Daniel Henry Rucker

Daniel Henry Rucker, whose army career spanned forty-five years and whose life spanned nearly a century, was born on April 28, 1812, in Belleville, New Jersey. As a young man he moved to Grosse Isle, Michigan, a village near Detroit, and it was from Michigan that he was commissioned directly into the army as a second lieutenant of the 1st Dragoons on October 13, 1837. He was promoted first lieutenant in 1844, captain in 1847, and for gallantry at Buena Vista in the Mexican War won the brevet of major. In 1849 Rucker transferred from line to staff and was thereafter associated with the Quartermaster's Department. He was promoted to major in August, 1861, and during the Civil War was brevetted major general in both the volunteers and the Regular Army for "diligent and faithful service" and "faithful and meritorious service." The procurement and distribution of wagons, ambulances, horses, mules, harness, forage, and the thousand other items needed for the transportation of an army do not afford a potential for heroics; nevertheless, the Quartermaster's Department was one of the most, if not the most, efficiently operated of the War Department bureaus, and Rucker seems to have ably seconded his chief, General Montgomery C. Meigs. Upon the reorganization of the army in July, 1866, General Rucker was named assistant quartermaster general with rank of colonel, a post which he occupied until 1882, when Meigs, who had headed the bureau since 1861, retired. On February 13, 1882, Rucker was made quartermaster general with rank of brigadier general and ten days later was himself placed on the retired list. He continued to make his residence in Washington, where he lived for another twenty-eight years. On January 6, 1910, less than four months before his ninety-eighth birthday, he died in his home. Only one other full-rank general officer of the Civil War lived to an older age than Rucker, and only 30 of the 583 who won such rank survived him. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.