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United States Secretary of War

The Secretary of War was a member of the President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. 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, a non-Cabinet position under the Secretary of Defense.

The Secretaries of War

Name Year appointed President(s) served under
Henry Knox 1789 George Washington
Timothy Pickering 1795 Washington
James McHenry 1796 Washington, John Adams
Samuel Dexter 1800 John Adams
Henry Dearborn 1801-1809 Thomas Jefferson
William Eustis 1809-1813 James Madison
John Armstrong, Jr 1813-1814 Madison
James Monroe 1814-1815 Madison
William Harris Crawford 1815-1816 Madison
John C. Calhoun 1817-1825 James Monroe
James Barbour 1825-1828 John Quincy Adams
Peter Buell Porter 1828-1829 John Quincy Adams
John Henry Eaton 1829-1831 Andrew Jackson
Lewis Cass 1831-1836 Jackson
Joel Roberts Poinsett 1837-1841 Martin Van Buren
John Bell 1841 William Henry Harrison,
John Tyler
John C. Spencer 1841-1843 Tyler
James Madison Porter 1843-1844 Tyler
William Wilkins 1844-1845 Tyler
William L. Marcy 1845-1849 James Polk
George Walker Crawford 1849-1850 Zachary Taylor
Charles Magill Conrad 1850-1853 Millard Fillmore
Jefferson Davis 1853-1857 Franklin Pierce
John Buchanan Floyd 1857-1860 James Buchanan
Joseph Holt 1861 Buchanan
Simon Cameron 1861-1862 Abraham Lincoln
Edwin M. Stanton 1862-1868 Lincoln, Andrew Johnson
John M. Schofield 1868-1869 Johnson
John Aaron Rawlins 1869 Ulysses Simpson Grant
William Tecumseh Sherman 1869 Grant
William W. Belknap 1869-1876 Grant
Alphonso Taft 1876 Grant
J. Donald Cameron 1876-1877 Grant
George Washington McCrary 1877-1879 Rutherford B. Hayes
Alexander Ramsey 1879-1881 Hayes
Robert Todd Lincoln 1881-1885 Chester Alan Arthur
William C. Endicott 1885-1889 Grover Cleveland
Redfield Proctor 1889-1891 Benjamin Harrison
Stephen B. Elkins 1891-1893 Harrison
Daniel Scott Lamont 1893-1897 Cleveland (2nd term)
Russell A. Alger 1897-1899 William McKinley
Elihu Root 1899-1904 McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft 1904-1908 Theodore Roosevelt
Luke Edward Wright 1908-1909 Theodore Roosevelt
Jacob M. Dickinson 1909-1911 William Howard Taft
Henry L. Stimson 1911-1913 Taft
Lindley M. Garrison 1913-1916 Woodrow Wilson
Newton D. Baker 1916-1921 Wilson
John W. Weeks 1921-1925 Warren G. Harding,
Calvin Coolidge
Dwight F. Davis 1925-1929 Coolidge
James W. Good 1929 Herbert Hoover
Patrick J. Hurley 1929-1933 Hoover
George H. Dern 1933-1936 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Harry H. Woodring 1936-1940 FDR
Henry L. Stimson 1940-1945 FDR, Harry S. Truman
Robert P. Patterson 1945-1947 Truman
Kenneth C. Royall 1947 Truman

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