Winfield Scott
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1786
Date of Death: 1866
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: General, Politician
Military Branch: United States Army (War of 1812, Mexican-American War

Army (American Civil War)

Political Party: Whig Party
Fictional Appearances:
"Lee at the Alamo"
POD: December 13, 1860
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference

Winfield Scott (June 13, 1786 - May 29, 1866), nicknamed "Old Fuss and Feathers" and "The Grand Old Man of the Army", was a general of the United States Army and holds the record for longest active service at the rank of general in US military history. He was breveted Brigadier General in March 1814 and retired at the rank of Lieutenant General in November 1861. (In 1856 he became only the second American soldier to hold the latter rank; the first was George Washington.) Out of 53 years spent in the Army, Scott was a general for 47. He commanded US forces during the War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Black Hawk War, Second Seminole War, and American Civil War, and was Commanding General of the United States Army for twenty years, the longest service in the history of the post.

At the beginning of the Civil War he masterminded the Anaconda Plan, a strategy that called for a slow war of attrition against the Confederate States. A modified version of the plan would eventually prove the key to Federal victory in the war, but in the summer of 1861 the plan was unpopular, with political support for a major offensive against the Confederate capital of Richmond being the most fashionable strategy. A combination of rapidly deteriorating health and political pressure by allies of the incompetent George McClellan, who aspired to succeed Scott as Commanding General, led Scott to tender his resignation to President Abraham Lincoln on November 1, 1861, ending a fifty-five year military career that had seen him serve under fourteen of the sixteen Presidents to have held office up to that point. (He had enlisted in the Virginia militia in 1806 and was commissioned a captain of the US Army in 1808.) Despite being retired, Scott was informally consulted as a military advisor by President Lincoln at different points throughout the war.

In 1852, Scott was the final presidential nominee of the Whig Party before that party began to splinter and fall apart roughly two years later due to the internal issue of slavery within the party. His running mate was William Alexander Graham. With the Whigs divided, Scott was defeated by Democrat Franklin Pierce by a wide margin. He only carried the four states of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Vermont with 42 electoral votes.

Winfield Scott in "Lee at the Alamo"[]

After the newly promoted Colonel Robert E. Lee returned to territory effectively controlled by the United States after the fall of the Alamo, General Winfield Scott informed his one-time prized pupil that President Lincoln intended to offer Lee field command of the United States Army during the coming civil war. Lee left the meeting having neither accepted nor refused the assignment, prompting Scott to notify President Lincoln of that fact. Lincoln, in turn, decided to invite Lee to meet with him personally.

See Also[]

Military offices
Preceded by
Alexander Macomb, Jr.
General-in-Chief of the United States Army
Succeeded by
George McClellan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Zachary Taylor
Whig Party presidential nominee
1852 (lost)
Succeeded by
Millard Fillmore as American Party Nominee
with Whig Endorsement