William P. Rucker Description of Wartime Service
October 11, 1897

William P. Rucker described his wartime service and subsequent injuries as part of his pension claim. 

Lewisburg, W.Va

Oct 11th, 1897.

Mr. Joseph H. Hunter, 



Dear Sir,

            I owe you an apology for not sooner acknowledging your favor and enclosure of the 22nd Nov, 1895, which I herewith return. It seems almost impossible for me to take the trip to Princeton for examination by Dr. B. But I will now state my case fully enough to give you an insight into it, and I want every dollar due me in the shape of pensions. In order to get at this I must give a little of personal history: I was born in Lynchburg, VA; studied law and medicine; graduated in medicine at Jefferson Med. College, Philadelphia, in 1854-5; located at Covington, Va, 1855, and practiced medicine there up to 1862, when I was forced to leave on account of my union sentiments; went into the Federal service with Genls Fremont & Crook, on 12th of May, 1862; was captured on the 25th of July, 1862, and remained rebel prisoner until 7th day of Nov, 1863; On 1st day of Jany, 1864, again joined Genl Crook, as secret service agent and guide; March 11th, 1864, commissioned Major of 13th W.Va Infy, and resigned November 23rd, 1864, and was placed in command of W.Va State guards; May 10th, 1864, I led the raid that resulted in the distruction of the railroad bridge over New River; [Maj?] returning from said raid, my horse slipped and fell, near Salt Sulphur Springs, Monroe County, W.Va, catching my left leg under and between himself and a large flat stone in the road, injuring my left leg and left testicle most seriously, and causing a severe rupture of the abdominal cavity, on the right side, and anurism of artery in right wrist, in my efforts to free myself from the weight of my horse. These inquires still afflict me most seriously. After the war I could not resume the practice of medicine, because I was not able to travel on horseback, and had to resume my law studies, which profession I have practiced since July, 1866. These injuries were all sustained while I was Maj of 13th W.Va; also another injury during this time, at Battle of Cloyd Mountain I was struck on outside of left thigh by a piece of rebel shell, inflicting wounds, causing atrophy of the limb. To be frank, if it had not been for exposing the injury done my testicle, I should have filed my application in the very start. Being a physician and surgeon, I have attended to afflictions myself, and I and my body are the only witnesses as to facts. Now, how do you think I am to get a pension? 

Yours very truly,

Wm P Rucker.

You will understand from what 



Act of June 27, 1890.

AA                                      DECLARATION FOR INVALID PENSION                                AA

STATE OF West Virginia     }

            County of Greenbrier } SS.

            On this 23rd day of January, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine personally appeared before me William P. Rucker, aged 67 years, a resident of Lewisburg, county of Greenbrier, State of West Virginia, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical person who was ENROLLED at Wheeling, West Virginia under the name of William P. Rucker as a Major in the 13th Reg. West Virginia, Volunteer Infantry in the service of the United States, in the war of the rebellion, and served at least ninety days, and was HONORABLY DISCHARGED at Marietta, Ohio. That he also served as aid-de-camp, to Generals Crook, Fremont, Hunter, and Siegel, with rank of Major and was employed prior to this time by General Fremont in the secret service. That he was not employed in the military or naval service prior to the 12th day of May, 1862. That he has not been employed in the military or naval service since. That his personal description at enlistment was as follows: Age, 30 years; height, 6 feet - inches; complexion, fair; hair, dark; eyes, gray. That he is wholly incapacitated for earning a support for manual labor by reason of paralysis from which he has been totally disabled since the 22nd day of September 1898. That said disability is not due to vicious habits, and is to the best of his knowledge and belief of a permanent character. That he is not a pensioner. That he has heretofore applied for a pension but he has never prosecuted the claim — can’t give number of application. That he makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension roll of the United States under the provisions Act of June 27, 1890.

            That his POST-OFFICE ADDRESS is Lewisburg county of Greenbrier, State of West Virginia

Wm P Rucker

[Claimant’s signature.]

Attest: (1) A. R. McNeil.

            (2) G. A. Winall


Pension Records for William P. Rucker, RG15, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.