1. Worthington Chauncy Ford, ed., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, 34 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1904-37), 2:89-92. The battles of Lexington and Concord had occurred three months before Washington's appointment, and the battle of Bunker (Breed's) Hill took place on the day Washington received from the assembled Congress his commission as commander in chief of the Army of the United Colonies. The "army near Boston" included militia elements from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

2. For a summary of the military background of the American colonists and of colonial participation in British operations against the French in North America, see Maurice Matloff, ed., American Military History, Army Historical Series (1969; reprint and rev. ed., Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973), ch. 2.

3. The story of Washington's youth and early military experience, and of his part in the momentous events that brought him to command of the Army and center stage on the national scene, is detailed in Douglas Southall Freeman, George Washington: A Biography, 7 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948-57), vols. 1-2, Young Washington (1948), and vol. 3, Planter and Patriot (1951).

4. Ford, Journals, 2:93-94, 97-99, 111-23, 220-21. The actions appointing heads of the technical services mark the establishment of the Adjutant General's Department, the Quartermaster Department, the Pay Department, and the Corps of Engineers. Further resolutions addressing hospital, legal, and religious matters marked the establishment of the Medical Department, the Judge Advocate General's Department, and the Corps of Chaplains.

5. George Washington, The Writings of George Washington . . . , 1745-1799, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1931-44), 3:309.

6. Matloff, American Military History, pp. 46-50.

7. Ford, Journals, 5:434-35. John Adams was one of several legislators who served on and chaired the Board of War and Ordnance in its early configurations. Horatio Gates was the first president of the Board of War.

8. Ibid., 2:96.

9. Ibid., p. 101. Washington's Council of War was composed of his principal subordinate commanders.

10. For a history of the development and early operation of the war office, see Harry M. Ward, The Department of War, 1781-1795 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1962). Benjamin Lincoln of Massachusetts served in Revolutionary War operations in the North in 1776-1777 and was wounded at Saratoga. Later, as commander in the South, he was forced to surrender Charleston, South Carolina. Exchanged, he participated in the Yorktown campaign. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention, was lieutenant governor of Massachusetts and collector of the port of Boston, and served on several commissions that negotiated treaties with the Indians.

11. Ford, Journals, 19:126-27.

12. Ward, The Department of War, pp. 17-19 and 33-34.

13. Matloff, American Military History, pp. 99-101.

14. Ward, Department of War, p. 42; Matloff, American Military History, p. 104.

15. Russell F. Weigley, History of the United States Army, The Wars of the United States (New York: Macmillan Co., 1967), p. 82.

16. Ward, Department of War, p. 56.

17. Ibid., p. 82.

18. Matloff, American Military History, traces these early operations on the Indian frontier.

19. Weigley, History of U.S. Army, pp. 91-93.

20. James Thomas Flexner, Washington: The Indispensable Man (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1974), pp. 372-79.

21. Ibid., p. 372.

22. Matloff, American Military History, p. 116; John C. Miller, Alexander Hamilton: Portrait in Paradox (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1959), pp. 507-08. Miller quotes Hamilton as being "certain that the military career in this country offers too few inducements and it is equally certain my present Station in the Army cannot very long continue under the plan which seems to govern" (p. 508).

23. For a concise biography of Wilkinson, see Dictionary of American Biography, s.v. "Wilkinson, James" by I.J.C. (Isaac Joslin Cox). Wilkinson's principal biographers offer convincing evidence of his seditious conduct in dealings with Spanish officials. His place in history has been fixed in the titular characterizations and supporting substance of their major biographies. James Ripley Jacobs judges him as "a tarnished warrior," Royal Ornan Shreve sees him as a "finished scoundrel," and Thomas Robson Hay and Morris Robert Werner rate him caustically as an "admirable trumpeter." (See Bibliography of Senior Officers.)

24. It was only natural for government officials to look to Revolutionary War veterans in emergencies. Yet, by the time the War of 1812 opened, the country had been at peace for about three decades and the officer corps had had little opportunity to acquire direct experience. Only sixty-five graduates of the United States Military Academy were in service after the school's first decade of operation, and they were junior officers. The nation sustained some painful reverses as the war progressed, and the soon-to-be secretary of war, William H. Crawford, writing from Paris and his station as Minister to France, urged that efforts be made to "rid the army of old women and blockheads, at least on the general staff" (Matloff, American Military History, p. 150).

