Commanding General of the United States Army

Commanding General of the United States Army

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Prior to the institution of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

 in 1903, there was generally a single senior-most officer in the army. 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 position was abolished with the creation of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

 in 1903.

Continental Army General and Commander-in-Chief

# Name Photo Term began Term ended Notes
1. MG George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 
June 15, 1775 December 23, 1783 Resigned at the end of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...


United States Army Senior Officer

# Name Photo Term began Term ended Notes
1. MG Henry Knox
Henry Knox
Henry Knox was a military officer of the Continental Army and later the United States Army, and also served as the first United States Secretary of War....

 
December 23, 1783 June 20, 1784
2. MAJ John Doughty  June 20, 1784 August 12, 1784 Served when all of the Army but 80 men was discharged
3. BG Josiah Harmar
Josiah Harmar
Josiah Harmar was an officer in the United States Army during the American Revolution and the Northwest Indian War. He was the senior officer in the Army for seven years....

 
August 12, 1784 March 4, 1791
4. MG Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair was an American soldier and politician. Born in Scotland, he served in the British Army during the French and Indian War before settling in Pennsylvania, where he held local office...

 
March 4, 1791 March 5, 1792
5. MG Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne was a United States Army general and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general and the sobriquet of Mad Anthony.-Early...

 
April 13, 1792 December 15, 1796 Died in office
6. BG James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson was an American soldier and statesman, who was associated with several scandals and controversies. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, but was twice compelled to resign...

 
December 15, 1796 July 13, 1798
7. LTG George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 
July 13, 1798 December 14, 1799 Died in office
8. MG Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 
December 14, 1799 June 15, 1800
9. BG James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson was an American soldier and statesman, who was associated with several scandals and controversies. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, but was twice compelled to resign...

 
June 15, 1800 January 27, 1812
10. MG Henry Dearborn
Henry Dearborn
Henry Dearborn was an American physician, a statesman and a veteran of both the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Born to Simon Dearborn and Sarah Marston in North Hampton, New Hampshire, he spent much of his youth in Epping, where he attended public schools...

 
January 27, 1812 June 15, 1815
11. MG Jacob Brown
Jacob Brown
Jacob Jennings Brown was an American army officer in the War of 1812. His successes on the northern border during that war made him a hero. In 1821 he was appointed commanding general of the U.S. Army and held that post until his death.-Early life:Born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Jacob Jennings...

 
June 15, 1815 June 1821

Commanding General

# Name Photo Term began Term ended Notes
1. MG Jacob Brown
Jacob Brown
Jacob Jennings Brown was an American army officer in the War of 1812. His successes on the northern border during that war made him a hero. In 1821 he was appointed commanding general of the U.S. Army and held that post until his death.-Early life:Born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Jacob Jennings...

 
June 1821 February 24, 1828 Died in office
2. MG Alexander Macomb  May 29, 1828 June 25, 1841 Died in office
3. Brevet LTG Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

 
July 5, 1841 November 1, 1861
4. MG George B. McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

 
November 1, 1861 March 11, 1862
5. MG Henry Wager Halleck
Henry Wager Halleck
Henry Wager Halleck was a United States Army officer, scholar, and lawyer. A noted expert in military studies, he was known by a nickname that became derogatory, "Old Brains." He was an important participant in the admission of California as a state and became a successful lawyer and land developer...

 
July 23, 1862 March 9, 1864
6. GEN Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 
March 9, 1864 March 4, 1869 Resigned to become the 18th President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

7. GEN William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War , for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched...

 
March 8, 1869 November 1, 1883
8. GEN Philip Sheridan
Philip Sheridan
Philip Henry Sheridan was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S...

 
November 1, 1883 August 5, 1888 Died in office
9. LTG John Schofield
John Schofield
John McAllister Schofield was an American soldier who held major commands during the American Civil War. He later served as U.S. Secretary of War and Commanding General of the United States Army.-Early life:...

 
August 14, 1888 September 29, 1895
10. LTG Nelson A. Miles
Nelson A. Miles
Nelson Appleton Miles was a United States soldier who served in the American Civil War, Indian Wars, and the Spanish-American War.-Early life:Miles was born in Westminster, Massachusetts, on his family's farm...

October 5, 1895 August 8, 1903

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