THOMAS HOWARD RUGER, Georgia’s 30th Governor, was born in Lima, New York, on April 2, 1833. In 1854 he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and then embarked on a long and distinguished career in the military. After a brief commission with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ruger practiced law in Janesville, Wisconsin. In June 1861, he was assigned as lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Wisconsin Regiment, he rose to the rank of brigadier general, commanded a contingent in the Rappahannock maneuvers, and aided in the containment of the 1863 New York draft uprising. On November 30, 1864, he was promoted to major general for his admirable service in the Battle of Franklin. After serving as colonel of the 33rd Infantry in the U.S. Army, Ruger again was commended for his courageous service in the Battle of Gettysburg and was commissioned a brigadier general. On January 17, 1868, Major General George W. Meade, commander of the 3rd Military District, forced Governor Charles J. Jenkins out of office. Meade then appointed Ruger to serve as Governor of Georgia, a position he held until June 28, 1868. The following year, Ruger was appointed to supervise a board of U.S. officers in Atlanta, examining the qualifications of select members of the Georgia Legislature. From 1871 to 1876, he served as the superindent of the U.S. Military Academy, and was the commander of the Department of the South and West, serving until 1885. Two years after being promoted to major general, Ruger retired from active military duty. Governor Thomas H. Ruger died on June 3, 1907.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.