United States Secretary of War

The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War", had been appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation between 1781 and 1789. Benjamin Lincoln and later Henry Knox held the position. When Washington was inaugurated as the first president under the Constitution, he appointed Knox to continue serving as Secretary of War.

The Secretary of War was the head of the War Department. At first, he was responsible for all military affairs, including naval affairs. In 1798, the Secretary of the Navy was created by statute, and the scope of responsibility for this office was reduced to the affairs of the United States Army. From 1886 onward, the Secretary of War was in the line of succession to the presidency, after the Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tem of the Senate and the Secretary of State.

In 1947, with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, the Secretary of War was replaced by the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force, which, along with the Secretary of the Navy, have since 1949 been non-Cabinet subordinates under the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of the Army's office is generally considered the direct successor to the Secretary of War's office although the Secretary of Defense took the Secretary of War's position in the Cabinet, and the line of succession to the presidency.

United States Secretary of War
Seal of the United States Department of War
Flag of the United States Secretary of the Army
Flag of the Secretary of War
KCR portrait
Last in office
Kenneth C. Royall

July 19, 1947 – September 18, 1947
United States Department of War
StyleMr. Secretary
Member ofCabinet
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
PrecursorSecretary at War
First holderHenry Knox
Final holderKenneth C. Royall
SuccessionSecretary of the Army
Secretary of the Air Force

List of Secretaries

Secretary at War (1781–1789)

The office of Secretary at War was modelled upon Great Britain's Secretary at War, who was William Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington, at the time of the American Revolution. The office of Secretary at War was meant to replace both the Commander-in-Chief and the Board of War, and like the President of the Board, the Secretary wore no special insignia. The Inspector General, Quartermaster General, Commissary General, and Adjutant General served on the Secretary's staff. However, the Army itself under Secretary Henry Knox only consisted of 700 men.

No. Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office Congress
1 General Benjamin Lincoln-restored Benjamin Lincoln Massachusetts March 1, 1781 November 2, 1783 Congress of the Confederation
2 Henry Knox by Gilbert Stuart 1806.jpeg Henry Knox Massachusetts March 8, 1785 September 12, 1789

Secretary of War (1789–1947)

Swearing in of Secretary Dwight Davis
Swearing in of Dwight F. Davis as Secretary of War in 1925. Former Secretaries John W. Weeks and Chief Justice William Howard Taft are standing beside him.

  No party (1)   Federalist (3)   Democratic-Republican (8)   Democratic (14)   Whig (5)   Republican (25)

