Winfield Scott
Overview
 
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

 in 1852.

Known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" and the "Grand Old Man of the Army," he served on active duty as a general longer than any other man in American history
History of the United States
The history of the United States traditionally starts with the Declaration of Independence in the year 1776, although its territory was inhabited by Native Americans since prehistoric times and then by European colonists who followed the voyages of Christopher Columbus starting in 1492. The...

 and many historians rate him the ablest American commander of his time. Over the course of his forty-seven-year career, he commanded forces in the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, the Mexican-American War, the Black Hawk War
Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S....

, the Second Seminole War
Seminole Wars
The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole — the collective name given to the amalgamation of various groups of native Americans and Black people who settled in Florida in the early 18th century — and the United States Army...

, and, briefly, the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, conceiving the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 strategy known as the Anaconda Plan
Anaconda Plan
The Anaconda Plan or Scott's Great Snake is the name widely applied to an outline strategy for subduing the seceding states in the American Civil War. Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasized the blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi...

 that would be used to defeat the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

.
Encyclopedia
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

 in 1852.

Known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" and the "Grand Old Man of the Army," he served on active duty as a general longer than any other man in American history
History of the United States
The history of the United States traditionally starts with the Declaration of Independence in the year 1776, although its territory was inhabited by Native Americans since prehistoric times and then by European colonists who followed the voyages of Christopher Columbus starting in 1492. The...

 and many historians rate him the ablest American commander of his time. Over the course of his forty-seven-year career, he commanded forces in the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, the Mexican-American War, the Black Hawk War
Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S....

, the Second Seminole War
Seminole Wars
The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole — the collective name given to the amalgamation of various groups of native Americans and Black people who settled in Florida in the early 18th century — and the United States Army...

, and, briefly, the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, conceiving the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 strategy known as the Anaconda Plan
Anaconda Plan
The Anaconda Plan or Scott's Great Snake is the name widely applied to an outline strategy for subduing the seceding states in the American Civil War. Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasized the blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi...

 that would be used to defeat the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. He served as Commanding General of the United States Army
Commanding General of the United States Army
Prior to the institution of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army 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...

 for twenty years, longer than any other holder of the office.

A national hero after the Mexican-American War, he served as military governor of Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

. Such was his stature that, in 1852
United States presidential election, 1852
The United States presidential election of 1852 bore important similarities to the election of 1844. Once again, the incumbent president was a Whig who had succeeded to the presidency upon the death of his war-hero predecessor. In this case, it was Millard Fillmore who followed General Zachary Taylor...

, the United States Whig Party passed over its own incumbent 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....

, Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States and the last member of the Whig Party to hold the office of president...

, to nominate Scott in the United States presidential election
United States presidential election, 1852
The United States presidential election of 1852 bore important similarities to the election of 1844. Once again, the incumbent president was a Whig who had succeeded to the presidency upon the death of his war-hero predecessor. In this case, it was Millard Fillmore who followed General Zachary Taylor...

. Scott lost to Democrat Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States and is the only President from New Hampshire. Pierce was a Democrat and a "doughface" who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Pierce took part in the Mexican-American War and became a brigadier general in the Army...

 in the general election, but remained a popular national figure, receiving a brevet
Brevet (military)
In many of the world's military establishments, brevet referred to a warrant authorizing a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily, but usually without receiving the pay of that higher rank except when actually serving in that role. An officer so promoted may be referred to as being...

 promotion in 1856 to the rank of lieutenant general
Lieutenant General (United States)
In the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, lieutenant general is a three-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-9. Lieutenant general ranks above major general and below general...

, becoming the first American since 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...

 to hold that rank.

Early years

Winfield Scott was born to William Scott (1747-1789) and Anna Mason (1748-1803) on Laurel Branch, the family plantation in Dinwiddie County, Virginia
Dinwiddie County, Virginia
Dinwiddie County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the population was 28,001. Its county seat is Dinwiddie.- History :...

, near Petersburg, Virginia
Petersburg, Virginia
Petersburg is an independent city in Virginia, United States located on the Appomattox River and south of the state capital city of Richmond. The city's population was 32,420 as of 2010, predominantly of African-American ethnicity...

, on 13 June 1786. He briefly attended College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary
The College of William & Mary in Virginia is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States...

, studied law in the office of a private attorney, and served as a Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 corporal near Petersburg in 1806.

Army Captain

Scott received a direct commission
Direct commission officer
A direct commission officer is a uniformed officer who has received a commission without the typical prerequisites for achieving a commission, such as a four year service academy, a four year or two year college ROTC program, or one of the officer candidate school or officer training school...

 as captain in the artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 in May 1808. Captain Scott underwent tumultuous early years in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

. Captain Scott openly criticized the pusillanimous and corrupt General 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...

