Most of the Secretaries of War and Secretaries of the Army have received brief biographical mention in standard reference works. Principal among these, insofar as the earlier officials are concerned, is the twenty-volume Dictionary of American Biography, with supplements, and the thirty-two volume National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Eight secretaries are treated in the four-volume The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans (1834–1839). The various editions of Who’s Who in America and Who Was Who in America contain references to individuals—especially later officials—who may have had little or no biographical treatment in other sources. Current Biography is also useful for its coverage of contemporary officials. Treatment according to editorial perceptions of the relative importance of individuals is provided in various editions of the Encyclopedia Americana and Encyclopedia Britannica while officials of military background are also covered in Francis B. Heitman’s Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (1789–1903), George W. Cullum’s Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy, a work spanning the years 1802–1950 and periodically updated, and Who Was Who in American History—The Military.

Autobiographies and the secondary literature on the Army’s top civilian leaders provide the real substance of their lives and service. If the major published autobiographies and biographies are supplemented by L. D. Ingersoll’s History of the War Department with its biographical sketches of the first thirty-three secretaries (including those who served ad interim), and by doctoral dissertations, most of the gaps in the secretarial bibliography are filled, however imperfectly. (Doctoral dissertations are normally available in xerographic or microfilm reproduction from University Microfilms of Ann Arbor, Michigan.)

The bibliographical listing which follows includes works on the Secretaries of War and the Secretaries of the Army, the predecessors of the Secretary of War and the officials who served ad interim through the years, and the artists who painted the secretarial portraits. These are arranged alphabetically by the individual subject with applicable sources entered alphabetically under each individual’s name. Since Ingersoll’s History of the War Department includes biographical information on the first thirty-three secretaries, this source is not listed under all the individual names, but should be consulted for information on secretaries who served before 1880. Although full-length treatment is available on only a few artists, some are covered in such art reference works as George C. Groce’s and David Wallace’s The New York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America and Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters. Several of the more prominent artists appear in the standard biographical reference works cited earlier.

Alger, Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander Alger, Late Senator in the Congress of the United States from Michigan. Lansing: n.p., 1907.

Armstrong, John

Armstrong, John. Notices on the War of 1812. 2 vols. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1840.

Skeen, C. Edward. "John Armstrong and the Role of the Secretary of War in the War of 1812." Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1966.

——–. John Armstrong, 1758–1843: A Biography. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1981

Baker, Newton Diehl

Beaver, Daniel R. Newton D. Baker and the American War Effort, 1917–1919. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1966.

Cramer, C. H. Newton D. Baker: A Biography. Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1961.

Palmer, Frederick. Newton D. Baker: America at War. 2 vols. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1931.

Barbour, James

Long, William S. James Barbour. n.p., 1913.

Lowery, Charles D. James Barbour: A Jeffersonian Republican. University: University of Alabama Press, 1984.

Belknap, William Worth

Impeachment of William W. Belknap, Late Secretary of War. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1876.

Bell, John

The Life, Speeches, and Public Service of John Bell. New York: Rudd and Carleton, 1860.

Parks, Joseph H. John Bell of Tennessee. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1950.

Brucker, Wilber Marion

Brucker, Clara H. To Have Your Cake and Eat It. New York: Vantage Press, 1968.

Butler, Benjamin Franklin

Mallan, William D. "General Benjamin Franklin Butler." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1942.


Calhoun, John Caldwell

Calhoun, John Caldwell. Life of John C. Calhoun. Presenting a Condensed History of Political Events From 1811 to 1843. New York: Harper & Bros., 1843.

Coit, Margaret L. John C. Calhoun, American Portrait. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1950.

Current, Richard N. John C. Calhoun. New York: Washington Square Press, 1963.

Hunt, Gaillard. John C. Calhoun. Philadelphia: G. W. Jacobs Co., 1908.

Jenkins, John S. The Life of John C. Calhoun. Rochester: Alden & Beardsley, 1856.

Meigs, William Montgomery. The Life of John Caldwell Calhoun. New York: G. E. Stechert & Co., 1925.

Niven, John. John C. Calhoun and the Price of Union: A Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.

The Papers of John C. Calhoun. 20 vols. to date. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1959–1991.

Thomas, John L., ed. John C. Calhoun: A Profile. New York: Hill & Wang, 1968.

Wiltse, Charles M. John C. Calhoun, 1782–1828. 3 vols. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1944–1951.

Cameron, Simon

Bradley, Erwin S. Simon Cameron, Lincoln’s Secretary of War: A Political Biography. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966.

Cass, Lewis

Hewlett, Richard G. "Lewis Cass in National Politics, 1842–1862." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1952.

Hickman, George H. The Life of General Lewis Cass. Baltimore: N. Hickman, 1848.

McLaughlin, Andrew C. Lewis Cass. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1879 and 1972.

