United States Secretary of War

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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," was 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.

The Secretary of War led the War Department. At first, he was responsible for all military affairs. In 1798, the Secretary of the Navy was added to the cabinet, and the scope of this office was reduced to a general concern with the Army. In 1947, the departments were recombined under the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of War was replaced by the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force, non-Cabinet positions under the Secretary of Defense.

Secretaries of War[change | change source]

# Picture Name State of Residence Began Service Ended Service President(s) served under
1 HENRY KNOX OIL.jpg Henry Knox Massachusetts September 12, 1789 December 31, 1794 George Washington
2 Timothy-Pickering.jpg Timothy Pickering Pennsylvania January 2, 1795 December 10, 1795 Washington
3 JMcHenry.jpg James McHenry Maryland January 27, 1796 May 13, 1800 Washington
John Adams
4 Samuel Dexter.jpg Samuel Dexter Massachusetts May 13, 1800 January 31, 1801 John Adams
5 N/A Henry Dearborn Massachusetts March 5, 1801 March 4, 1809 Thomas Jefferson
6 William Eustis.jpg William Eustis Massachusetts March 7, 1809 January 13, 1813 James Madison
7 John Armstrong Jr..jpg John Armstrong, Jr. Pennsylvania January 13, 1813 September 27, 1814 Madison
8 Jamesmonroe-npgallery.jpg James Monroe Virginia September 27, 1814 March 2, 1815 Madison
9 WilliamHarrisCrawford5.jpg William Harris Crawford Georgia August 1, 1815 October 22, 1816 Madison
10 JCCalhoun-1822.jpg John Caldwell Calhoun South Carolina October 8, 1817 March 4, 1825 James Monroe
11 BarbourT.jpg James Barbour Virginia March 7, 1825 May 23, 1828 John Quincy Adams
12 Peter Buell Porter.jpg Peter Buell Porter New York May 23, 1828 March 4, 1829 J. Q. Adams
13 John Eaton.jpg John Henry Eaton Tennessee March 9, 1829 June 18, 1831 Andrew Jackson
14 Lewis Cass - Brady-Handy.jpg Lewis Cass Michigan August 1, 1831 October 5, 1836 Jackson
15 Jrpoinsett.jpg Joel Roberts Poinsett South Carolina March 7, 1837 March 4, 1841 Martin Van Buren
16 JBell.jpg John Bell Tennessee March 5, 1841 September 13, 1841 William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
17 SpencerJohn.jpg John Canfield Spencer New York October 12, 1841 March 4, 1843 Tyler
18 N/A James Madison Porter Pennsylvania March 8, 1843 February 14, 1844 Tyler
19 William Wilkins United States Senator - Brady-Handy.jpg William Wilkins Pennsylvania February 15, 1844 March 4, 1845 Tyler
20 William L. Marcy.png William Learned Marcy New York March 6, 1845 March 4, 1849 James K. Polk
21 N/A George Walker Crawford Georgia March 8, 1849 July 22, 1850 Zachary Taylor
22 Charles Magill Conrad.jpg Charles Magill Conrad Louisiana August 15, 1850 March 4, 1853 Millard Fillmore
23 President-Jefferson-Davis.jpg Jefferson Davis Mississippi March 7, 1853 March 4, 1857 Franklin Pierce
24 John Buchanan Floyd.jpg John Buchanan Floyd Virginia March 6, 1857 December 29, 1860 James Buchanan
25 Joseph Holt.jpg Joseph Holt Kentucky January 18, 1861 March 4, 1861 Buchanan
26 Smn Cameron-SecofWar.jpg Simon Cameron Pennsylvania March 5, 1861 January 14, 1862 Abraham Lincoln
27 Edwin McMasters Stanton Secretary of War.jpg Edwin McMasters Stanton Ohio January 20, 1862 May 28, 1868 Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
