A Civil War Biography

Edmund Winchester Rucker

Rucker, born in 1834, was a self taught surveyor and engineer. He started his Confederate service in May 1861 as a private in a company of Sappers and Miners, engineers, eventually becoming a 2nd lieutenant.

He was next assigned to command a group of Illinoisans who joined the Confederacy and formed a heavy artillery unit, Stewart's Invincibles. The unit became part of Company E of the 1st Tennessee Heavy artillery with Rucker named captain on 10 May 1862. He commanded the company at Island #10 and escaped with part of his command when the island fell. He was sent to Fort Pillow and remained there until he was transferred to the cavalry in October 1862 as a major in the 16th Tennessee cavalry battalion. He was assigned to rounding up conscripts. He was promoted to colonel in February 1863 and took part in John Pegram's Kentucky raid. Rucker was assigned command of Rucker's Legion, an organization comprised of the 12th and 16th cavalry battalions on 1 June 1863. The Legion fought at Chickamauga. In February 1864 Rucker was transferred to Mississippi and given command of the 6th brigade in Abraham Buford's division which he led at Brice's Crossroads and Tupelo until he was wounded. Rucker returned to duty on 14 July 1864 in command of the 6th brigade of James Chalmer's division in Forrest's Cavalry Corps. The brigade was assigned to the Army of Tennessee and saw action at Nashville where Rucker lost his left arm. In February 1865 Forrest's cavalry was reorganized and Rucker lost his brigade on 13 February 1865. He was commissioned a brigadier general but the commission did not arrive before the war ended.

Following the war Rucker worked with Forrest on a railroad project in Alabama. Rucker then settled in Birmingham, Alabama where he became a leader in industry and in Confederate veteran affairs. He died in 1924.

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