Quartermaster General of the United States Army

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Quartermaster General of the United States Army
Michelle K. Donahue (2).jpg
COL Michelle K. Donahue

since May 29, 2020
FormationJune 16, 1775
First holderMG Thomas Mifflin
WebsiteOfficial website

The Quartermaster General of the United States Army is a general officer who is responsible for the Quartermaster Corps, the Quartermaster branch of the U.S. Army. The Quartermaster General does not command Quartermaster units, but is primarily focused on training, doctrine and professional development of Quartermaster soldiers. The Quartermaster General also serves as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School, Fort Lee, Virginia and the traditional Quartermaster Corps. The office of the Quartermaster General was established by resolution of the Continental Congress on 16 June 1775, but the position was not filled until 14 August 1775. Perhaps the most famous Quartermaster General was Nathanael Greene, who was the third Quartermaster General, serving from March 1778 to August 1780. The first Quartermaster General to serve in the U.S. Army was Thomas Mifflin of Pennsylvania.


18th Century[edit]

The position of Quartermaster General originated in the Continental Army, under order of Congress. On 16 June 1775, 2 days after the birth of the Army, Congress ordered the creation of both a Quartermaster General and a Deputy Quartermaster General. During this period Quartermaster Generals would be act like chiefs of staff for the commanders of the Continental Army, acting as the prime supplier and businessmen for dealing with civilians, operated and repaired supply lines, which included the roads which they traveled upon, was responsible for transporting troops and furnished all the supplies needed to establish camps when the troops got there.[1]

Upon the establishment of the position, Congress authorized George Washington to appoint the first Quartermaster General. He picked a man from amongst his aides-de-camp, Maj. Thomas Mifflin. Mifflin, an experienced merchant from Philadelphia, proved to be a prime choice, being reappointed several times to the position. They eventually promoted Mifflin to a Colonel in order to retain him in his position.[2]

19th Century[edit]

Fifteen officers held the office of quartermaster general in the United States Army in the nineteenth century. The first, John Wilkins Jr., was a major general. Two colonels, James Mullany and George Gibson, jointly held the office between April 29, 1816 and April 14, 1818. On May 8, 1818 Thomas Jessup became the Quartermaster General, and he remained in the position until 1860. As a combat veteran, Jessup understood the importance of support to front line soldiers and instituted many enduring practices and policies. Because of his reforms, historians often call Jessup the "father of the Quartermaster Corps". From 1860 to the end of the century, the quartermaster general office was held by officers who served in the American Civil War.

Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston held the position from June 28, 1860 until his resignation on April 22, 1861. Johnston was appointed a full general in the Confederate States Army on August 31, 1861. Adhering to the ideology of states' rights, quartermasters of each Confederate state exercised considerable autonomy from their national quartermaster general. Within their jurisdictions, these Confederate officers exercised powers equivalent to the Union quartermaster general. Georgia quartermaster general Ira Roe Foster is, perhaps, the best example of a Confederate quartermaster exercising considerable power over both production and supply within his state. Brigadier General Montgomery C. Meigs succeeded Johnston on May 15, 1861. Meigs was born in Augusta, Georgia but his family was from Philadelphia and he adhered to the Union during the Civil War. Meigs served throughout the war and retired on February 6, 1882. Contemporaries such as U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and many historians have given Meigs's work in keeping the Union Army adequately and timely supplied considerable credit for the Union victory.

From February 13, 1882 to February 23, 1882 Daniel H. Rucker was quartermaster general, an appointment intended to honor his many years of military service. At the end of his brief tenure, Rucker retired. Rufus Ingalls, a brevet brigadier general and quartermaster for all Union Army forces during the Siege of Petersburg succeeded Rucker. Ingalls also had a brief tenure in office, serving between February 23, 1883 and July 1, 1883, when he also retired. Samuel B. Holabird, who was chief quartermaster of the Union Department of the Gulf during much of the Civil War, succeeded Ingalls and served from July 1, 1883 to June 16, 1890. Richard Napoleon Batchelder, quartermaster for II Corps of the Union Army and a recipient of the Medal of Honor, succeeded Holabird. He held the office between June 26, 1890 and July 27, 1896.

