Commanding General of the United States Army

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Prior to the institution of the Chief of Staff of the Army in 1903, there was generally recognized to be a single senior-most officer in the United States Army, even though there was not a statutory office as such. From 1783, he was known simply as the Senior Officer of the United States Army, but in 1821, the title was changed to Commanding General of the United States Army. The office was often referred to by various other titles, such as "Major General Commanding the Army" or "General-in-Chief."

From 1789 until its abolition in 1903, the position of Commanding General was legally subordinate to the Secretary of War, although this was at times contested.[1]

The position was abolished with the creation of the statutory Chief of Staff of Army in 1903.

Office holders[edit]

Continental Army General and Commander-in-Chief[edit]

# Name Photo Term began Term ended Notes
1. GEN George Washington Portrait of George Washington.jpeg 15 June 1775 23 December 1783 Resigned at the end of the American Revolutionary War

United States Army Senior Officer[edit]

# Name Photo Term began Term ended Notes
1. MG Henry Knox HenryKnoxSmall.jpg 23 December 1783 20 June 1784
2. Brevet MAJ John Doughty JohnDoughty.jpg 20 June 1784 12 August 1784 Served when all of the Army but 80 men were discharged
3. Brevet BG Josiah Harmar Josiah Harmar by Raphaelle Peale.jpeg 12 August 1784 4 March 1791
4. MG Arthur St. Clair ArthurStClairOfficialPortrait.jpg 4 March 1791 5 March 1792
5. MG Anthony Wayne Anthony Wayne.jpg 13 April 1792 15 December 1796 Died in office
6. BG James Wilkinson James Wilkinson.jpg 15 December 1796 13 July 1798
7. LTG George Washington Portrait of George Washington.jpeg 13 July 1798 14 December 1799 Died in office
8. MG Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton portrait by John Trumbull 1806.jpg 14 December 1799 15 June 1800
9. BG James Wilkinson James Wilkinson.jpg 15 June 1800 27 January 1812
10. MG Henry Dearborn Henry Dearborn.jpg 27 January 1812 15 June 1815
11. MG Jacob Brown Jacob Jennings Brown.jpg 15 June 1815 June 1821

Commanding General[edit]

# Name Photo Term began Term ended Notes
1. MG Jacob Brown Jacob Jennings Brown.jpg June 1821 24 February 1828 Died in office
2. MG Alexander Macomb AlexanderMacomb.jpg 29 May 1828 25 June 1841 Died in office
3. Brevet LTG Winfield Scott GenWScott-engraving.jpg 5 July 1841 1 November 1861
4. MG George B. McClellan GeorgeMcClellan.jpeg 1 November 1861 11 March 1862 [2]
5. MG Henry Wager Halleck Henry Wager Halleck - Brady-Handy.jpg 23 July 1862 9 March 1864
6. GEN Ulysses S. Grant GenUSGrant.jpg 9 March 1864 4 March 1869 Resigned to become the 18th President of the United States
7. GEN William Tecumseh Sherman William-Tecumseh-Sherman.jpg 8 March 1869 1 November 1883
8. GEN Philip Sheridan Philip Sheridan 1.jpg 1 November 1883 5 August 1888 Died in office
9. LTG John Schofield SchofieldOfficialPortrait.jpg 14 August 1888 29 September 1895
10. LTG Nelson A. Miles NelsonMiles.jpg 5 October 1895 8 August 1903

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ King
  2. ^ Eicher, Civil War High Commands. The gap from 11 March 1862, to 23 July 1862, was filled with direct control of the army by President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, with the help of an unofficial "War Board" that was established on 17 March 1862. The board consisted of Ethan A. Hitchcock, the chairman, with Department of War bureau chiefs Lorenzo Thomas, Montgomery C. Meigs, Joseph G. Totten, James W. Ripley, and Joseph P. Taylor.

References[edit]