, his commanding officer; following a court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

 for this insubordination, the Army in 1810 suspended his commission for one year. Afterwards, Captain Scott served in New Orleans on staff of General Wade Hampton
Wade Hampton I
Wade Hampton was a South Carolina soldier, politician, two-term U.S. Congressman, and wealthy plantation owner. He was the scion of the politically important Hampton family, which was influential in state politics almost into the 20th century...

 in 1811/1812.

Lieutenant Colonel at Queenston Heights

The Army promoted Captain Winfield Scott to lieutenant colonel in July 1812. Lieutenant Colonel Scott served primarily on the Niagara campaign
Niagara campaign
The Niagara campaign was the final campaign launched by the United States to invade Canada during the War of 1812. It occurred in 1814.The American forces were commanded by General Jacob Brown and General Winfield Scott.The U.S...

 front in the War of 1812. He took command of an American landing party during the Battle of Queenston Heights
Battle of Queenston Heights
The Battle of Queenston Heights was the first major battle in the War of 1812 and resulted in a British victory. It took place on 13 October 1812, near Queenston, in the present-day province of Ontario...

 (Ontario, Canada) on 13 October 1812. Most New York militia members refused to cross into Canada in support of the invasion, and the British compelled New York militia commander Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 William Wadsworth and Lieutenant Colonel Winfield Scott to surrender.

The British held Lieutenant Colonel Scott as a prisoner of war. The British considered Irish-American prisoners of war British subjects and traitors and executed 13 such Americans captured at Queenstown Heights. The British paroled and released Lieutenant Colonel Winfield Scott in a prisoner exchange
Prisoner exchange
A prisoner exchange or prisoner swap is a deal between opposing sides in a conflict to release prisoners. These may be prisoners of war, spies, hostages, etc...

. Upon release, Lieutenant Colonel Scott returned to Washington to pressure the Senate to take punitive action against British prisoners of war in retaliation for the British executions of Irish-American soldiers. The Senate wrote a bill after this urging, but President James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 believed the summary execution of prisoners of war unworthy of civilized nations and so refused to enforce the act.

Colonel at Fort George

The Army promoted Lieutenant Colonel Winfield Scott to colonel in March 1813. In May 1813, Since he went there he was known as Colonel Scott. He planned and led the capture of Fort George, Ontario
Fort George, Ontario
Fort George National Historic Site is a historic military structure at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, that was the scene of several battles during the War of 1812...

, Canada, beside the Niagara River
Niagara River
The Niagara River flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the Province of Ontario in Canada and New York State in the United States. There are differing theories as to the origin of the name of the river...

. The operation used landings across the Niagara and on the Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded on the north and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, and on the south by the American state of New York. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was named for the lake. In the Wyandot language, ontarío means...

 coast and forced the British to abandon Fort George. Colonel Scott suffered wounds at this battle, among the best planned and executed operations of War of 1812.

Colonel Winfield Scott also participated in action at Up hold's Creek.

Brigadier General at Chippewa and Lundy's Lane

The Army brevetted Colonel Winfield Scott as brigadier general in March 1814.

Brigadier General Scott earned the nickname of "Old Fuss and Feathers" for his insistence on military appearance and discipline in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, which consisted mostly of volunteers. In his own campaigns, General Scott preferred to use a core of United States Army regulars whenever possible. Scott perennially concerned himself with the welfare of his men, prompting an early quarrel with General 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...

 over an unhealthy bivouac on land Wilkinson owned. During an early outbreak of cholera at a post under his command, Scott, alone among officers, stayed to nurse the stricken enlisted men.

Scott commanded the 1st Brigade, proving largely instrumental in decisive American successes at the Battle of Chippewa in July 1814.

Despite his instrumental role in the bloody Battle of Lundy's Lane
Battle of Lundy's Lane
The Battle of Lundy's Lane was a battle of the Anglo-American War of 1812, which took place on 25 July 1814, in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario...

, Brigadier General Winfield Scott suffered serious wounds. American commander, Major General 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...

, and British-Canadian Lieutenant General Gordon Drummond
Gordon Drummond
Sir Gordon Drummond, GCB was the first Canadian-born officer to command the military and the civil government of Canada...

 also suffered wounds in this battle.

Major General

The Army brevetted Brigadier General Winfield Scott as major general in July 1814 for his valor. Nevertheless, the severity of his wounds prevented Major General Scott from returning to active duty for the remainder of the war.

After War of 1812

Brigadier General Winfield Scott supervised the preparation of the first standard drill regulations of the Army and headed a postwar officer retention selection board in 1815. He also served as president of Board of Tactics in 1815.

Scott visited Europe to study French military methods in 1815/1816. He translated several military manuals of Napoleon I of France
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 into English.

Scott held regional command in the Division of the North in 1816. He married Maria D. Mayo in 1817.

Scott served as president of the Board of Tactics in 1821 and 1824.

Scott commanded the Eastern Department in 1825.

Scott again served as president of the Board of Tactics in 1826.

