History Podcasts

Secretaries of War

Secretaries of War

The War Department was an executive department of the United States government from 1789 to 1947, when its name was changed and it was reorganized. It was created to supervise all military functions and aspects of national defense.In 1798, Congress separated the Navy from the Army, which created a new Department of the Navy. The War Department continued to supervise the Army. Both department secretaries were answerable to the president, were members of his Cabinet, and cooperated in joint committees and conferences.

Term of Service

Secretary

Home State

Administration

1789 -1795

Henry KnoxMassachusettsWashington

1795 - 1796

Timothy PickeringPennsylvaniaWashington

1796 - 1797

James McHenryMarylandWashington

1797 - 1800

John Adams

1800 - 1801

Samuel DexterMarylandJohn Adams

1801 - 1809

Henry DearbornMassachusettsJefferson

1809 - 1813

William EustisMassachusettsMadison

1813 - 1814

John ArmstrongNew YorkMadison

1814 - 1815

James MonroeVirginiaMadison

1815 - 1817

William H. CrawfordGeorgiaMadison

1817 - 1825

John C. CalhounSouth CarolinaMonroe

1825 - 1828

James BarbourVirginiaJ. Q. Adams

1828 - 1829

Peter B. PorterNew YorkJ. Adams

1829 - 1831

John H. EatonTennesseeJackson

1831 - 1837

Lewis CassMichiganJackson

1837

Benjamin F. ButlerNew YorkJackson

1837 - 1841

Joel R. PoinsettSouth CarolinaVan Buren

1841

John BellTennesseeW. H. Harrison

1841

Tyler

1841 - 1843

John C. SpencerNew YorkTyler

1843 - 1844

James M. PorterPennsylvaniaTyler

1844 - 1845

William WilkinsPennsylvaniaTyler

1845 - 1849

William M. MarcyNew YorkPolk

1849 - 1850

George W. CrawfordGeorgiaTaylor

1850 - 1853

Charles M. ConradLouisianaFillmore

1853 - 1857

Jefferson DavisMississippiPierce

1857 - 1861

John B. FloydVirginiaBuchanan

1861

Joseph HoltKentuckyBuchanan

1861 - 1862

Simon CameronPennsylvaniaLincoln

1862 - 1865

Edwin M. StantonPennsylvaniaLincoln

1865 - 1868

A. Johnson

1868 - 1869

John M. SchofieldIllinoisA. Johnson

1869

John A. RawlinsIllinoisGrant

1869

William T. ShermanOhioGrant

1869 - 1876

William W. BelknapIowaGrant

1876

Alphonso TaftOhioGrant

1876 - 1877

James D. CameronPennsylvaniaGrant

1877 - 1879

George W. McCrayIowaHayes

1879 - 1881

Alexander RamseyMinnesotaHayes

1881

Robert T. LincolnIllinoisGarfield

1881 - 1885

Arthur

1885 - 1889

William C. EndicottMassachusettsCleveland

1889 - 1891

Redfield ProctorVermontB. Harrison

1891 - 1893

Stephen B. ElkinsWest VirginiaB. Harrison

1893 - 1897

Daniel S. LamontNew YorkCleveland

1897 - 1899

Russel A. AlgerMichiganMcKinley

1899 - 1901

Elihu RootNew YorkMcKinley

1901 - 1904

T. Roosevelt

1904 - 1908

William H. TaftOhioT. Roosevelt

1908 - 1909

Luke E. WrightTennesseeT. Roosevelt

1909 - 1911

Jacob M. DickinsonTennesseeTaft

1911 - 1913

Henry L. StimsonNew YorkTaft

1913 - 1916

Lindley M. GarrisonNew JerseyWilson

1916 - 1921

Newton D. BakerOhioWilson

1921 - 1923

John W. WeeksMassachusettsHarding

1923 - 1925

Coolidge

1925 - 1929

Dwight F. DavisMissouriCoolidge

1929

James W. GoodIllinoisHoover

1929 - 1933

Patrick J. HurleyOklahomaHoover

1933 - 1937

George H. DernUtahF.D. Roosevelt

1937 - 1940

Harry H. WoodringKansasF.D. Roosevelt

1940 - 1945

Henry L. StimsonNew YorkF.D. Roosevelt

1945 - 1947

Robert P. PattersonNew YorkTruman

1947

Kenneth C. RoyallNorth CarolinaTruman


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