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|
Flag of the Secretary of War
Last in office
Kenneth C. Royall
July 19, 1947 – September 18, 1947
|United States Department of War|
|Reports to||President of the United States|
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Precursor||Secretary at War|
|First holder||Henry Knox|
|Final holder||Kenneth C. Royall|
|Succession||Secretary of the Army|
Secretary of the Air Force
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||Benjamin Lincoln||Massachusetts||March 1, 1781||November 2, 1783||Congress of the Confederation|
|2||Henry Knox||Massachusetts||March 8, 1785||September 12, 1789|
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of Residence||Took office||Left office||President(s)|
|1||Henry Knox||Massachusetts||September 12, 1789||December 31, 1794||George Washington|
|2||Timothy Pickering||Pennsylvania||January 2, 1795||December 10, 1795|
|3||James McHenry||Maryland||January 27, 1796||June 1, 1800|
|4||Samuel Dexter||Massachusetts||June 1, 1800||January 31, 1801|
|5||Henry Dearborn||Massachusetts||March 5, 1801||March 4, 1809||Thomas Jefferson|
|6||William Eustis||Massachusetts||March 7, 1809||January 13, 1813||James Madison|
|7||John Armstrong, Jr.||New York||January 13, 1813||September 27, 1814|
|8||James Monroe||Virginia||September 27, 1814||March 2, 1815|
|9||William H. Crawford||Georgia||August 1, 1815||October 22, 1816|
|10||John C. Calhoun||South Carolina||October 8, 1817||March 4, 1825||James Monroe|
|11||James Barbour||Virginia||March 7, 1825||May 23, 1828||John Quincy Adams|
|12||Peter Buell Porter||New York||May 23, 1828||March 9, 1829|
|13||John H. Eaton||Tennessee||March 9, 1829||June 18, 1831||Andrew Jackson|
|14||Lewis Cass||Ohio||August 1, 1831||October 5, 1836|
|15||Joel Roberts Poinsett||South Carolina||March 7, 1837||March 4, 1841||Martin Van Buren|
|16||John Bell||Tennessee||March 5, 1841||September 13, 1841||William Henry Harrison|
|17||John Canfield Spencer||New York||October 12, 1841||March 4, 1843|
|18||James Madison Porter||Pennsylvania||March 8, 1843||February 14, 1844|
|19||William Wilkins||Pennsylvania||February 15, 1844||March 4, 1845|
|20||William Learned Marcy||New York||March 6, 1845||March 4, 1849||James K. Polk|
|21||George W. Crawford||Georgia||March 8, 1849||July 22, 1850||Zachary Taylor|
|22||Charles Magill Conrad||Louisiana||August 15, 1850||March 4, 1853||Millard Fillmore|
|23||Jefferson Davis||Mississippi||March 7, 1853||March 4, 1857||Franklin Pierce|
|24||John B. Floyd||Virginia||March 6, 1857||December 29, 1860||James Buchanan|
|25||Joseph Holt||Kentucky||January 18, 1861||March 4, 1861|
|26||Simon Cameron||Pennsylvania||March 5, 1861||January 14, 1862||Abraham Lincoln|
|27||Edwin M. Stanton||Pennsylvania||January 20, 1862||May 28, 1868|
|28||John McAllister Schofield||Illinois||June 1, 1868||March 13, 1869|
|29||John Aaron Rawlins||Illinois||March 13, 1869||September 6, 1869||Ulysses S. Grant|
|30||William W. Belknap||Iowa||October 25, 1869||March 2, 1876|
|31||Alphonso Taft||Ohio||March 8, 1876||May 22, 1876|
|32||J. Donald Cameron||Pennsylvania||May 22, 1876||March 4, 1877|
|33||George W. McCrary||Iowa||March 12, 1877||December 10, 1879||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|34||Alexander Ramsey||Minnesota||December 10, 1879||March 4, 1881|
|35||Robert Todd Lincoln||Illinois||March 5, 1881||March 4, 1885||James A. Garfield|
|Chester A. Arthur|
|36||William Crowninshield Endicott||Massachusetts||March 5, 1885||March 4, 1889||Grover Cleveland|
|37||Redfield Proctor||Vermont||March 5, 1889||November 5, 1891||Benjamin Harrison|
|38||Stephen Benton Elkins||West Virginia||December 17, 1891||March 4, 1893|
|39||Daniel S. Lamont||New York||March 5, 1893||March 4, 1897||Grover Cleveland|
|40||Russell A. Alger||Michigan||March 5, 1897||August 1, 1899||William McKinley|
|41||Elihu Root||New York||August 1, 1899||January 31, 1904|
|42||William Howard Taft||Ohio||February 1, 1904||June 30, 1908|
|43||Luke Edward Wright||Tennessee||July 1, 1908||March 4, 1909|
|44||Jacob M. Dickinson||Tennessee||March 12, 1909||May 21, 1911||William Howard Taft|
|45||Henry L. Stimson||New York||May 22, 1911||March 4, 1913|
|46||Lindley Miller Garrison||New Jersey||March 5, 1913||February 10, 1916||Woodrow Wilson|
|47||Newton D. Baker||Ohio||March 9, 1916||March 4, 1921|
|48||John W. Weeks||Massachusetts||March 5, 1921||October 13, 1925||Warren G. Harding|
|49||Dwight F. Davis||Missouri||October 14, 1925||March 4, 1929|
|50||James William Good||Illinois||March 6, 1929||November 18, 1929||Herbert Hoover|
|51||Patrick J. Hurley||Oklahoma||December 9, 1929||March 4, 1933|
|52||George Dern||Utah||March 4, 1933||August 27, 1936||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|53||Harry Hines Woodring||Kansas||September 25, 1936||June 20, 1940|
|54||Henry L. Stimson||New York||July 10, 1940||September 21, 1945|
|Harry S. Truman|
|55||Robert P. Patterson||New York||September 27, 1945||July 18, 1947|
|56||Kenneth C. Royall||North Carolina||July 19, 1947||September 18, 1947|
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 the Army
Leaders of the United States federal executive departments
Government of the United States under the Articles of Confederation