The Army passed over Brigadier General Winfield Scott for Army command; he resigned, but the Army refused his resignation in 1828. Scott again visited Europe and then resumed command of the Eastern Department in 1829. Upon direction of the War Department, Scott in 1830 published Abstract of Infantry Tactics, Including Exercises and Manueuvres of Light-Infantry and Riflemen, for the Use of the Militia of the United States for the use of the American militia.

Indian Wars and Nullification Crisis

Cholera among his reinforcing troops forestalled field command of Brigadier General Winfield Scott of Black Hawk War
Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S....

 forces.

Scott served as an effective presidential emissary to South Carolina during nullification troubles. During the administration of President
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....

 Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

, Scott marshaled American forces for use against the state of South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 in the nullification crisis
Nullification Crisis
The Nullification Crisis was a sectional crisis during the presidency of Andrew Jackson created by South Carolina's 1832 Ordinance of Nullification. This ordinance declared by the power of the State that the federal Tariff of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore null and void within...

. His tactful diplomacy and the use of his garrison in suppressing a major fire in Charleston did much to defuse the crisis.

In 1832, Scott replaced John E. Wool
John E. Wool
John Ellis Wool was an officer in the United States Army during three consecutive U.S. wars: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. By the time of the Mexican-American War, he was widely considered one of the most capable officers in the army and a superb organizer...

 as commander of Federal troops in the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation (19th century)
The Cherokee Nation of the 19th century —an historic entity —was a legal, autonomous, tribal government in North America existing from 1794–1906. Often referred to simply as The Nation by its inhabitants, it should not be confused with what is known today as the "modern" Cherokee Nation...

. President Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the United States Supreme Court decisions on the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 right to self-rule. In 1835, President Jackson convinced a minority group of Cherokee to sign the Treaty of New Echota
Treaty of New Echota
The Treaty of New Echota was a treaty signed on December 29, 1835, in New Echota, Georgia by officials of the United States government and representatives of a minority Cherokee political faction, known as the Treaty Party...

.

Scott commanded the field forces in Second Seminole War
Second Seminole War
The Second Seminole War, also known as the Florida War, was a conflict from 1835 to 1842 in Florida between various groups of Native Americans collectively known as Seminoles and the United States, part of a series of conflicts called the Seminole Wars...

 and Creek War
Creek War
The Creek War , also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil War, began as a civil war within the Creek nation...

 in 1836. Scott was recalled to Washington due to the highly politicized nature of the tactics he employed and the then-huge expenditures incurred in policing the frontier, compounded by controversies between regular army and local militia officers. A court of inquiry later cleared Scott of wrongdoing in the Seminole and Creek operations. Brigadier General Edmund Meredith Shackelford
Edmund Meredith Shackelford
Edmund Meredith Shackelford was an American Brigadier General.-Military & Civilian Career:Edmund Shackelford was a 2nd Lieutenant in the War of 1812. He served in the Georgia militia from August 23, 1812 through March 6, 1814. He served in Capt. William E. Adams' Company of Riflemen in Major...

 was appointed commander in the area by President Jackson until Brigadier General Thomas Jesup
Thomas Jesup
Brigadier General Thomas Sidney Jesup, USA was an American military officer known as the "Father of the Modern Quartermaster Corps". He was born in Berkeley County, West Virginia. He began his military career in 1808, and served in the War of 1812, seeing action in the battles of Chippewa and...

 could arrive. As late as 1845, General Shackelford wrote to Jackson for a clarifying statement that Shackelford had had no part in Scott's recall to Washington.

Scott assumed command of the Eastern Division in 1837. The Army dispatched Scott to maintain order on the Canadian border, where American patriots aided Canadian rebels seeking an end to British rule.

Cherokee Removal

Brigadier General Winfield Scott also supervised removal of the Cherokees to the trans-Mississippi region in 1838. Following the orders of President Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

, Scott assumed command of the "Army of the Cherokee Nation", headquartered at Fort Cass
Fort Cass
Fort Cass, established in 1835, was an important site during the Cherokee removal known as the Trail of Tears. Located on the Hiwassee River in present-day Charleston, Tennessee, it housed a garrison of United States troops and watched over the largest concentration of internment camps where...

 and Fort Butler. President Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

, previously Secretary of State and then Vice President under President Jackson, thereafter directed Scott to forcibly move all those Cherokee still in the east to comply with the Treaty of New Echota.
Arriving at New Echota
New Echota
New Echota was the capital of the Cherokee Nation prior to their forced removal in the 1830s. New Echota is 3.68 miles north of present-day Calhoun, Georgia, and south of Resaca, Georgia. The site is a state park and an historic site....

, Cherokee Nation, on 6 April 1838, Scott immediately divided the Cherokee Nation into three military districts. He designated 26 May 1838 as the beginning date for the first phase of the removal. The first phase involved the Cherokees in Georgia. He preferred Army regular troops to Georgia militiamen for the operation because the militiamen stood to benefit from the removal; some militiamen, for example, already laid claim to Cherokee properties. Because the promised regulars did not arrive in time, however, Scott proceeded with four thousand Georgia militia.