No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took office Left office President(s)
1 Henry Knox by Gilbert Stuart 1806.jpeg Henry Knox Massachusetts September 12, 1789 December 31, 1794 George Washington
2 Timothy-Pickering Timothy Pickering Pennsylvania[1] January 2, 1795 December 10, 1795
3 JMcHenry James McHenry Maryland January 27, 1796 June 1, 1800[2]
John Adams
4 Samuel Dexter Samuel Dexter Massachusetts June 1, 1800 January 31, 1801
5 Henry Dearborn by Gilbert Stuart.jpeg Henry Dearborn Massachusetts March 5, 1801 March 4, 1809 Thomas Jefferson
6 William Eustis William Eustis Massachusetts March 7, 1809 January 13, 1813 James Madison
7 John Armstrong Jr. John Armstrong, Jr. New York January 13, 1813 September 27, 1814
8 Jamesmonroe-npgallery James Monroe Virginia September 27, 1814 March 2, 1815
9 WilliamHarrisCrawford5 William H. Crawford Georgia August 1, 1815 October 22, 1816
10 JCCalhoun-1822 John C. Calhoun South Carolina October 8, 1817 March 4, 1825 James Monroe
11 BarbourT James Barbour Virginia March 7, 1825 May 23, 1828 John Quincy Adams
12 Peter Buell Porter Peter Buell Porter New York May 23, 1828 March 9, 1829
13 John Eaton John H. Eaton Tennessee March 9, 1829 June 18, 1831 Andrew Jackson
14 Lewis Cass 2 Lewis Cass Ohio August 1, 1831 October 5, 1836
15 Jrpoinsett Joel Roberts Poinsett South Carolina March 7, 1837 March 4, 1841 Martin Van Buren
16 JBell John Bell Tennessee March 5, 1841 September 13, 1841 William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
17 SpencerJohn John Canfield Spencer New York October 12, 1841 March 4, 1843
18 PorterJM James Madison Porter Pennsylvania March 8, 1843 February 14, 1844
19 William Wilkins United States Senator - Brady-Handy William Wilkins Pennsylvania February 15, 1844 March 4, 1845
20 William L. Marcy William Learned Marcy New York March 6, 1845 March 4, 1849 James K. Polk
21 GWCrawford2 George W. Crawford Georgia March 8, 1849 July 22, 1850 Zachary Taylor
22 Charles Magill Conrad Charles Magill Conrad Louisiana August 15, 1850 March 4, 1853 Millard Fillmore
23 President-Jefferson-Davis Jefferson Davis Mississippi March 7, 1853 March 4, 1857 Franklin Pierce
24 John Buchanan Floyd John B. Floyd Virginia March 6, 1857 December 29, 1860 James Buchanan
25 Joseph Holt Joseph Holt Kentucky January 18, 1861 March 4, 1861
26 Smn Cameron-SecofWar Simon Cameron Pennsylvania March 5, 1861 January 14, 1862 Abraham Lincoln
27 Edwin McMasters Stanton Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton Pennsylvania January 20, 1862 May 28, 1868
Andrew Johnson
28 John Schofield John McAllister Schofield Illinois June 1, 1868 March 13, 1869
29 John Aaron Rawlins - Brady-Handy John Aaron Rawlins Illinois March 13, 1869 September 6, 1869 Ulysses S. Grant
30 WWBelknap William W. Belknap Iowa October 25, 1869 March 2, 1876
31 Alphonso Taft seated Alphonso Taft Ohio March 8, 1876 May 22, 1876
32 JDonaldC2 J. Donald Cameron Pennsylvania May 22, 1876 March 4, 1877
33 GWMcCrary George W. McCrary Iowa March 12, 1877 December 10, 1879 Rutherford B. Hayes
34 Alexander Ramsey - Brady-Handy Alexander Ramsey Minnesota December 10, 1879 March 4, 1881
35 Robert Todd Lincoln, Brady-Handy bw photo portrait, ca1870-1880 Robert Todd Lincoln Illinois March 5, 1881 March 4, 1885 James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
36 William Endicott, bw photo portrait, 1886 William Crowninshield Endicott Massachusetts March 5, 1885 March 4, 1889 Grover Cleveland
37 Redfield Proctor, bw photo portrait, 1904 Redfield Proctor Vermont March 5, 1889 November 5, 1891 Benjamin Harrison
38 SBElkins Stephen Benton Elkins West Virginia December 17, 1891 March 4, 1893
39 Daniel Lamont, bw photo portrait, 1904 Daniel S. Lamont New York March 5, 1893 March 4, 1897 Grover Cleveland
40 Russell Alexander Alger by by The Detroit Publishing Co. Russell A. Alger Michigan March 5, 1897 August 1, 1899 William McKinley
41 Elihu Root, bw photo portrait, 1902 Elihu Root New York August 1, 1899 January 31, 1904
Theodore Roosevelt
42 William Howard Taft William Howard Taft Ohio February 1, 1904 June 30, 1908
43 Luke Edward Wright Luke Edward Wright Tennessee July 1, 1908 March 4, 1909
44 Jacob Dickinson, bw photo portrait standing, 1909 Jacob M. Dickinson Tennessee March 12, 1909 May 21, 1911 William Howard Taft
45 HLStimson Henry L. Stimson New York May 22, 1911 March 4, 1913
46 Lindley Garrison, BW photo portrait, 1913 Lindley Miller Garrison New Jersey March 5, 1913 February 10, 1916 Woodrow Wilson
47 Newton Baker, Bain bw photo portrait Newton D. Baker Ohio March 9, 1916 March 4, 1921
48 John Wingate Weeks, Bain bw photo portrait John W. Weeks Massachusetts March 5, 1921 October 13, 1925 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
49 Dwight Davis, Bain bw photo portrait Dwight F. Davis Missouri October 14, 1925 March 4, 1929
50 James William Good, Harris & Ewing bw photo portrait, 1919 James William Good Illinois March 6, 1929 November 18, 1929 Herbert Hoover
51 PJayHurl Patrick J. Hurley Oklahoma December 9, 1929 March 4, 1933
52 George Dern, Bain bw photo portrait George Dern Utah March 4, 1933 August 27, 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt
53 Harry Hines Woodring, 53rd United States Secretary of War Harry Hines Woodring Kansas September 25, 1936 June 20, 1940
54 Henry Stimson, Harris & Ewing bw photo portrait, 1929 Henry L. Stimson New York July 10, 1940 September 21, 1945
Harry S. Truman
55 Robert P. Patterson, 55th United States Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson New York September 27, 1945 July 18, 1947
56 KCR portrait Kenneth C. Royall North Carolina July 19, 1947 September 18, 1947