25. Weigley, History of U.S. Army, pp. 135-37.

26. Ibid., pp. 137-38.

27. Oliver Lyman Spaulding, The United States Army in War and Peace (New York: G. P Putnam's Sons, 1937), p. 153.

28. In the War Department Special Order of 28 February 1828 announcing Brown's death and eulogizing him, Secretary Barbour referred to the late commanding general's "gentleness of disposition" and "courtesy of deportment," and noted that "the disease which abridged his days, and has terminated his career at a period scarcely beyond the meridian of manhood, undoubtedly originated in the hardships of his campaigns on the Canadian frontier, and in that glorious wound which, though desperate, could not remove him from the field of battle, till it was won."

29. For a general discussion of brevet rank and its application to the senior officers of this period, see Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Bernays Wiener, "Mex Rank Through the Ages," Infantry Journal, September 1943, pp. 26-28.

30. Ibid.; see also part 2 of Colonel Wiener's five-part article, "Three Stars and Up," Infantry Journal, July 1945, p. 33.

31. Army Regulations, 1834, pp. 115-16.

32. Ibid., 1835, pp. 119-20.

33. Letter, Adjutant General to Secretary of War, 24 Jan 1829. The differing approaches that Generals Brown and Macomb brought to the office of commanding general are evidenced in a further comment of the adjutant general: "It has remained for the present General in Chief [Macomb] . . . to claim jurisdiction in some of the enumerated duties [of the adjutant general] . . . which, during the command of the lamented General Brown, were practically acknowledged at the War Office to pertain to the Adjutant General" (Letter, Adjutant General to Secretary of War, 10 Dec 1829). Copies in Cater File, Center of Military History.

34. Ibid., 10 Dec 1829.

35. Charles Winslow Elliott, Winfield Scott: The Soldier and the Man (New York: Macmillan Co., 1937), pp. 438-46.

36. General Order no. 49, War Department, 31 Aug 1848.

37. General Order no. 27, War Department, 10 May 1849.

38. Elliott, Winfield Scott, ch. 46; Weigley, History of U.S. Army, pp. 192-95.

39. Wiener, "Three Stars and Up," p. 34; General Order no. 2, War Department, 12 Mar 1855.

40. Matloff, American Military History, pp. 204-05, 209, 220; Weigley, History of U.S. Army, pp. 246-47.

41. Matloff, American Military History, p. 220.

42. Weigley, History of U.S. Army, pp. 248-49; see also sketch of Halleck in Dictionary of American Biography, s.v. "Halleck, Henry Wager" by W.A.G. (William Addleman Ganoe).

43. Wiener, "Three Stars and Up," p. 34.

44. Ibid., pp. 34-35; General Order no. 87, War Department, 3 Mar 1864.

45. General Order no. 98, War Department, 12 Mar 1864.

46. Ibid.

47. Matloff, American Military History, p. 264; Wiener, "Three Stars and Up," pp. 34-35; George W. Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy, 3d ed., rev. and enl. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1891), vol. 2, pp. 170-72.

48. Matloff, American Military History, pp. 283-85.

49. Weigley, History of U.S. Army, pp. 258-60. For a detailed account of the play of political forces in the Johnson-Stanton controversy, see Benjamin R. Thomas and Harold M. Hyman, Stanton: The Life and Times of Lincoln's Secretary of War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962).

50. General Order no. 11, War Department, 8 Mar 1869. The order repeats instructions of 5 March 1869. The Army carries Sherman's effective date of assumption of command as 8 March.

51. Ibid.

52. General Order no. 28, War Department, 27 Mar 1869.

53. William T. Sherman, Personal Memoirs of Gen. W. T. Sherman, 4th ed., rev. and corr., 2 vols. (New York: Charles L. Webster & Co., 1892), 2:444. For a general background on the department heads, see William Gardner Bell, Secretaries of War and Secretaries of the Army: Portraits and Biographical Sketches (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1982).

54. Lloyd Lewis, Sherman: Fighting Prophet (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1932), pp. 609-13; Cullum, Biographical Register, 2:29. Rear Admiral James Alden, commander of the European squadron, sailing on Navy business, invited Sherman to visit Europe. Cullum accounts for the ten-month visit with the phrase, "on professional duty in Europe," whereas Lewis identifies it more properly as private travel. Sherman visited Spain, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Russia, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the British Isles.