The moral implications of the policies of Presidents Jackson and Van Buren did not make Scott's orders easy. He reassured the Cherokee people of proper treatment. In his instructions to the militiamen under his command, Scott called any acts of harshness and cruelty "abhorrent to the generous sympathies of the whole American people." Representative (and ex-President) John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

 opposed the removal, imputing it to "Southern politicians and land grabbers;" many Americans agreed. Scott also admonished his troops not to fire on any fugitives they might apprehend unless they should "make stand and resist." Scott detailed help to render the weak and infirm: "Horses or ponies should be used to carry Cherokees too sick or feeble to march." Also, "Infants, superannuated persons, lunatics, and women in a helpless condition with all, in the removal [deserve] peculiar attention, which the brave and humane will seek to adopt to the necessities of the several cases."

Scott's good intentions, however, did not adequately protect the Cherokees from terrible abuses, especially at the hands of "lawless rabble that followed on the heels of the soldiers to loot and pillage." At the end of the first phase of the removal in August 1838, three thousand Cherokees left Georgia and Tennessee by water toward Oklahoma, but camps still retained another thirteen thousand. Thanks to the intercession of John Ross
John Ross (Cherokee chief)
John Ross , also known as Guwisguwi , was Principal Chief of the Cherokee Native American Nation from 1828–1866...

 in Washington, these Cherokees traveled "under their own auspices, unarmed, and free of supervision by militiamen or regulars."

Though white contractors, steamboat owners, and others who provided food and services to the government at profit protested, Scott did not hesitate to carry out this new policy (despite demand of ex-President Andrew Jackson to the Attorney General that another general replace Winfield Scott and the government arrest chief Ross).

Within months, Scott captured (or killed) every Cherokee in north Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama who could not escape. His troops reportedly rounded up the Cherokee and held them in rat-infested stockades with little food. Private John G. Burnett later wrote, "Future generations will read and condemn the act and I do hope posterity will remember that private soldiers like myself, and like the four Cherokees who were forced by General Scott to shoot an Indian Chief and his children, had to execute the orders of our superiors. We had no choice in the matter."

More than four thousand Cherokee died in this confinement before ever beginning the trip west. As the first groups herded west died in huge numbers in the heat, the Cherokee pleaded with Scott to postpone the second phase of the removal until autumn, and he complied. Determined to accompany them as an observer, Scott left Athens, Georgia
Athens, Georgia
Athens-Clarke County is a consolidated city–county in U.S. state of Georgia, in the northeastern part of the state, comprising the former City of Athens proper and Clarke County. The University of Georgia is located in this college town and is responsible for the initial growth of the city...

, on 1 October 1838 and traveled with the first "company" of a thousand people, including both Cherokees and black slaves, as far as Nashville. The Cherokee removal later became known as the Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830...

.

Aroostook War

When Brigadier General Winfield Scott reached Nashville, superiors abruptly ordered him to return to Washington to deal with troubles on the Canadian border known as the Pig War
Pig War
The Pig War was a confrontation in 1859 between the United States and the British Empire over the boundary between the US and British North America. The territory in dispute was the San Juan Islands, which lie between Vancouver Island and the North American mainland...

. Scott negotiated a peaceful resolution to the boundary dispute between Maine and New Brunswick in 1839. On this assignment, he helped defuse tensions between officials of the state of Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 and the British colony of New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

 in the undeclared and bloodless Aroostook War
Aroostook War
The Aroostook War was an undeclared nonviolent confrontation in 1838/1839 between the United States and Great Britain over the international boundary between British North America and Maine. The compromise resolution win a mutually accepted border between the state of Maine and the provinces of...

 in March 1839.

In 1840, Scott wrote Infantry Tactics, Or, Rules for the Exercise and Maneuvre of the United States Infantry. This three-volume work served as the standard drill manual for the United States Army until William J. Hardee
William J. Hardee
William Joseph Hardee was a career U.S. Army officer, serving during the Second Seminole War and fighting in the Mexican-American War...

's Tactics, published in 1855.

Major General

The Army promoted Brigadier General Winfield Scott to major general, then the highest rank in the United States Army, in June 1841 as a result of his successes. Major General Scott served as commanding general of the United States Army from 5 July 1841.

Major General Scott took great interest in the professional development of the cadets of United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

.

Mexican-American War

During the Mexican-American War, Major General Scott commanded the southern of the two United States armies (Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

 commanded the northern army, made up of militiamen and volunteers). Landing at Veracruz, Scott and his regulars, assisted by one of his staff officers, Captain Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

, and perhaps inspired by William H. Prescott
William H. Prescott
William Hickling Prescott was an American historian and Hispanist, who is widely recognized by historiographers to have been the first American scientific historian...

's History of the Conquest of Mexico, followed the approximate route taken by Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, 1st Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century...

 in 1519, and assaulted Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

. Scott's opponent in this campaign was Mexican president and general Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón , often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, known as "the Napoleon of the West," was a Mexican political leader, general, and president who greatly influenced early Mexican and Spanish politics and government...

