Winfield Scott

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Winfield Scott

Lieutenant General

United States Army

Born June 13, 1786
Died May 29, 1866 (aged 79)

Winfield Scott (June 13, 1786 - May 29, 1866) was a general in the United States Army. He has the distinction of having the longest active duty career of any US general, serving for 53 years under 14 presidents from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln. He fought in the War of 1812, the Mexican American War, the Blackhawk War, the Seminole Wars and the American Civil War.

In 1852, Scott ran as the Whig Party candidate for President of the United States, but was defeated soundly by Democrat Franklin Pierce.

The Mexican American War

Scott was tasked with leading an amphibious assault and laying siege to the city of Veracruz, Mexico. The siege ended with American success after only 12 days and minimal casualties. From there, he marched on Mexico City and routed the Mexican army under the command of General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

The Civil War

Scott was 75 years old when the Civil War began in 1861. Although he was from Virginia, he remained loyal to the Union. His age hampered his ability to command troops in the field, which ultimately led him to resign on November 1, 1861, and he was replaced by General George McClellan.

Scott recognized that the war would not be short, and he devised a plan for using naval blockades to control key Confederate ports. However, his plan was mocked and dubbed the Anaconda Plan, due to the large amount of coast the Navy would have to patrol. Ironically, this strategy was put into use toward the end of the war to secure Union victory.


Scott has been nicknamed "Old Fuss and Feathers" for his deep belief in old military tradition and ceremony; later he was called the "Grand Old Man of the Army."

References biography of Winfield Scott

Winfield Scott, a North Georgia Notable