Smith, William L. Fifty Years of Pub1ic Life: The Life and Times of Lewis Cass. New York: Derby and Jackson, 1856.

Woodford, Frank B. Lewis Cass: The Last Jeffersonian. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1950.

Chandor, Douglas

Vaughn, Malcolm. Chandor’s Portraits. New York: Brentano, 1942.

Chase, Joseph Cummings

Chase, Joseph Cummings. My Friends Look Better Than Ever. New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1950.

Crawford, William Harris

Butler, Benjamin F. [Americanus]. Sketches of the Life and Character of William H. Crawford. Albany: Packard and Van Benthuysen, 1824.

Cutler, Everette W. William Harris Crawford. Charlotte: University of North Carolina Press, 1965.

Knowlton, Daniel C., ed. The Journal of William H. Crawford. Northhampton: Dept. of History, Smith College, 1925.

Mooney, Chase C. William H. Crawford, 1772–1834. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1974.

Shipp, John E. D. Giant Days, or, The Life and Times of William H. Crawford. Americus: Southern Printers, 1909.

Dallas, Alexander James

Dallas, George M. Life and Writings of Alexander James Dallas. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1871.

Walters, Raymond, Jr. Alexander James Dallas: Lawyer, Politician, Financier, 1759–1817. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1943; and New York: Da Capo Press, 1969.

Davis, Jefferson

Addey, Markinfield. Life of Jefferson Davis. Philadelphia: Keystone Publishing Co., 1890.

Alfriend, Frank H. The Life of Jefferson Davis. Philadelphia: National Publishing Co., 1868.

Chance, Joseph E. Jefferson Davis’s Mexican War Regiment. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991.

Cutting, Elizabeth B. Jefferson Davis, Political Soldier. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1930.

Davis, William C. Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour. New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 1991.

Dodd, William E. Jefferson Davis. New York: Russell and Russell, 1966.

Eaton, Clement. Jefferson Davis. New York: Macmillan Co., 1977.

Gordon, Armstead C. Jefferson Davis. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918.

Langhein, Eric. Jefferson Davis, Patriot. New York: Vantage Press, 1962.

McElroy, Robert M. Jefferson Davis: The Unreal and the Real. New York: Harper & Bros., 1937.

Muldowny, John. "The Administration of Jefferson Davis as Secretary of War." Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1959.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis. 7 vols. to date. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971–1991.

Roland, Dunbar. Jefferson Davis, Constitutionalist: His Letters, Papers, and Speeches. 10 vols. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1923.

Strode, Hudson. Jefferson Davis: American Patriot. 4 vols. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1955.

Winston, Robert W. High Stakes and Hair Trigger: The Life of Jefferson Davis. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1930.

Dearborn, Henry

Brown, Lloyd A., and Peckham, Howard H. Revolutionary War Journal of Henry Dearborn. Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1939; and New York: Da Capo Press, 1971.

Erney, Richard A. "The Public Life of Henry Dearborn." Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1957.

Dickinson, Jacob McGavock

The Jacob McGavock Dickinson Papers. Nashville: Tennessee State Library and Archives, 1959.

Elkins, Stephen Benton

Lambert, Oscar D. Stephen Benton Elkins. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1955.

Endicott, William Crowninshield

Choate, Joseph H. Memoir of William Crowninshield Endicott. Cambridge: J. Wilson and Son, 1904.

Lawrence, William. William Crowninshield Endicott. Boston: Merrymount Press, 1936.

Eustis, William

Barnaby, James. A Sermon Delivered at Salisbury, Mass., on the Death of His Excellency William Eustis, February 13, 1825. Newburyport: W. and J. Gilman, 1825.

Fuchs, Emil

Fuchs, Emil. With Pencil, Brush, and Chisel: The Life of an Artist. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1925.

Morgan, Myrtis. The Work of Emil Fuchs. New York: Read Printing Co., circa 1923.

The Work of Emil Fuchs, Illustrating Some of His Representative Paintings, Sculpture, Medals, and Studies. New York: Bartlett Orr Press, 1921.

Gates, Horatio

Nelson, Paul David. General Horatio Gates: A Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1976.

Patterson, Samuel W. Horatio Gates: Defender of American Liberties. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941.

Grant, Ulysses Simpson

Grant, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant. 2 vols. New York: Charles L. Webster Co., 1885–1886, and numerous later editions, including E. B. Long, ed. Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1952.

Catton, Bruce. U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition. Waltham: Little, Brown and Co., 1954.

Hesseltine, William B. Ulysses S. Grant: Politician. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1935.

Healy, George Peter Alexander

Healy, G. P. A. Reminiscences of a Portrait Painter. Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Co., 1894; and New York: Kennedy Graphics, 1970.

