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Maj. Gen. John Schofield




Born: September 29, 1831

Garry, New York

Died: March 4, 1906

St. Augustine, Florida

Maj. Gen. John Schofield

1853: West Point Graduate

1853: Brevet 2nd Lieutenant

1861: Major

November 21, 1861: Brigadier General

November 26, 1862: Major General

November 30, 1864: Brigadier General in Regular Army

March 13, 1865: Brevet Major General

March 4, 1869: Major General

February 5, 1895: Lieutenant General

Legacy: Quote from 1879 graduation address that all cadets at West Point, the Citadel, Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning and U.S. Air Force Academy are required to memorize.

          "The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice as to inspire in the soldier no feeling, but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them respect for himself. While he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect towards others, especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself."

1853: West Point Graduate - 7th of 52 Cadets

1853: Commissioned Brevet 2nd Lieutenant serving two years in the artillery

Served in Fort Moultrie, South Carolina and later stated the same guns were used to bombard Fort Sumter

Served in Florida during armed truce with Seminole Nation. Became ill and was evacuated by future Confederate General A. P. Hill to recover at Culpeper, Virginia

1855-1860: After regaining his health, returned to West Point as assistant professor of Natural and Experimental Philosphy

1861: Feeling his career seemed stalled, took leave to teach physics at Washington University in St. Louis

With the war breaking out, helped assure Missouri did not join the Confederacy

Became a Major in the 1st Missouri Infantry Regiment and served as Chief of Staff to Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon until his death at Wilson's Creek.

November 21, 1861: Promoted to Brigadier General

November 21, 1861- April 10, 1862: Commanded the District of St. Louis

June 5, 24 September, 1862: Commanded the District of Missouri

September 24 - November 10, 1862: Commanded the District of Southwest Missouri

October 12 1862 - May 30, 1863: Army of the Frontier

November 29, 1862: Promoted to Major General

September 30, 1862: 1st Battle of Newtonia - Both Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt and Schofield rushed to Newtonia with reinforcements sending the Confederate forces south into Arkansas

November 4, 1862: Withdrew to Springfield, Missouri

April 17 - 10 May 1863: Led the 3rd Division of the XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland

May 24, 1863 - January 30, 1864: Commander, Department of the Missouri

After the massacre of Lawrence, Kansas, Schofield refused to chase the marauders and the citizens went to President Lincoln to request his removal for sympathizing with the Confederates. Lincoln backed Scholfield's position attributing the carnage to war.

1864: Commander, Army of the Ohio participating in the Atlanta Campaign

May 13-15, 1864: Battle of Resaca

July 1864: Maj. Gen. Sherman orders Scholfield to break up the rail lines

August 4-7, 1864: Battle of Utoy Creek

September 18 - December 27, 1864: Franklin-Nashville Campaign

November 30, 1864: Battle of Franklin - resulted in a defeat

December 15-16, 1864: Battle of Nashville defeating Hood's army decisively

November 30, 1864: Brigadier General in Regular Army


March 13, 1865: Brevet Major General

Ordered to North Carolina and moved his corps to Fort Fisher and Wilmington, North Carolina

February 22, 1865: Occupied Wilmington

March 23, 1865: Joined Maj. Gen. Sherman in Goldsboro, North Carolina

Appointed Military Governor of Virginia and the 1st Military District and oversaw the elections resulted in the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1868

June 1868 - March 1869: Secretary of War

March 4, 1869: Promoted to Major General - the same day Gen. Grant was sworn in as president

Served a year as Commander of the Department of Missouri

After Gen. George Thomas' death, succeeded him as Commander of the Military Division of the Pacific

1873: Sent on a secret mission by Secretary of War William Belknap to investigate the potential of a U.S. presence in the Hawaiian Islands. Schofield's report recommended establishing a naval port at Pearl Harbor

1876-1881: Superintendent of West Point

While at West Point in 1878, President Hayes asked him to reopen the case of Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter who had been convicted of cowardice at 2nd Bull Run. Schofield's review board used new evidence provided by Confederate generals who participated in the battle. With new evidence, Schofield found that Porter was wrongly convicted and that his actions might have saved the entire Union Army under Maj. Gen. Pope and Irwin McDowell.

April 5, 1880: Black cadet at West Point was found bruised and beaten, but the West Point administration felt he made up the story. The cadet was court martialed and expelled for faking the assault. A Congressional investigation resulted in Schofield's removal as superintendent.

1881-1882: Served in the Department of the Gulf

1882_1883: Military Division of the Pacific

1883-1886: Military Division of the Missouri

1886-1888: Military Division of the Atlantic

1888: Upon the death of Gen. Sheridan, was promoted to Commanding General of the U.S. Army by virtue of rank

While serving, he seconded a report of General Thomas H. Ruger who urged the federal government to honor treaty obligations with the Native Americans

July 2, 1892: Received the Medal of Honor for his action at the Battle of Wilson's Creek

February 5, 1895: Promoted to Lieutenant General

September 29, 1895: Reached mandatory retirement age of 64

Boatner, Mark M. III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: David McKay, 1967. p 726-727

John Schofield. 30 October 2023. web. 16 November 2023.

Warner, Ezra J. General in Blue Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State, 1964. p 425-426

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