. Despite high heat, rains, and difficult terrain, Scott won the battles of Cerro Gordo
Battle of Cerro Gordo
The Battle of Cerro Gordo, or Battle of Sierra Gordo, in the Mexican-American War saw Winfield Scott's United States troops flank and drive Santa Anna's larger Mexican army from a strong defensive position.-Battle:...

, Contreras/Padierna
Battle of Contreras
The Battle of Contreras, also known as the Battle of Padierna, took place during August 19–20, 1847, in the final encounters of the Mexican-American War. In the Battle of Churubusco, fighting continued the following day.-Background:...

, Churubusco
Battle of Churubusco
The Battle of Churubusco took place on August 20, 1847, in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Contreras during the Mexican-American War. After defeating the Mexican army at Churubusco, the U.S. Army was only 5 miles away from Mexico City, the capital of the nation...

, and Molino del Rey, then assaulted the fort of Chapultepec
Battle of Chapultepec
The Battle of Chapultepec, in September 1847, was a United States victory over Mexican forces holding Chapultepec Castle west of Mexico City during the Mexican-American War.-Background:On September 13, 1847, in the costly Battle of Molino del Rey, U.S...

 on September 13, 1847, after which the city surrendered.

When seventy-two men from the Mexican Saint Patrick's Battalion
Saint Patrick's Battalion
The Saint Patrick's Battalion , formed and led by Jon Riley, was a unit of 175 to several hundred immigrants and expatriates of European descent who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848. Most of the battalion's members had...

 (made up of American deserters who had joined the Mexican army) were captured during Churubusco and brought to Scott, he had a problem on his hands. The punishment for desertion during war was death by hanging. Scott's army was still facing a dangerous enemy and possible insurgency, so he placed the prisoners before courts martial to have them settle it. Eisenhower says the men were tried in two groups. The trials were conducted fairly by Brevet Colonel John Garland and by Colonel Bennet Riley. Because all the men captured were wearing Mexican uniforms, they were found guilty and sentenced to hang.

Scott was troubled by the sweep of guilty verdicts. He did not want to alienate the Mexican public, who by now had made the deserters national heroes. Nor did he want to encourage insurgency among the Mexican people that would weaken his pacification program in progress. He also knew that the deserters were Irish-born Catholics, who had deserted Taylor's army because they allegedly felt mistreated and had witnessed atrocities "sufficient to make Heaven weep" against fellow Catholics, the Mexicans.
Scott believed he needed to confirm the trials and sentences. He concluded that some men deserved less punishment, and sat up nights attempting to find excuses to avoid the universal application of capital punishment. In the end he approved the death penalty for 50 of the 72 San Patricios, but later pardoned five and reduced the sentence of fifteen others, including the ringleader, Sergeant John Riley. This left 30 slated for execution, 16 of whom were hanged on September 10, 1847. Four were hanged the next day, and the remainder assigned to Colonel William Harney
William S. Harney
William Selby Harney was a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War and the Indian Wars. He was born in what is today part of Nashville, Tennessee but at the time was known as Haysborough....

 for execution at some later date.
On the day of execution, Harney ordered each deserter placed on a mule cart with a rope around his neck, fastening each rope to a mass gibbet
Gibbet
A gibbet is a gallows-type structure from which the dead bodies of executed criminals were hung on public display to deter other existing or potential criminals. In earlier times, up to the late 17th century, live gibbeting also took place, in which the criminal was placed alive in a metal cage...

. Then, during the battle of Chapultepec, just as the American flag was about to rise above the walls of the Mexican citadel, he ordered the executioners to give the mules a whack, causing the beasts to lurch forward, leaving the deserters in mid-air, dangling "en masse." Some argue that this adversely affected Scott's record, as the events violated numerous Articles of War
Articles of War
The Articles of War are a set of regulations drawn up to govern the conduct of a country's military and naval forces. The phrase was first used in 1637 in Robert Monro's His expedition with the worthy Scots regiment called Mac-keyes regiment etc. and can be used to refer to military law in general...

. Eisenhower, however, attributes the incident to Harney.

During political intrigues later in his life, Scott ignored the events, stating "not one [Irishman] ... was ever known to turn his back upon the enemy or friend."

As military commander of Mexico City, he was held in high esteem by Mexican civil and American authorities alike, primarily owing to his pacification policy and fairness. For example, when he drew his "martial law order" to be issued and enforced in Mexico (to prevent looting, rape, murder, etc.), all offenders, both Mexicans and Americans, were treated equally. Apart from his military career, Scott's vanity, as well as his corpulence, led to a catch phrase that was to haunt him for the remainder of his political life. Complaining about the division of command between himself and General Taylor, in a letter written to Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

 William Marcy, Scott stated he had just risen from "at about 6 PM as I sat down to take a hasty plate of soup" . The Polk administration, wishing to sabotage Scott's reputation, promptly published the letter, and the cryptic phrase appeared in political cartoons and folk songs for the rest of his life. Another letter from Scott to Marcy noted Scott's desire of not wishing to "have a fire in his rear (from Washington) while he met a fire in front of the Mexicans."

