The literature of an institution and its leaders over an extended period of time is bound to be uneven. The Army’s history during two hundred years of American statehood has moved with national currents, and the administrations of its civilian heads have taken historical form from the fluctuation in the events of their times and the nature of the individuals’ participation in those events. Add to this the disparities in individual abilities and terms of office, as well as the fact that some officials had wider and more influential public service than others, and it is readily apparent that there will be marked differences in the degree of biographical attention accorded to Army secretaries over the period from 1776, when the Board of War was established, up to the present.
It is also understandable that earlier figures who served a young and growing nation in a smaller and more focused government should come under closer scrutiny from the perspective of time. Additionally, no Secretary of War is still living, and public figures are more easily and freely assessed after they have left the scene than while they are still living. In light of the office’s loss of cabinet status and the subordination of the service departments within the Department of Defense, it remains to be seen whether the Army secretarial office and the incumbents of modern times will garner the attention accorded their predecessors in the more sovereign and independent War Department days.
It was deemed most useful to the reader to divide the select bibliography into two sections: a general source list pertaining to military history and a specific one dealing with the individual secretaries (including the officials who served ad interim) and the artists who painted them. The bibliography that follows immediately includes works on the national defense, the history of the Army, the departmental headquarters, and the broad details of organization and operation.
American State Papers: Military Affairs. 7 vols. Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1832–1861.
Annual Reports of the Secretary of War, 1822–1949. Washington: Government Printing Office.
Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Army, 1950–1968. In Annual Report of the Department of Defense. Washington: Government Printing Office.
Ball, Harry P. Of Responsible Command: A History of the U.S. Army War College. Carlisle: Alumni Association U.S. Army War College, 1984.
Berdahl, Clarence. War Powers of the Executive of the United States. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1921.
Bernardo, C. Joseph, and Bacon, Eugene H. American Military Policy: Its Development Since 1775. Harrisburg: Stackpole, 1955.
Borklund, Carl. Men of the Pentagon: From Forrestal to McNamara. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966.
——–. The Department of Defense. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1968.
Clark, Keith C., and Legere, Laurence J. The President and the Management of National Security. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969.
Coffman, Edward M. The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Curti, Merle. Peace or War: The American Struggle, 1636–1936. New York: W. W. Norton, 1936.
Department of the Army Historical Summary. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1970–86.
Dupuy, R. Ernest. The Compact History of the United States Army. New York: Hawthorn, 1956.
——–, and Dupuy, Trevor N. Military Heritage of America. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1956.
Eberstadt, Ferdinand. Unification of War and Navy Departments and Postwar Organization for National Security. A Report to Hon. James Forrestal. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1945.
Ekirch, Arthur A., Jr. The Civilian and the Military. New York: Oxford University Press, 1956.
Ganoe, William Addleman. The History of the United States Army. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1924.
Hammond, Paul Y. Organizing for Defense: The American Military Establishment in the Twentieth Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961.
Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903.
Hewes, James E., Jr. From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration, 1900–1963. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975.
Hill, Jim Dan. The Minute Man in Peace and War: A History of the National Guard. Harrisburg: Stackpole, 1964.
Huntington, Samuel R. The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957.
Ingersoll, Lurton D. A History of the War Department of the United States with Biographical Sketches of the Secretaries. Washington: Francis B. Mohun, 1880.
Jacobs, James Ripley. The Beginning of the U.S. Army, 1783–1812. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947.
Kauffman, William W., ed. Military Policy and National Security. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956.
Kerwin, Jerome G., ed. Civil-Military Relationship in American Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948.
Kohn, Richard H. Eagle and Sword: The Federalists and the Creation of the Military Establishment in America, 1783–1802. New York: Free Press, 1975.
Kreidberg, Marvin A., and Henry, Merton G. History of Military Mobilization in the United States Army, 1775–1945. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1984.
Mahon, John K. History of the Militia and the National Guard. New York: Macmillan Co., 1983.
Matloff, Maurice, ed. American Military History. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1969. Revised edition, 1989.
May, Ernest R., ed. The Ultimate Decision: The President as Commander in Chief. New York: George Braziller, 1960.
Meneely, Alexander H. The War Department, 1861: A Study in Mobilization and Administration. New York: Columbia University Press, 1928.
Millis, Walter. Arms and Men: A Study in American Military History. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1956.
——–, with Mansfield, Harvey C., and Stein, Harold. Arms and the State: Civil-Military Elements in National Policy. New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1958.
Nelson, Otto L. National Security and the General Staff. Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1946.
Palmer, John McAuley. America in Arms: The Experience of the United States with Military Organization. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1941.
Powers, Patrick W. A Guide to National Defense: The Organization and Operations of the U.S. Military Establishment. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1964.
Prucha, Francis R. The Sword of the Republic: The United States Army on the Frontier. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.
Ries, John C. The Management of Defense: Organization and Control of the U.S. Armed Forces. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1964.
Rodenbough, Theophilus F., and Haskin, William L., eds. The Army of the United States: Historical Sketches of Staff and Line. New York: Merrill, 1896.
Sanders, Jennings B. The Evolution of the Executive Department, 1774–1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1935.
Smith, Louis. American Democracy and Military Power: A Study of Civil Control of the Military Power in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951.
Spaulding, Oliver Lyman. The United States Army in War and Peace. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1937.
Stanley, Timothy W. American Defense and National Security. Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1956.
Thian, Raphael P. Legislative History of the General Staff of the Army of the United States. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901.
Upton, Emory. The Military Policy of the United States from 1775. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904.
Ward, Harry M. The Department of War, 1781–1795. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1962.
Weigley, Russell F. History of the United States Army. New York: Macmillan Co., 1967. Enlarged edition, Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1984.
——–. The American Way of War. New York: Macmillan Co., 1973.
——–. Towards an American Army: Military Thought from Washington to Marshall. New York: Columbia University Press, 1962.
White, Howard. Executive Influence in Determining Military Policy in the United States. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1924.
Williams, T. Harry. Americans at War: The Development of the American Military System. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1956.
Wright, Robert K., Jr. The Continental Army. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1983.
Yoshpe, Harry B., and Falk, Stanley L. Organization for National Security. Washington: Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 1963.
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