Ruggles, James M.

Born: 1818-03-07 Mansfield, Ohio

Died: 1901-02-09 Havana, Illinois

Flourished: 1843 Scott County, Illinois.

Ruggles came to Illinois with his family in 1837 and became involved in printing. He studied law and moved to Bath, where he became a merchant. He also became involved in newspaper publishing and unsuccessfully ran for state printer in 1844. In 1852, Ruggles won election to the Illinois Senate and remained there for four years. A friend of Abraham Lincoln, Ruggles supported Lincoln's political campaigns, including as a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention. In 1856, Ruggles wrote the Illinois Republican Party platform and attended the Bloomington Convention. The convention nominated him for lieutenant-governor, but he declined the offer in favor of John Wood. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Ruggles received a commission as a lieutenant and quartermaster in the First Illinois Volunteer Regiment. Ruggles soon sought out a more active position and received a transfer to the Third Illinois Regiment, remaining with the unit until he mustered out in 1864. Ruggles earned promotion to lieutenant colonel for his actions at the Battle of Pea Ridge and briefly commanded the regiment. At the conclusion of his service, he had earned a brevet rank of brigadier general.

The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1879), 775-76; Gravestone, Bath Cemetery, Bath, Illinois.