Another example of Scott's vanity was his reaction to losing at chess to a young New Orleans lad named Paul Morphy
Paul Morphy
Paul Charles Morphy was an American chess player. He is considered to have been the greatest chess master of his era and an unofficial World Chess Champion. He was a chess prodigy...

 in 1846. Scott did not take his defeat by the eight-year-old chess prodigy
Chess prodigy
Chess prodigies are children who play chess so well that they are able to beat Masters and even Grandmasters, often at a very young age. Chess is one of the few sports where children can compete with adults on equal ground; it is thus one of the few skills in which true child prodigies exist...

 gracefully.

When the Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

, victor of Waterloo, learned that Scott had succeeded against alarming odds in capturing Mexico City, he proclaimed Scott, "the greatest living general."

Politics

In the 1852 presidential election, the Whig Party declined to nominate its incumbent president, Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States and the last member of the Whig Party to hold the office of president...

, who had succeeded to the presidency on the death of Mexican-American War hero General Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

. Seeking to repeat their electoral success, the Whigs pushed Fillmore aside and nominated Major General Winfield Scott, who faced Democrat
History of the United States Democratic Party
The history of the Democratic Party of the United States is an account of the oldest political party in the United States and arguably the oldest democratic party in the world....

 Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States and is the only President from New Hampshire. Pierce was a Democrat and a "doughface" who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Pierce took part in the Mexican-American War and became a brigadier general in the Army...

. However, the nomination process foreshadowed the general election:

More grievously rent by sectional rivalries than the Democrats, the Whigs balloted fifty-three times before nominating the Mexican War hero Winfield Scott. The delegates then unanimously approved the platform except for the central plank that pledged "acquiescence" in the Compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War...

, "the act known as the Fugitive Slave law
Fugitive slave laws
The fugitive slave laws were laws passed by the United States Congress in 1793 and 1850 to provide for the return of slaves who escaped from one state into another state or territory.-Pre-colonial and Colonial eras:...

 included." The plank carried by a vote of 212 to 70, opposition coming largely from Scott's supporters. The old soldier, faced with disarray in the Whig ranks, sought out to resolve his dilemma by announcing, "I accept the nomination with the resolutions annexed." To which antislavery Whigs rejoined, "We accept the candidate, but we spit on the platform."


Scott's anti-slavery reputation undermined his support in the South, while the Party's pro-slavery platform depressed turnout in the North, and Scott's opponent was a Mexican-American War veteran as well. Pierce was elected in an overwhelming win, leaving Scott with the electoral votes of only Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

.

Despite his faltering in the election, Scott was still a wildly popular national hero. In 1855, by a special act of Congress, Scott was given a brevet promotion to the rank of lieutenant general
Lieutenant General (United States)
In the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, lieutenant general is a three-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-9. Lieutenant general ranks above major general and below general...

, making him only the second person in U.S. military history, after 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...

, to hold that rank.

In 1859, Scott traveled to the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 to settle a dispute with the British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 over San Juan Island
San Juan Island
San Juan Island is the second-largest and most populous of the San Juan Islands in northwestern Washington, United States. It has a land area of 142.59 km² and a population of 6,822 as of the 2000 census....

, which had escalated to the so-called Pig War
Pig War
The Pig War was a confrontation in 1859 between the United States and the British Empire over the boundary between the US and British North America. The territory in dispute was the San Juan Islands, which lie between Vancouver Island and the North American mainland...

. The old general established a good rapport with the British, and was able to bring about a peaceful resolution.

Civil War

When the Civil War began in the spring of 1861, Scott was 74 years old and suffering numerous health problems, including gout and dropsy. He was also extremely overweight and unable to mount a horse or review troops. As he could not lead troops into battle, he offered the command of the Federal army to Colonel Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 on April 17, 1861 (Scott referred to Lee as "the very finest soldier I've ever seen"). However, when Virginia left the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 on that same day, Lee resigned and the command of the Federal field forces defending Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 passed to Brigadier General Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell was a career American army officer. He is best known for his defeat in the First Battle of Bull Run, the first large-scale battle of the American Civil War.-Early life:...

. Although he was born and raised in Virginia, Scott remained loyal to the nation that he had served for most of his life and refused to resign his commission upon his home state's secession.