Another brevet brigadier general who had served as quartermaster for II Corps, Charles G. Sawtelle, succeeded Batchelder. He served between August 19, 1896 and February 16, 1897. George H. Weeks, who served as quartermaster with the III Corps of the Union Army, held the office between February 6, 1897 and his retirement on February 3, 1898.

The last quartermaster general of the 19th century was Marshall I. Ludington, who assumed the office on February 3, 1898, three months before the Spanish–American War. Ludington had served as a division quartermaster for the Army of the Potomac. He was criticized for the general unpreparedness of the U.S. Army for the Spanish–American War but he had inherited the general state of unpreparedness of the army, which had been given meager funds and kept small during the long period of relative peace that followed the Civil War. Ludington succeeded in improving the supply situation of the U.S. Army to an adequate state in a matter of months after the start of the war. He was promoted to major general on April 12, 1903, and retired the next day.

20th Century[edit]

Quartermaster General Maj Gen Gregory discusses Army nurses' clothing with Lt. Alice Montgomery, Lt. Josephine Etz, and Lt. Leophile Bouchard, of Walter Reed Hospital. The Quartermaster General is responsible for supplying all branches of the Army.

On July 30, 1999, Major General Hawthorne L. Proctor was named the 46th Quartermaster General. He was the first African-American to hold the position.[3]

21st Century[edit]

Colonel Gwen Bingham became the Army's second female Quartermaster General when she assumed command of the Quartermaster Corps from Brigadier General Jesse Cross on November 23, 2010.[4] Bingham was promoted to brigadier general in April 2011.[5]

List of Army Quartermaster Generals[edit]