See also



  1. ^ http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:7:./temp/~ammem_WqlO::
  2. ^ "Papers of the War Department". Wardepartmentpapers.org. Retrieved 2012-05-15.

Further reading

1753 in Ireland

Events from the year 1753 in Ireland.

1908 United States presidential election in New Jersey

The 1908 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place on November 3, 1908. All contemporary 46 states were part of the 1908 United States presidential election. New Jersey voters chose 14 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.

New Jersey was won by the Republican nominees, United States Secretary of War William Howard Taft of Ohio and his running mate Congressman James S. Sherman of New York. Taft and Sherman defeated the Democratic nominees, former Congressman and two-time prior presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska and his running mate Senator John W. Kern of Indiana. Also in the running was the Socialist Party candidate, Eugene V. Debs, who ran with Ben Hanford.

Taft carried New Jersey comfortably with 56.80% of the vote to Bryan's 39.07%, a victory margin of 17.72%.Eugene Debs came in a distant third, with 2.19%.

Like much of the Northeast, New Jersey in the early decades of the 20th century was a staunchly Republican state, having not given a majority of the vote to a Democratic presidential candidate since 1892. While winning a comfortable victory nationwide, Taft easily held New Jersey in the Republican column in 1908.

On the county level map, Taft carried 18 of the state's 21 counties, breaking 60% of the vote in 8 counties. Bryan won only the 3 rural counties in western North Jersey, Warren, Sussex, and Hunterdon, which had long been reliably Democratic enclaves in an otherwise Republican state.

New Jersey's election result in 1908 made the state over 9% more Republican than the national average.

Camp Stanton

Camp Edwin M. Stanton (usually known as just Camp Stanton) was an American Civil War training camp that existed from 1861-1862 in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. When the camp first opened in 1861, it was known as Camp Schouler, named for Massachusetts Adjutant General William Schouler. After President Abraham Lincoln's call for 300,000 troops in July 1862, the camp was revived and renamed in honor of United States Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. It served as the training camp and rendezvous for recruits from Eastern Massachusetts (recruits from Western Massachusetts were sent to Camp Wool in Worcester, Massachusetts). Soldiers stationed at Camp Schouler/Stanton during training included Edward A. Wild, Henry Wilson, Nelson A. Miles, Edward Winslow Hinks, and Arthur F. Devereux. During World War I it was renamed Camp Houston and served as a Massachusetts National Guard mobilization camp in 1917. It was located on the Newburyport Turnpike (now part of U.S. Route 1) near the Peabody, Massachusetts line. The camp was divided into streets, with tents and cook houses located on both sides of the Turnpike to Suntaug Lake.

Daniel S. Lamont

Daniel Scott Lamont (February 9, 1851 – July 23, 1905) was the United States Secretary of War during Grover Cleveland's second term.

George Dern

George Henry Dern (September 8, 1872 – August 27, 1936) was an American politician, mining man, and businessman. He is probably best remembered for co-inventing the Holt–Dern ore roasting process, as well as for his tenure as United States Secretary of War from 1933 to his death in 1936. He also served as the sixth Governor of Utah for eight years, from 1925 to 1933. Dern was a progressive politician who fought for tax reform, public education, and social welfare. He was an exceptional public speaker, able to captivate and entertain his audience, whether they were Progressives, Democrats, or Republicans.

