led it from February to June, 1865, in North Carolina, and then had charge of the department of that state till June, 1866, when he was mustered out. He accepted a colonelcy in the regular army, 28 July, 1866, and on 2 March, 1867, was brevetted brigadier-general, United States army, for services at Gettysburg. From January till July, 1868, he was provisional governor of Georgia, and from 1871 till 1876 he was superintendent of the United States military academy. From the last year till 1878 he was in charge of the Department of the South, and in 1876 he commanded the troops during the trouble in South Carolina incident to the claims of rival state governments. (See CHAMBERLAIN, D. H.) He then commanded posts in the south and west, and on 19 March, 1886, was promoted brigadier-general. After temporarily commanding the Department of the Missouri in April and May, 1886, he was placed in charge of that of Dakota, with headquarters at St. Paul, Minnesota, where he is at present (1888) on duty.
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