Name Photo Term began Term ended
1. MG Thomas Mifflin Thomas Mifflin.jpg August 14, 1775 May 16, 1776
2. COL Stephen Moylan June 5, 1776 September 27, 1776
1. MG Thomas Mifflin Thomas Mifflin.jpg October 1, 1776 November 17, 1777
3. MG Nathanael Greene Greene portrait.jpg March 2, 1778 August 5, 1780
4. COL Timothy Pickering Timothy Pickering, Peale.jpg August 5, 1780 July 25, 1785
5. Samuel Hodgdon March 4, 1791 April 19, 1792
6. James O'Hara James Ohara quartermaster.jpg April 19, 1792 May 1, 1796
7. MG John Wilkins, Jr. John Wilkins, Jr..jpg June 1, 1796 June 1, 1802
8. BG Morgan Lewis Morgan Lewis (portrait by Henry Inman).png April 3, 1812 March 2, 1813
9. BG Robert Swartwout March 21, 1813 June 5, 1816
10. COL James Mullany April 29, 1816 April 14, 1818
11. COL George Gibson Colonel George Gibson.jpg April 29, 1816 April 14, 1818
12. BG Thomas S. Jesup Thomas Sidney Jesup.jpg May 8, 1818 June 10, 1860
13. BG Joseph E. Johnston Joseph Johnston.jpg June 20, 1860 April 22, 1861
14. BG Montgomery C. Meigs New-Meigs.jpg May 15, 1861 February 6, 1882
15. BG Daniel H. Rucker Daniel H. Rucker (US Army Brigadier General).jpg February 13, 1882 February 23, 1882
16. BG Rufus Ingalls Rufus Ingalls.jpg February 23, 1882 July 1, 1883
17. BG Samuel B. Holabird Samuel Beckley Holabird, 1826-1907 LCCN2004680459.tif July 1, 1883 June 16, 1890
18. BG Richard Batchelder BG R N Batchelder.jpg June 26, 1890 July 27, 1896
19. BG Charles G. Sawtelle Charles G. Sawtelle (US Army Brigadier General).jpg August 19, 1896 February 16, 1897
20. BG George H. Weeks February 16, 1897 February 3, 1898
21. BG Marshall I. Ludington Marshall I. Ludington (US Army Major General).jpg February 3, 1898 April 12, 1903
22. BG Charles F. Humphrey HUMPHREY, CHARLES F. GENERAL LCCN2016858887.jpg April 12, 1903 July 1, 1907
23. MG James B. Aleshire James B. Aleshire (US Army general).jpg July 1, 1907 September 12, 1916
24. MG Henry G. Sharpe Henry G Sharpe.jpg September 16, 1916 July 21, 1918
25. MG Harry Lovejoy Rogers Major General Harry Lovejoy Rogers (1919).jpg July 22, 1918 August 27, 1922
26. MG William H. Hart HART, WILLIAM H. GENERAL LCCN2016861342.jpg August 28, 1922 January 2, 1926
27. MG B. Frank Cheatham B. Frank Cheatham (US Army major general).jpg January 3, 1926 January 17, 1930
28. MG John L. DeWitt John Lesene Dewitt copy.PNG February 3, 1930 February 3, 1934
29. MG Louis H. Bash February 3, 1934 March 31, 1936
30. MG Henry Gibbins April 1, 1936 March 31, 1940
31. LTG Edmund B. Gregory Edmund B Gregory.jpg April 1, 1940 January 31, 1946
32. MG Thomas B. Larkin Thomas B. Larkin (US Army general).jpg February 1, 1946 March 21, 1949
33. MG Herman Feldman March 21, 1949 September 28, 1951
34. MG George A. Horkan October 5, 1951 January 31, 1954
35. MG Kester L. Hastings February 5, 1954 March 31, 1957
36. MG Andrew T. McNamara June 12, 1957 June 12, 1961
37. MG Webster Anderson June 12, 1961 July 31, 1962
38. MG Harry L. Dukes, Jr. HarryDukes.jpg July 15, 1981 March 29, 1984
39. MG Eugene L. Stillions, Jr. EugeneStillons.JPG March 29, 1984 June 4, 1987
40. MG William T. McLean WilliamMclean.jpg June 15, 1987 July 14, 1989
41. MG Paul J. Vanderploog PaulVanderploog.jpg July 14, 1989 June 3, 1991
42. BG John J. Cusick John Cusick.JPG July 24, 1991 August 3, 1993
43. MG Robert K. Guest RobertGuest.jpg August 3, 1993 June 21, 1996
44. MG Henry T. Glisson HenryGlisson.JPG June 21, 1996 June 10, 1997
45. MG James M. Wright MGJamesWright.jpg June 10, 1997 July 30, 1999
46. MG Hawthorne L. Proctor HawthorneProctor.jpg July 30, 1999 July 11, 2001
47. MG Terry E. Juskowiak TerryJuskowiak.jpg July 11, 2001 May 16, 2003
48. BG Scott G. West Scott West.jpg May 16, 2003 August 11, 2005
49. BG Mark A. Bellini Mark Bellini.jpg August 11, 2005 October 26, 2007
50. BG Jesse R. Cross Jesse Cross.jpg October 26, 2007 November 22, 2010[6]
51. BG Gwen Bingham Gwen Bingham.jpg November 22, 2010 August 30, 2012
52. BG John E. O'Neil IV John E. O'Neil IV.jpg June 14, 2013 June 9, 2014
53. BG Ronald Kirklin Ronald Kirklin.jpg June 9, 2014 June 10, 2016
54. BG Rodney D. Fogg Rodney D. Fogg.jpg June 10, 2016 June 12, 2018
55. BG Douglas M. McBride Jr Douglas M. McBride, Jr.jpg June 12, 2018 May 29, 2020[7]
56. COL Michelle K. Donahue Michelle K. Donahue (2).jpg May 29, 2020 Present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Risch 30
  2. ^ Risch 30-31
  3. ^ "Notable Alumni: Hawthorne "Peet" Proctor '77." Notable Alumni. Alumni Association. Central Michigan University, no date, accessed 2013-06-16; "Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Hawthorne L. 'Peet' Proctor Joins Turn Key Office Solutions." Press release. Turn Key Office Solutions. March 6, 2006.
  4. ^ Perry, Amy. "Lee Welcomes First Female Quartermaster General." Army.mil. November 24, 2010. Accessed 2013-06-16.
  5. ^ Slayton, Jeremy. "Bingham to Receive Promotion to Brigadier General." Richmond Times-Dispatch. April 22, 2011. Accessed 2013-06-16.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2008-10-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) List of Quartermaster Generals of the United States Army
  7. ^ Bell, Terrance (June 2, 2020). "Col. Michelle Donahue becomes 56th Quartermaster General". U.S. Army. Retrieved 2020-11-22.


External links[edit]