The War Department was an executive department of the United States government from 1789 to 1947, when its name was changed and it was reorganized. It was created to supervise all military functions and aspects of national defense.

In 1798, Congress separated the Navy from the Army, which created a new Department of the Navy. The War Department continued to supervise the Army. Both department secretaries were answerable to the president, were members of his Cabinet, and cooperated in joint committees and conferences.

Term of Service
Secretary
Home State
Administration
1789 -1795
Henry Knox Massachusetts Washington
1795 - 1796
Timothy Pickering Pennsylvania Washington
1796 - 1797
James McHenry Maryland Washington
1797 - 1800
John Adams
1800 - 1801
Samuel Dexter Maryland John Adams
1801 - 1809
Henry Dearborn Massachusetts Jefferson
1809 - 1813
William Eustis Massachusetts Madison
1813 - 1814
John Armstrong New York Madison
1814 - 1815
James Monroe Virginia Madison
1815 - 1817
William H. Crawford Georgia Madison
1817 - 1825
John C. Calhoun South Carolina Monroe
1825 - 1828
James Barbour Virginia J. Q. Adams
1828 - 1829
Peter B. Porter New York J. Q. Adams
1829 - 1831
John H. Eaton Tennessee Jackson
1831 - 1837
Lewis Cass Michigan Jackson
1837
Benjamin F. Butler New York Jackson
1837 - 1841
Joel R. Poinsett South Carolina Van Buren
1841
John Bell Tennessee W. H. Harrison
1841
Tyler
1841 - 1843
John C. Spencer New York Tyler
1843 - 1844
James M. Porter Pennsylvania Tyler
1844 - 1845
William Wilkins Pennsylvania Tyler
1845 - 1849
William M. Marcy New York Polk
1849 - 1850
George W. Crawford Georgia Taylor
1850 - 1853
Charles M. Conrad Louisiana Fillmore
1853 - 1857
Jefferson Davis Mississippi Pierce
1857 - 1861
John B. Floyd Virginia Buchanan
1861
Joseph Holt Kentucky Buchanan
1861 - 1862
Simon Cameron Pennsylvania Lincoln
1862 - 1865
Edwin M. Stanton Pennsylvania Lincoln
1865 - 1868
A. Johnson
1868 - 1869
John M. Schofield Illinois A. Johnson
1869
John A. Rawlins Illinois Grant
1869
William T. Sherman Ohio Grant
1869 - 1876
William W. Belknap Iowa Grant
1876
Alphonso Taft Ohio Grant
1876 - 1877
James D. Cameron Pennsylvania Grant
1877 - 1879
George W. McCray Iowa Hayes
1879 - 1881
Alexander Ramsey Minnesota Hayes
1881
Robert T. Lincoln Illinois Garfield
1881 - 1885
Arthur
1885 - 1889
William C. Endicott Massachusetts Cleveland
1889 - 1891
Redfield Proctor Vermont B. Harrison
1891 - 1893
Stephen B. Elkins West Virginia B. Harrison
1893 - 1897
Daniel S. Lamont New York Cleveland
1897 - 1899
Russel A. Alger Michigan McKinley
1899 - 1901
Elihu Root New York McKinley
1901 - 1904
T. Roosevelt
1904 - 1908
William H. Taft Ohio T. Roosevelt
1908 - 1909
Luke E. Wright Tennessee T. Roosevelt
1909 - 1911
Jacob M. Dickinson Tennessee Taft
1911 - 1913
Henry L. Stimson New York Taft
1913 - 1916
Lindley M. Garrison New Jersey Wilson
1916 - 1921
Newton D. Baker Ohio Wilson
1921 - 1923
John W. Weeks Massachusetts Harding
1923 - 1925
Coolidge
1925 - 1929
Dwight F. Davis Missouri Coolidge
1929
James W. Good Illinois Hoover
1929 - 1933
Patrick J. Hurley Oklahoma Hoover
1933 - 1937
George H. Dern Utah F.D. Roosevelt
1937 - 1940
Harry H. Woodring Kansas F.D. Roosevelt
1940 - 1945
Henry L. Stimson New York F.D. Roosevelt
1945 - 1947
Robert P. Patterson New York Truman
1947
Kenneth C. Royall North Carolina Truman

See cabinet officers sorted by administration.

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