55. Lurton D. Ingersoll, A History of the War Department With Biographical Sketches of the Secretaries (Washington, D.C.: Francis B. Mohun, 1880), pp. 566-71; Lewis, Sherman, p. 622.

56. General Order no. 28, War Department, 6 Apr 1876; Sherman, Memoirs, 2:455.

57. Lewis, Sherman, pp. 628-29.

58. Army Regulations, 1881, art. 15, p. 20.

59. Matloff, American Military History, p. 291.

60. John M. Schofield, Forty-six Years in the Army (New York: Century Co., 1897), pp. 471-72.

61. Ibid., pp. 472-73. Permanently assigned to their departments, the bureau chiefs were offen criticized as being outside the Army. Several of them spent years, almost careers, as staff heads, notably Montgomery C. Meigs who was quartermaster general from 1861 to 1882, and Joseph K. Barnes who was surgeon general from 1866 to 1882.

62. U.S. War Department, Annual Reports (Washington, D.C., 1823-1947), Report of the Secretary of War, 1885, 1:64-65 and 130.

63. General Order no. 92, War Department, 22 Jul 1870, sec. 6.

64. General Order no. 2, War Department, 12 Mar 1855.

65. General Order no. 87, War Department, 3 Mar 1864.

66. General Order no. 52, War Department, 26 Jul 1866.

67. General Order no. 39, War Department, 9 Jun 1888.

68. Schofield, Forty-six Years in the Army, pp. 480-81.

69. Ibid., pp. 467-83.

70. Wiener, "Three Stars and Up," p. 37; Schofield, Forty-six Years in the Army, pp. 422-23. "It is only in this country," wrote Schofield, "where the chief of state has generally no military training, and his war minister the same, that a chief of staff of the army is supposed to be unnecessary" (p. 410).

71. Wiener, "Three Stars and Up," p. 37.

72. Hermann Hagedorn, Leonard Wood: A Biography, 2 vols. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1931), 1:140-41.

73. General Miles' sentiments are expressed in his annual report to the secretary of war, published in the Report of the Secretary of War, 1895-1897.

74. Edward Ranson, "Nelson A. Miles as Commanding General," Military Affairs, 29, no. 4 (Winter 1965-66): 183-85.

75. Ibid., pp. 183-90. General Miles had serious reservations as to whether General Shafter, who was sixty and weighed 300 pounds, was physically able to withstand the tropical conditions in the theater of war. Hugh L. Scott, a future chief of staff but then a captain on duty in Washington and in a positon to observe and understand the workings of government, wrote later that he was convinced "that the President and [Adjutant] General [Henry C.] Corbin were only playing with General Miles and did not intend to let him go [to Cuba] at all, probably on account of his political tendencies. They did not propose that he should go and come back a successful general . . ." (Scott, Some Memories of a Soldier [New York: Century Co., 1928], p. 221).

76. Graham A. Cosmas, An Army for Empire: The United States Army in the Spanish-American War (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1971), p. 146.

77. Wiener, "Three Stars and Up," September 1945, pp. 38-39; General Order no. 79, War Department, 6 Jun 1900; General Order no. 81, War Department, 11 Jun 1900.

78. Philip C. Jessup, Elihu Root, 2 vols. (New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1938), 1:247-48.

79. Virginia Weisal Johnson, The Unregimented General: A Biography of Nelson A. Miles (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1962), pp. 354-55.

80. Ibid., p. 355.

81. Ranson, "Miles as Commanding General," pp. 196-98.

82. Johnson, Unregimented General, pp. 355-59; Jessup, Elihu Root, 1:251.

83. Jessup, Elihu Root, 1:pt. 3, covers Root's service as secretary of war. The evaluation of Root's standing in the legal profession appears in Jessup's summary sketch of Root in the Dictionary of American Biography, supp. 2, s.v. "Root, Elihu."

84. Report of the Secretary of War, 1899, 1:44-45.

85. Ibid.

86. This and the following rwo paragraphs are based upon the Report of the Secretary of War, 1902, 1:42-49.

87. General Order no. 15, War Department, 18 Feb 1903. General Order no. 120, issued on 14 August 1903, reproduced a set of Army regulations that specified in some detail the composition, duties, and relationships between the chief of staff, General Staff Corps, War Department General Staff, and General Staff serving with troops.