George Graham (soldier)

Captain George Graham (1772 – August 9, 1830) served as acting United States Secretary of War under two Presidential administrations from 1816 to 1817.

George W. Crawford

George Walker Crawford (December 22, 1798 – July 27, 1872) was a licensed attorney turned politician from Columbia County, Georgia. Crawford was appointed attorney general for the state in 1827, by Governor John Forsyth, serving in that capacity until 1831. Crawford also served five years in the General Assembly's lower house as a representative of Richmond County on a platform of states' rights.

George Crawford served in the U.S. House of Representatives, filling the seat vacated by Richard W. Habersham who died while in office. Crawford was elected Georgia's 38th governor – serving two terms from 1843–47. He became the only Whig Party candidate in state history to occupy the Governor's Mansion. Crawford also served as United States Secretary of War from 1849–50.Crawford's time in President Zachary Taylor's cabinet was marred by speculation regarding a probate claim he settled for George Galphin's heirs. Crawford received a gratuity of substantial remuneration for his services' - Crawford's political adversaries framed it as the Galphin Affair – marking the end of Crawford's political aspirations. When President Taylor unexpectedly died while in office, Crawford resigned his position as Secretary of War and entered political retirement.

In 1861, however, Crawford was elected a delegate from Richmond County to the state's Secession Convention which brought him out of retirement to answer the call of his constituents. By the convention's first order of business, Crawford was elected Permanent President of the Convention by which he presided over Georgia's decision to secede from the Union.

George W. McCrary

George Washington McCrary (August 29, 1835 – June 23, 1890) was a United States Representative from Iowa, the 33rd United States Secretary of War and a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Eighth Circuit.

Interim Committee

The Interim Committee was a secret high-level group created in May 1945 by United States Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson at the urging of leaders of the Manhattan Project and with the approval of President Harry S. Truman to advise on matters pertaining to nuclear energy. Composed of prominent political, scientific and industrial figures, the Interim Committee had broad terms of reference which included advising the President on wartime controls and the release of information, and making recommendations on post-war controls and policies related to nuclear energy, including legislation. Its first duty was to advise on the manner in which nuclear weapons should be employed against Japan. Later, it advised on legislation for the control and regulation of nuclear energy. It was named "Interim" in anticipation of a permanent body that would later replace it after the war, where the development of nuclear technology would be placed firmly under civilian control. The Atomic Energy Commission was enacted in 1946 to serve this function.

Jacob M. Dickinson

Jacob McGavock Dickinson (January 30, 1851 – December 13, 1928) was United States Secretary of War under President William Howard Taft from 1909 to 1911. He was succeeded by Henry L. Stimson. He was an attorney, politician, and businessman in Nashville, Tennessee, where he also taught at Nashville University. He came to have a national role after moving to Chicago, Illinois, in 1899.

James McHenry

James McHenry (November 16, 1753 – May 3, 1816) was a Scotch-Irish American military surgeon and statesman. McHenry was a signer of the United States Constitution from Maryland and the eponym of Fort McHenry. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Maryland, and the third United States Secretary of War (1796–1800), under the first and second presidents, George Washington (administration: 1789–1797) and John Adams (administration: 1797–1801). He married his wife, Peggy Caldwell, on January 8, 1784.

Peter Buell Porter

Peter Buell Porter (August 14, 1773 – March 20, 1844) was an American lawyer, soldier and politician who served as United States Secretary of War from 1828 to 1829.

Robert P. Patterson

Robert Porter Patterson Sr. (February 12, 1891 – January 22, 1952) was United States Under Secretary of War under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the United States Secretary of War under President Harry S. Truman. He was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and previously was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

SS Newton D. Baker

SS Newton D. Baker was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Newton D. Baker, a lawyer, the 37th Mayor of Cleveland, and the United States Secretary of War, during World War I.

Simon Cameron

Simon Cameron (March 8, 1799 – June 26, 1889) was an American businessman and politician. He represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate and served as United States Secretary of War under President Abraham Lincoln at the start of the American Civil War.