28 John Schofield.jpg John McAllister Schofield Missouri June 1, 1868 March 13, 1869 Johnson
29 John Aaron Rawlins - Brady-Handy.jpg John Aaron Rawlins Illinois March 13, 1869 September 6, 1869 Ulysses S. Grant
30 WWBelknap.jpg William Worth Belknap Iowa October 25, 1869 March 2, 1876 Grant
31 Alphonso Taft seated.jpg Alphonso Taft Ohio March 8, 1876 May 22, 1876 Grant
32 JDonaldC2.jpg James Donald Cameron Pennsylvania May 22, 1876 March 4, 1877 Grant
33 GWMcCrary.jpg George Washington McCrary Iowa March 12, 1877 December 10, 1879 Rutherford B. Hayes
34 Alexander Ramsey - Brady-Handy.jpg Alexander Ramsey Minnesota December 10, 1879 March 4, 1881 Hayes
35 Robert Todd Lincoln, Brady-Handy bw photo portrait, ca1870-1880.jpg Robert Todd Lincoln Illinois March 5, 1881 March 4, 1885 James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
36 William Endicott, bw photo portrait, 1886.jpg William Crowninshield Endicott Massachusetts March 5, 1885 March 4, 1889 Grover Cleveland
37 Redfield Proctor, bw photo portrait, 1904.jpg Redfield Proctor Vermont March 5, 1889 November 5, 1891 Benjamin Harrison
38 N/A Stephen Benton Elkins West Virginia December 17, 1891 March 4, 1893 Harrison
39 Daniel Lamont, bw photo portrait, 1904.jpg Daniel Scott Lamont New York March 5, 1893 March 4, 1897 Cleveland (2nd term)
40 Russell Alexander Alger2.jpg Russell Alexander Alger Michigan March 5, 1897 August 1, 1899 William McKinley
41 Elihu Root, bw photo portrait, 1902.jpg Elihu Root New York August 1, 1899 January 31, 1904 McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
42 William Howard Taft.jpg William Howard Taft Ohio February 1, 1904 June 30, 1908 Th. Roosevelt
43 Luke Edward Wright.jpg Luke Edward Wright Tennessee July 1, 1908 March 4, 1909 Th. Roosevelt
44 Jacob Dickinson, bw photo portrait standing, 1909.jpg Jacob McGavock Dickinson Illinois March 12, 1909 May 21, 1911 William Howard Taft
45 HLStimson.jpg Henry Lewis Stimson New York May 22, 1911 March 4, 1913 Taft
46 Lindley Garrison, BW photo portrait, 1913.jpg Lindley Miller Garrison New Jersey March 5, 1913 February 10, 1916 Woodrow Wilson
47 Newton Baker, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg Newton Diehl Baker Ohio March 9, 1916 March 4, 1921 Wilson
48 John Wingate Weeks, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg John Wingate Weeks Massachusetts March 5, 1921 October 13, 1925 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
49 Dwight Davis, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg Dwight Filley Davis Missouri October 14, 1925 March 4, 1929 Coolidge
50 James William Good, Harris & Ewing bw photo portrait, 1919.jpg James William Good Iowa March 6, 1929 November 18, 1929 Herbert Hoover
51 PJayHurl.jpg Patrick Jay Hurley Oklahoma December 9, 1929 March 4, 1933 Hoover
52 George Dern, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg George Henry Dern Utah March 4, 1933 August 27, 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt
53 Harry Hines Woodring, 53rd United States Secretary of War.jpg Harry Hines Woodring Kansas September 25, 1936 June 20, 1940 F. D. Roosevelt
54 Henry Stimson, Harris & Ewing bw photo portrait, 1929.jpg Henry Lewis Stimson New York July 10, 1940 September 21, 1945 F. D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
55 Robert Porter Patterson New York September 27, 1945 July 18, 1947 Truman
56 KCR portrait.jpg Kenneth Claiborne Royall North Carolina July 19, 1947 September 18, 1947 Truman