Healy, Mary. Life of George P. A. Healy, by His Daughter, Mary. Chicago: no publisher, 1913.

de Mare, Marie. G. P. A. Healy, American Artist: An Intimate Chronicle of the Nineteenth Century. New York: McKay, 1954.

Holt, Joseph

Bateman, Roger. "The Contribution of Joseph Holt to the Political Life of the United States." Ph.D. dissertation, Fordham University, 1958.

Huntington, Daniel

Cantor, Jay E. Drawn From Life: Studies and Sketches by Frederick Church, Winslow Homer, and Daniel Huntington. New York: American Federation of the Arts, circa 1972.

Memorial Exhibition of Works by the Late Daniel Huntington at the Century Association. New York: Irving Press, 1908.

Hurley, Patrick Jay

Buhite, Russell D. Patrick J. Hurley and American Foreign Policy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1973.

La Moore, Parker. "Pat" Hurley, the Story of an American. New York: Brewer, Warren and Putnam, 1932.

Lohbeck, Don. Patrick J. Hurley. Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1956.

Hutchens, Frank Townsend

An Exhibition of Recent Paintings by Frank Townsend Hutchens. Indianapolis: The John Herron Art Institute, 1912.

Jarvis, John Wesley

Dickson, Harold E. John Wesley Jarvis, American Painter. New York: New York Historical Society, 1949.

Kinstler, Everett Raymond

Kinstler, Everett Raymond. Painting Portraits. New York: Watson Gupthill, 1971.

Knox, Henry

Brooks, Noah. Henry Knox: A Soldier of the Revolution. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900, and Da Capo Press, 1974.

Callahan, North. Henry Knox. General Washington’s General. New York: Rinehart, 1958.

Denzil, Justin F. Champion of Liberty, Henry Knox. New York: Julian Messner, 1969.

Drake, Francis S. Life and Correspondence of Henry Knox. Boston: S. G. Drake, 1873.

Le Clear, Thomas

Viele, Chase. Four Artists of Mid-Nineteenth Century Buffalo. [Includes Thomas Le Clear.] Cooperstown: No publisher, circa 1933.

Lincoln, Benjamin

Bowen, Francis. Life of Benjamin Lincoln. In The Library of American Biography. Edited by Jared Sparks. Vol. III, 1837.

Cavanagh, John Carroll. "The Military Career of Major General Benjamin Lincoln in the War of the American Revolution, 1775–1781." Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 1969.

Lincoln, Robert Todd

Goff, John S. Robert Todd Lincoln: A Man in His Own Right. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969.

McHenry, James

Brown, Frederick J. A Sketch of the Life of Dr. James McHenry. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1877.

Mattson-Bose, Martin H. "James McHenry, Secretary of War, 1789–1800." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1965.

Steiner, Bernard. The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry. Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers Co., 1907.

Marcy, William Learned

Spencer, Ivor D. The Victor and the Spoils: A Life of William L. Marcy. Providence: Brown University Press, 1959.

Melchers, Julius Gari

Gari Melchers: A Memorial Exhibition of His Works. Richmond: Museum of Fine Arts, 1938.

Gari Melchers: Selections From the Mary Washington Collection. Fredericksburg: Mary Washington College, 1973.

Gari Melchers, Painter. New York: W. E. Ridge, 1928.

Quenzel, Carol Hunter. Belmont: Gari Melchers Memorial Art Center. Fredericksburg: Mary Washington College, 1960.


Monroe, James

Ammon, Harry. James Monroe: The Quest for National Security. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971.

Cresson, William P. James Monroe. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1971.

Gershon, Noel B. James Monroe: Hero of American Diplomacy. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1969.

Gilman, Daniel C. James Monroe. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1898; and New Rochelle, N. Y.: Arlington House, 1970.

Hamilton, Stanislaus M., ed. The Writings of James Monroe. 7 vols. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898–1903, and AMS Press, 1969.

Monroe, James. The Autobiography of James Monroe. Edited by Stuart Brown. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1959.

Morgan, George. The Life of James Monroe. New York: AMS Press, 1969.

Pickering, Timothy

Clarfield, Gerard H. Timothy Pickering and American Diplomacy, 1795–1800. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1969.

——–. Timothy Pickering and the American Republic. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980.

Pickering, Octavius, and Upham, Charles W. The Life of Timothy Pickering. 14 vols. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1867–1873.

Poinsett, Joel Roberts

Parton, Dorothy M. "The Diplomatic Career of Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779–1851)." Ph.D. dissertation, Catholic University, 1934.

Putnam, Herbert Everett. Joel Roberts Poinsett: A Political Biography. Washington: Mimeoform Press, 1935.

Rippy, J. Fred. Joel R. Poinsett, Versatile American. Durham: Duke University Press, 1935; and New York: Greenwood Press, 1968.

Stille, Charles J. The Life and Service of Joel R. Poinsett. Philadelphia: Reprinted from the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1888.

