Daniel Henry Rucker was born at Belleville, New Jersey on April 28, 1812, of German and Irish ancestry. He joined the Army at 25 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of the 1st Dragoons on October 13, 1837. The following April he was appointed an assistant commissary of subsistence for the regiment. During the next nine years he saw service at various frontier posts in the Old Southwest. He participated in the War with Mexico, being promoted to Captain on February 7, 1847, and brevetted Major on February 23, for gallant and meritorious conduct at the battle of Buena Vista. At the close of the war he commanded a battalion of his regiment. Shortly before the war, Rucker had sought appointment in the Quartermaster's Department, but it was not until 1849 that he was transferred to it as an Assistant Quartermaster. For the next 12 years he again served in the Southwest, much of the time being stationed in New Mexico.
At the start of the Civil War, he was 49 and had been in the Army for 24 years. He declined an appointment as Major in the 6th Cavalry, preferring to remain in the Quartermaster's Department where he was promoted to Major on August 3, 1861, and placed in charge of the Washington Depot.
On September 28, 1861, he was promoted to colonel and appointed as an additional aide-de-camp to General George B. McClellan. During the war years he remained in charge of the great depot that developed at Washington, through which passed a major portion of the supplies for the armies before Richmond and the Atlantic Coast.
At the end of the war General Rucker initiated auction sale of surplus animals and equipment, selecting the best of the Quartermaster supplies for storage at various points. He oversaw the post Civil War downsizing of depot operations and personnel.
Rucker was appointed brigadier general of volunteers on May 23, 1863, and for his diligent and faithful service during the war he was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, and Brigadier General on July 5, 1864, and Major General on March 13, 1865. While still in charge of the Washington Depot, he was promoted to Colonel in the regular Army and appointed an assistant Quartermaster General of the Department on July 28, 1866. In the decade following the war Rucker was given various assignments before becoming Chief Quartermaster of the Philadelphia Depot in the fall of 1875, a post he retained for seven years.
On February 13, 1882, General Rucker was appointed Quartermaster General. He assumed the duties of his office on February 20, and at the same time applied for retirement, a request that was granted on February 23. He was then approaching his 70th birthday and had been in the service of the Army for more than 44 years.
After his retirement, General Rucker lived in Washington where he continued to take an active interest in Army affairs. He died on January 6, 1910, in his 98th year and was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
since 19 Nov 00