88. That President Roosevelt and Secretary Root looked forward with anticipation to the departure of General Miles, and his aggravations, is evident in the series of executive actions related to the elevation of General Young. On 2 July 1903 Secretary Root sent a memorandum to the adjutant general requesting that, by direction of the president, he prepare General Young's commission to be lieutenant general as of 8 August. On the fifth of that month the acting assistant adjutant general sent a letter to General Young, stating that the secretary of war had directed that he (Young) immediately forward his letter of acceptance, which the general did the following day. But no executive action was taken until the Congress returned in the fall, when on 11 November the president forwarded the Young nomination to the Senate. Senate confirmation came on the sixteenth, and the president signed the formal commission the following day.

89. Report of the Secretary of War, 1903, 1:3-5.

90. Otto L. Nelson, Jr., National Security and the General Staff (Washington, D.C.: Infantry Journal Press, 1946), pp. 82-85.

91. For a history of the organization and administration of the Department of the Army during the era of America's rise to global power, see James E. Hewes, Jr., From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration, 1900-1963, Special Studies (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1975).

92. Nelson, National Security, pp. 138-51.

93. Weigley, History of U.S. Army, pp. 332-33.

94. Frederic Palmer, Newton D. Baker: America at War, 2 vols. (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1931), 1:143 and 2:157-58; Weigley, History of U.S. Army, p. 379.

95. General Order no. 80, War Department, 26 Aug 1918.

96. Peyton C. March, The Nation at War (Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1932), pp. 251-54 and 264-66.

97. March as chief of staff attributed some of his problems in dealing with the American Expeditionary Forces commander to Pershing's accelerated promotion. He saw what he judged to be Pershing's "inability to function in teamwork with his legal and authorized superiors" and to work with men like Generals George W. Goethals, Leonard Wood, William L. Sibert, and Tasker H. Bliss, as a direct result of the fact that Pershing's advancement from captain to brigadier general "by the impulsive Theodore Roosevelt" had denied Pershing the training and experience that career progression through the grades of major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel would have given him. In the process, March believed, Pershing had lost "the very foundation of a complete knowledge of the art of war and the command of men" (March, Nation at War, pp. 266-69).

98. The National Defense Act of 1920, p. 10. The 1920 act represented a substantial modification of the basic National Defense Act of 1916.

99. Bulletin no. 25, War Department, 9 Jun 1920.

100. Hewes, From Root to McNamara, chs. 2-3. For a history of the Office of the Chief of Staff in the two decades between the World Wars, and of the nation's unreadiness and the efforts of General Marshall and his staff to prepare it, see Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, United States Army in World War II (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1950).

101. Hewes, From Root to McNamara, ch. 4; Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, United States Army in World War II (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1951), pp. 358-60; Circular no. 138, War Department, 14 May 1946, sub: War Department Reorganization.

102. Alice C. Cole et al., eds., The Department of Defense: Documents on Establishment and Organization, 1947-1978 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1979), ch. 1. James V. Forrestal, the first secretary of defense, negotiated the critical interservice accords on roles and missions in 1948.

103. Ibid., ch. 2.

104. Hewes, From Root to McNamara, pp. 208-15.

105. For the substance of their positions, see Matthew B. Ridgway, Soldier: The Memoirs of Matthew B. Ridgway (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956), and Maxwell D. Taylor, The Uncertain Trumpet (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1959). Another influential senior officer, Lieutenant General James M. Gavin, chief of research and development, also left the Army in 1958 for similar convictions and purposes. His views were set out in his book, War and Peace in the Space Age (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958).

106. For a detailed exposition of the Army's part in the McNamara reforms, see Hewes, From Root to McNamara, chs. 8-10.

107. Roger Hilsman, To Move a Nation: The Politics of Foreign Policy in the Administration of John F. Kennedy (Garden City N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1967), p. 44. Hilsman, a graduate of West Point (June 1943) and Yale University (1950), saw service in World War II with the Office of Strategic Services and in the postwar period with the Central Intelligence Agency, Library of Congress, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He was director of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs during the McNamara secretaryship at the Defense Department.

108. General Palmer provide continuity during the Westmoreland-Abrams interregnum, and therefore is included in the list of Army chiefs of staff.

109. The participation of the Army chiefs of staff in combat operations is described in the respective biographies found later in this work.

110. The statutory provisions relating to the appointment and duties of the chief of staff of the United States Army are set out in sec. 3034, title 10, United States Code (1976).

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