When Lincoln received news that the Union Army had been defeated at Manassas
First Battle of Bull Run
First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas , was fought on July 21, 1861, in Prince William County, Virginia, near the City of Manassas...

 on July 21, 1861 he went to Scott's residence. Scott assumed responsibility for the Union defeat. Lincoln was seeking Scott's advice on whether to draw troops away from Washington to reinforce McClellan. In little time George McClellan was appointed head of the Army.
The administration and public opinion were clamoring for a quick victory, but Scott knew that this was impossible. He drew up a complicated plan to defeat the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 by blockading Southern ports and then sending an army down the Mississippi Valley to outflank the Confederacy. This Anaconda Plan
Anaconda Plan
The Anaconda Plan or Scott's Great Snake is the name widely applied to an outline strategy for subduing the seceding states in the American Civil War. Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasized the blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi...

 was derided in the press; however, in its broad outlines, it was the strategy the Union actually used, particularly in the Western Theater and in the somewhat successful naval blockade of Confederate ports. Though the blockade did prevent most sea-going vessels from leaving or arriving to points along the Confederate coast line, a fair number of blockade-runners steamers made their way through that typically carried cargoes of basic supplies, arms, and mail. However, Lincoln gave in to public pressure for a victory within 90 days and rejected the Anaconda Plan, but the eventual strategy used by the Union in 1864–65 was largely based on Scott's original plan.

Scott's physical infirmities cast doubt on his stamina; he suffered from gout
Gout
Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected . However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate...

 and rheumatism
Rheumatism
Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the joints and connective tissue. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology.-Terminology:...

 and his weight had ballooned to over 300 lbs, prompting some to use a play on his nickname of "Old Fuss and Feathers," instead calling him "Old Fat and Feeble." Maj. Gen. 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...

, the field commander, was anxious for Scott to be pushed aside; political pressure from McClellan's supporters in Congress led to Scott's resignation on November 1, 1861. McClellan then succeeded him as general-in-chief. Although officially retired, Scott was still occasionally consulted by Lincoln for strategic advice during the war.

General Scott lived to see the Union victory in the Civil War. He died at West Point, New York on May 29, 1866 and is buried in West Point Cemetery
West Point Cemetery
West Point Cemetery is a historic cemetery on the grounds of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. It overlooks the Hudson River, and served as a burial ground for American Revolutionary War soldiers and early West Point inhabitants long before 1817 when it was officially...

.

Legacy

Scott served under every president from Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 to Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, a total of fourteen administrations, and was an active-duty general for thirteen of them; a total of 47 years of service. Historians rank him highly both as a strategist and as a battlefield commander.
Scott's papers can be found at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

.
Scott County
Scott County, Iowa
-2010 census:The 2010 census recorded a population of 165,224 in the county, with a population density of . There were 71,835 housing units, of which 66,765 were occupied.-2000 census:...

 in the state of Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 is named in Winfield Scott's honor, as he was the presiding officer at the signing of the peace treaty ending the Black Hawk War
Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S....

; Scott County, Kansas
Scott County, Kansas
Scott County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 4,936...

, Scott County, Minnesota
Scott County, Minnesota
Scott County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was organized in 1853 and named in honor of General Winfield Scott. As of 2010, the population was 129,928. Its county seat is Shakopee...

, and Scott County, Tennessee, and Winfield, Illinois
Winfield, Illinois
Winfield is an incorporated village located in Milton and Winfield Townships, DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 8,718 at the 2000 census, and estimated to be 9,984 in 2008....

 and Winfield, Alabama
Winfield, Alabama
Winfield is a city in Marion county in the U.S. state of Alabama. The population was 4,540 at the 2000 census, the second largest city in Marion County.-History:...

, were also named for him. Fort Scott, Kansas
Fort Scott, Kansas
Fort Scott is a city in and the county seat of Bourbon County, Kansas, United States, south of Kansas City, on the Marmaton River. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 8,087. It is the home of the Fort Scott National Historic Site and the Fort Scott National...

, a former Army outpost, was also named for him, and the towns of Scott Depot
Scott Depot, West Virginia
Scott Depot is an unincorporated community in Putnam County, West Virginia, United States. It is located along Crooked Creek at and downstream from the creek's intersection with Teays Valley Road. The zipcode is 25560. It is part of the census-designated place of Teays Valley...

 and Winfield
Winfield, West Virginia
Winfield is a town in Putnam County, West Virginia, along the Kanawha River. The population was 2,301 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Putnam County....

 in West Virginia. Scott Township in Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa
-2010 census:The 2010 census recorded a population of 22,381 in the county, with a population density of . There were 9,766 housing units, of which 8,975 were occupied.-2000 census:...

, was formerly called Jackson before residents formally petitioned to change the township's name in light of their strong support of Scott in the 1852 presidential campaign. In addition, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
-2010 census:The 2010 census recorded a population of 44,151 in the county, with a population density of . There were 22,163 housing units, of which 19,350 were occupied.-2000 census:...

, Buena Vista County, Iowa
Buena Vista County, Iowa
-2010 census:The 2010 census recorded a population of 20,260 in the county, with a population density of . There were 8,237 housing units, of which 7,522 were occupied.-2000 census:...

, and the town of Churubusco, Indiana
Churubusco, Indiana
Churubusco ; often shortened to Busco ), is a town located near the headwaters of the Eel River in the extreme northeast corner of Whitley County, Indiana, United States, in Smith Township, about northwest of Fort Wayne...