Born in Maytown, Pennsylvania, Cameron made a fortune in railways, canals, and banking. As a member of the Democratic Party, he won election to the Senate in 1845, serving until 1849. A persistent opponent of slavery, Cameron briefly joined the Know Nothing Party before switching to the Republican Party in 1856. He won election to another term in the Senate in 1857 and sought the Republican presidential nomination at the 1860 Republican National Convention. After the convention's first ballot, Cameron withdrew his name from consideration in favor of Lincoln, who went on to win the Republican nomination.

After Lincoln won the presidential election of 1860, he appointed Cameron as his first Secretary of War. Cameron's tenure was marked by allegations of corruption and lax management, and he was forced to resign in January 1862. He briefly served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia later that year. Cameron made a political comeback after the Civil War, winning election to the Senate in 1867. Cameron built a powerful state party machine that would dominate Pennsylvania politics for the next seventy years. He served in the Senate until 1877, when he was succeeded by his son, J. Donald Cameron.

Stanton Park

Stanton Park previously known as Stanton Square is a national park in Washington D.C. It is located at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Northeast, Washington, D.C. It is bounded by 4th Street to the west and 6th Street to the east. North and south of the park are the respective westbound and eastbound lanes of C Street, NE.

The park is named after Edwin M. Stanton, the United States Secretary of War during the American Civil War, whose attempted later removal prompted the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. Located in the center of Stanton Park is a statue of American Revolutionary War Major General Nathanael Greene. The park was included in Pierre L'Enfant's original plan for the city.

A playground is located in the western section of the park; a section in the eastern half is often used by dog walkers. The park is maintained by the National Park Service and as such, dogs are not allowed off-leash."Stanton Park" is also commonly used to describe the surrounding neighborhood. There are no official boundaries, but the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association represents the area from 2nd Street, NE to 10th Street, NE, and from East Capitol Street to H Street, NE.

United States Under Secretary of War

The Under Secretary of War was a position created by an act of 16 December 1940 (54 Stat. 1224). At the same time, section 5a of the National Defense Act (1920) was amended to allow the United States Secretary of War to assign his responsibilities for procurement to any of his subordinates. The statute formerly assigned these responsibilities to the United States Assistant Secretary of War. The Assistant Secretary of War, Robert P. Patterson was nominated and confirmed in the post. The Secretary of War delegated his responsibilities for procurement to the Under Secretary on 28 April 1941. By November 1941 the Office of the Under Secretary of War (OUSW) employed 1,136 people, of whom 257 were military officers and the remainder civilians.

William H. Crawford

William Harris Crawford (February 24, 1772 – September 15, 1834) was an American politician and judge during the early 19th century. He served as United States Secretary of War and United States Secretary of the Treasury before running for president in the 1824 election.

Born in Virginia, Crawford moved to Georgia at a young age. After studying law, Crawford won election to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1803. He aligned with the Democratic-Republican Party and U.S. Senator James Jackson. In 1807, the Georgia legislature elected Crawford to the United States Senate. After the death of Vice President George Clinton, Crawford's position as president pro tempore of the Senate made him first in the presidential line of succession from April 1812 to March 1813. In 1813, President James Madison appointed Crawford as the U.S. minister to France, and Crawford held that post for the remainder of the War of 1812. After the war, Madison appointed him to the position of Secretary of War. In October 1816, Madison chose Crawford for the position of Secretary of the Treasury, and Crawford would remain in that office for the remainder of Madison's presidency and for the duration of James Monroe's presidency.

Crawford suffered a severe stroke in 1823, but nonetheless sought to succeed Monroe in the 1824 election. The Democratic-Republican Party splintered into factions as several others also sought the presidency. No candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, so the United States House of Representatives chose the president in a contingent election. Under the terms of the Constitution, the House selected from the three candidates who received the most electoral votes, leaving Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and Crawford in the running. The House selected Adams, who asked Crawford to remain at Treasury. Refusing Adams's offer, Crawford accepted appointment to the Georgia state superior court. He considered running in the 1832 presidential election, either for the presidency or the vice presidency, but ultimately chose not to run.

William Wilkins (American politician)

William Wilkins (December 20, 1779 – June 23, 1865) was a United States Representative and United States Senator from Pennsylvania, a member of both houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, United States Minister to Russia and the 19th United States Secretary of War.

United States Secretaries of War and the Army
of War

of the Army

Government of the United States under the Articles of Confederation
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