Private A. A. Ruzin

Private A. A. Ruzin

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, August 10, 1878

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A. A. Ruzin

In 1878, the Trans-Pecos region in far West Texas was still the domain of the Western Apaches. Company C of the Frontier Battalion was commanded by Lieutenant John B. Tays, who was the ill fated ranger lieutenant who surrendered to a mob during the El Paso Salt War siege in San Elizario in December 1877, after Ranger Sergeants C. E. Mortimer and John E. McBride were killed. Ranger Major John B. Jones did not relieve Tays or censure him over the incident. He resigned in March 1878 but re-enlisted as a lieutenant.

On Saturday, August 10, 1878, Lieutenant Tays was on a scouting expedition when he approached some springs. He divided his men into two groups of six rangers each to get water by detachments. As the first group of rangers rounded some rocks, they ran into a band of ten or twelve Indians riding away from the water holes. Both sides were startled, the Indians headed for the rocks, and five of the six rangers dived into a nearby gully. The sixth, Private A. A. Ruzin, identified as a Russian nobleman, chose to stand upright and fight like a gentleman, and was quickly cut down with a bullet to the brain. Two horses were shot but no other rangers were killed or wounded in the fight. No Indians were reported to have been killed in the exchange. The Indians stole Ruzin’s Winchester and pistol and five ranger horses before escaping.

Virtually nothing is known about A. A. Ruzin except that all accounts report him as a Russian nobleman. His ranger pay record indicates he enlisted as a private on June 1, 1878. His pay from June 1 to August 10 totaled $93. A contemporary account reported that Ruzin was buried on the battlefield and a wooden marker placed on his grave, but later Indians passing by hacked it up.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 2 months, 1 week
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Not available

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Rest In Peace

Nick mottola

August 10, 2020

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