| Edmond Winchester Rucker was
born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on July 22, 1835. He was the son of
Edmund and Louisa Winchester Rucker and grandson of General James
Winchester and Thomas Rucker, both officers during the War of 1812. He
had little education, gaining only what was available at the Wilson
County common schools. Prior to enlisting in the Confederate Army,
Rucker worked with a surveying crew to survey for the Nashville &
Decatur Railroad. He then moved to Memphis and established an
engineering and surveying business. In 1858 he was appointed City
Engineer of Memphis.
Upon his enlistment in the Confederate Army, he was appointed First Lieutenant of Engineers and was sent to Columbus, Kentucky. He was subsequently promoted to Captain of Tennessee Artillery and was assigned to command a company of Illinoisans who had come South to fight for the Confederacy. He fought at the battles of Island No. 10 and Fort Pillow, both of which were disasters.
| In the summer of 1862 he
was promoted to Major of the 16th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion. He
commanded forces at Kingston and Cleveland in Tennessee.
In 1863 Rucker's Battalion was combined with the 12th Battalion to form Rucker's Legion and was attached to Forrest's Cavalry Corps of the Army of Tennessee. By late 1863 and the Battle of Chickamauga, Rucker had been promoted to Colonel. In 1864, he was transferred to Mississippi and given command of a brigade of Tennessee Cavalry in Brigadier General James Chalmer's Division of Forrest's new cavalry command. He led forces at the battles of Brice's Crossroads on June 10, 1864 and Tupelo on July 14, 1864, where he was wounded twice.
After returning to duty, Rucker was given command of another cavalry brigade which he led in General John Bell Hood's invasion of Tennessee. During the Battle of Nashville, Rucker was shot in the arm and captured; his arm was amputated by Union surgeons. He was imprisoned at Johnson's Island, Ohio; Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest arranged a prisoner exchange for him and Rucker rejoined the army. He was with Forrest's company at the surrender in Gainesville on May 9, 1865.
Rucker was appointed acting Brigadier General late in the war. Although his commission was not confirmed by the Confederate Congress, he was given the honorarium of Brigadier General after the War.
In 1869 he moved to Alabama where he became president of Salem, Marion & Memphis Railroad; president of Birmingham Compress and Warehouse Co., vice president of Sloss Iron and Steel Company; vice-president and director of Alabama National Bank; and vice-president of American Coal Company.
Rucker was a member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church. He was married twice, first to Mary A. Woodfin and second to Mary T. Bentley. He had three children, Mary, Louise and Edmund. Rucker died in Birmingham on April 13, 1924 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.
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