Winfield Scott (June 13, 1786 – May 29, 1866) was the longest-serving general in American history. In the course of his nearly fifty-year career, General Scott commanded forces during the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and several Indian conflicts and was head of the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War. Aware that he was too old to lead troops in the field, General Scott offered command of the U.S. Army to his friend and protégé, Robert E. Lee. When Lee resigned from the Army following the succession of Virginia, leadership of the Army passed to Irvin McDowell. Though Scott did not lead an army in the Civil War, he is recognized for conceptualizing the Union’s “Anaconda Plan”, which included the occupation of key terrain to the west of the Confederacy and major ports to the east.
Last updated: February 28, 2015