, were named for battles where Scott led his troops to victory. Lake Winfield Scott
Lake Winfield Scott
Lake Winfield Scott is an mountain pond located south of Blairsville, Georgia in Union County. The lake, which is owned and managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is the source of Cooper Creek. It is the centerpiece of the Forest Service's Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area, a park which features...

, near Suches
Suches, Georgia
Suches is an unincorporated area in Union County, Georgia, United States. With an altitude approaching 3,000 feet, Suches describes itself as "The Valley Above The Clouds"' and is one of the highest-elevation communities in the state. It is the birthplace of Arthur Woody, a forest ranger who was a...

, is one of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

's highest elevation lakes. In 1882, the fort now known as Fort Point at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to...

 in the Presidio was given the name "Fort Winfield Scott" by U.S. Army Headquarters. That fort officially retained the name until 1886, when the fort was downgraded to a sub-post of the Presidio of San Francisco
Presidio of San Francisco
The Presidio of San Francisco is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area...

. The name was then used once again for the new coast artillery post established in 1912 in the Presidio. A paddle steamer
Paddle steamer
A paddle steamer is a steamship or riverboat, powered by a steam engine, using paddle wheels to propel it through the water. In antiquity, Paddle wheelers followed the development of poles, oars and sails, where the first uses were wheelers driven by animals or humans...

 named the Winfield Scott launched in 1850 and the US Army tugboat
Tugboat
A tugboat is a boat that maneuvers vessels by pushing or towing them. Tugs move vessels that either should not move themselves, such as ships in a crowded harbor or a narrow canal,or those that cannot move by themselves, such as barges, disabled ships, or oil platforms. Tugboats are powerful for...

 currently in service is named Winfield Scott
MG Winfield Scott (LT-805)
The United States Army tugboat Winfield Scott was built by Moss Point Marine and delivered to the U.S. Army on 29 October 1993. She is named for Major General Winfield Scott.-References:...

.
The General Winfield Scott House
General Winfield Scott House
General Winfield Scott House is where General and unsuccessful Whig Presidential candidate Winfield Scott lived from 1853 to 1855.The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973.,-References:...

, his home in New York City during 1853–1855, was named National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 in 1973. The saying "Great Scott!" may have originated from a soldier under Winfield Scott. The Scott's Oriole
Scott's Oriole
The Scott's Oriole, Icterus parisorum, is a medium-sized icterid ....

 was named for him by Darius N. Couch
Darius N. Couch
Darius Nash Couch was an American soldier, businessman, and naturalist. He served as a career U.S. Army officer during the Mexican-American War, the Second Seminole War, and as a general officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.During the Civil War, Couch fought notably in the...

, a major general. It had turned out that the species was described several years earlier by naturalist Charles Bonaparte
Charles Lucien Bonaparte
Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte, 2nd Prince of Canino and Musignano was a French naturalist and ornithologist.-Biography:...

, but Scott's name was retained in the common name anyway.

General Winfield Scott Hancock
Winfield Scott Hancock
Winfield Scott Hancock was a career U.S. Army officer and the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1880. He served with distinction in the Army for four decades, including service in the Mexican-American War and as a Union general in the American Civil War...

 and Admiral Winfield Scott Schley
Winfield Scott Schley
Winfield Scott Schley was a rear admiral in the United States Navy and the hero of the Battle of Santiago Bay during the Spanish-American War.-Civil War:...

 were named after General Scott.

Scott on U.S. Postage

General Winfield Scott is one of very few US Army Generals to be honored on a US Postage stamp. He was the first General to appear on a postage stamp after Washington, who was portrayed as a general on an issue of 1861. The first Winfield Scott stamp issue was released to the public in 1870, four years after the General's death at West Point. The engraving depicts Scott in classic profile with an arc of 13 stars overhead and allegorical military weaponry at the bottom of the design. Because of the higher denomination of 24-cents, which was a considerable sum for a postage stamp in 1870, the stamp only had a printing of a little more than one million. Consequently surviving examples of this stamp are very scarce and quite valuable today. General Scott was honored again on the Army issue of 1937, one in a series of five commemorative stamps honoring notable Army heroes where Scott is depicted along with Andrew Jackson on the 2-cent stamp of this series. The Army and the Navy issues were very popular when released, had a much larger printing and examples of this issue are still somewhat common today.

Further reading

  • Eisenhower, John S.D.
    John Eisenhower
    John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower is the son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife Mamie. He is a retired United States Army officer and the author of several books of military history. He served as the U.S...

    , Agent of Destiny: The Life and Times of General Winfield Scott, University of Oklahoma Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8061-3128-4.
  • Elliott, Charles Winslow, Winfield Scott: The Soldier and the Man, 1937.
  • Johnson, Timothy D., Winfield Scott: The Quest for Military Glory, University Press of Kansas, 1998, ISBN 0-7006-0914-8, a standard scholarly biography
  • Peskin, Allan, Winfield Scott and the Profession of Arms, 2003, a standard scholarly biography

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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