Porter, Peter Buel

Cozzens, Frederick S. Colonel Peter A. Porter, A Memorial Delivered Before the Century in December 1864. [Includes a sketch of the life of Col. Porter’s father, Peter B. Porter.] New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1865.

Proctor, Redfield

Partridge, Frank C. Redfield Proctor: His Public Life and Services. Montpelier: Vermont Historical Society, 1915.

Ramsey, Alexander

Ryland, William J. Alexander Ramsey: Frontier Politician. Philadelphia: Harris and Partridge Co., 1941.

Rawlins, John Aaron

Wilson, James H. The Life of John A. Rawlins, Major General of Volunteers and Secretary of War. New York: Neale Publishing Co., 1916.

Root, Elihu

Jessup, Philip C. Elihu Root. 2 vols. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1938; and Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1964.

Leopold, Richard W. Elihu Root and the Conservative Tradition. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1954.

Schevill, William Valentine

Special Exhibition of Portraits by William V. Schevill. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Museum Press, 1914.

Schofield, John McAllister

Schofield, John M. Forty-six Years in the Army. New York: The Century Co., 1897.

Scott, Hugh Lenox

Harper, James William. "Hugh Lenox Scott: Soldier-Diplomat, 1876–1917." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Virginia, 1968.

Scott, Hugh Lenox. Some Memories of a Soldier. New York: The Century Co., 1928.

Scott, Winfield

Barnes, James. The Giant of Three Wars: A Life of General Winfield Scott. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1903.

Elliott, Charles Winslow. Winfield Scott. The Soldier and the Man. New York: Macmillan Co., 1937.

Scott, Winfield. Memoirs of Lieut-General Scott, LLD., Written by Himself. 2 vols. New York: Sheldon, 1864.

Sherman, William Tecumseh

Lewis, Lloyd. Sherman—Fighting Prophet. New York: Harcourt-Brace, 1932 and 1958.

Liddell Hart, B. H. Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American. New York: Praeger, 1958.

Sherman, William T. Personal Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman. 2 vols. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1875; and Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1957.

Stanton, Edwin McMasters

Flower, Frank A. Edwin McMasters Stanton, the Autocrat of Rebellion, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. Akron: Saalfield Publishing Co., 1905; and New York: AMS Press, 1973.

Gorham, George C. Life and Public Service of Edwin M. Stanton. 2 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1899.

Pratt, Fletcher. Stanton: Lincoln’s Secretary of War. New York: W. W. Norton. 1953; and Westport: Greenwood Press, 1970.

Thomas, Benjamin P., and Hyman, Harold M. Stanton: The Life and Times of Lincoln’s Secretary of War. New York: Knopf, 1962.

Stimson, Henry Lewis

Current, Richard N. Secretary Stimson: A Study in Statecraft. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1954; and Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1970.

Hodgson, Godfrey. The Colonel: The Life and Wars of Henry Stimson, 1867–1950. New York: Knopf, 1990.

Morison, Elting E. Turmoil and Tradition: A Study of the Life and Times of Henry L. Stimson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1960.

Redmond, Kent C. "The Education of a Statesman: Henry L. Stimson, 1911–1928." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California, 1954.

Stimson, Henry L., and Bundy, McGeorge. On Active Service in Peace and War. New York: Harper, 1917; and New York: Octagon Books, 1971.

Taft, Alphonso

Leonard, Lewis A. Life of Alphonso Taft. New York: Hawke Publishing Co., 1920.

Taft, William Howard

Anderson, Judith Icke. William Howard Taft: An Intimate History. New York: Norton, 1981.

Cotton, Edward H. William Howard Taft: A Character Study. Boston: The Beacon Press, 1932.

Davis, Oscar King. William Howard Taft, the Man of the Hour. Philadelphia: P. W. Ziegler Co., 1908.

Duffy, Herbert S. William Howard Taft. New York: Minton, Balch and Co., 1930.

Dunn, Robert Lee. William Howard Taft, American. Boston: The Chapple Publishing Co., 1908.

Mason, Alpheus T. William Howard Taft: Chief Justice. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965.

Pringle, Henry F. The Life and Times of William Howard Taft. 2 vols. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1939; and Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1964.

Vance, Cyrus Roberts

McClellan, David S. Cyrus Vance. Totwa, N.J.: Rowman & Allanheld, 1985.

Weeks, John Wingate

Washburn, Charles G. The Life of John W. Weeks. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1928.

Weir, Robert Walter

Robert Weir: Artist and Teacher of West Point. West Point: Cadet Fine Arts Forum, 1976.

Weir, Irene. Robert W. Weir, Artist. New York: Doubleday, 1947.

Wilkins, William

Liscombe, R. W. William Wilkins, 1778–1839. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980.

Woodring, Harry Hines

McFarland, Keith D. Harry H. Woodring: A Political Biography. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1975.

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