Summary

Conflict Period:
Civil War (Union) 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
13 Jun 1786 1
Laurel Branch, VA 1
Death:
29 May 1866 1
West Point, New York 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Winfield Scott 1
Also known as:
Old Fat and Feeble 1
Also known as:
Grand Old Man of the Army 1
Also known as:
Old Fuss and Feathers 1
Birth:
13 Jun 1786 1
Laurel Branch, VA 1
Death:
29 May 1866 2
West Point, New York 2
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Birth:
Mother: Anna Mason 2
Father: William Scott 2
Marriage:
Maria D. Mayo 2
1817 2
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Civil War (Union) 1

Branch:
Army 1
Service End Date:
01 Nov 1861 1

Mexican-American War 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Major General 1

War of 1812 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Brevet Major General 1
Service Start Date:
July 1812 1
Service End Date:
1815 1

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Sources

  1. Contributed by Fold3_Pages
  2. Contributed by quinster27
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Stories

Notable Quotations

"Brave rifles!  Veterans!  You have been baptized in fire and blood and have come out steel!" ~Winfield Scott, Battle of Chapultepec, September 1847.

"But, wherever I may spend my little remainder of life, my frequent and latest prayer will be 'God save the Union!'" ~Winfield Scott, letter to Simon Cameron, August 9, 1861. 

Winfield Scott served on active duty longer than any other man in American history; he was a soldier of the War of 1812, Mexican-American War, the Black Hawk War, the Second Seminole War, and the American Civil War. 

During the Mexican-American War, Scott captured the key position of Mexico City on 14 September 1847. He later became the military governor of the captured city. The victory was crucial in winning the Mexican-American War.

Capture of Fort George

Ontario, Canada

On 27 March 1813, Winfield Scott and his troops captured Fort George (Ontario, Canada) from the British. In a joint army-navy amphibious assault, Scott landed and advanced. The British counter-attacked but decided to evacuate the fort when they realized they were both outnumbered and outflanked. The Americans initially pursued them but were eventually called off.

Presidential candidate

Unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig party in 1852

Winfield Scott

General Winfield Scott was among the most celebrated American soldiers of his day. Born in Virginia in 1786, he received appointment as a captain of light artillery in 1808 with assignment to New Orleans. In the War of 1812, officers assigned Scott to the Niagara Frontier, where he distinguished himself in combat on numerous occasions. By the end of the war he had risen to brevet Major General and had received a Congressional gold medal and a reputation for discipline, earning him the nickname “Old Fuss and Feathers.”

In the following decades, Scott served against Indians in the Southeast and authored the army’s drill manual. President John Tyler elevated him to commander of all U.S. forces in 1841. An outspoken Whig, he opposed President James K. Polk’s policies toward Mexico, a move that cost him the primary field command in the ensuing U.S.-Mexican War. When General Zachary Taylor’s campaign bogged down at Monterrey, Scott proposed a bold plan to land an army at Vera Cruz and to march overland to capture Mexico City. Polk grudgingly agreed, and Scott’s campaign succeeded brilliantly and won the war.

Scott’s battlefield successes did not translate into political success. Two of his subordinates, Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce, rode their Mexican War reputations into the White House. Even so, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, also a war hero, promoted Scott to brevet Lieutenant General in 1857.

Scott’s last great service to his country came in 1861 when he became the architect of Union war planning. Scott authored the “Anaconda Plan”, by which the North would strangle the South with a blockade and capture of the Mississippi River. He resigned from his post in late 1862 and retired to West Point, where he died in 1866.

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