Portrait of Henry Halleck

Henry Wager Halleck was a prominent Union general during the American Civil War. Halleck served as General-in-Chief of all United States armies beginning in 1862. [Wikimedia Commons]

Henry Wager Halleck - Facts

January 16, 1815 – January 9, 1872

Key facts about General-in-Chief and Chief-of-Staff of the U.S. Army Henry W. Halleck.

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Full Name:

  • Henry Wager Halleck

Birth Date:

  • January 16, 1815

Birth Location:

  • Oneida County, New York

Parents:

  • Joseph and Catherine Wager Halleck

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1839)

Occupation:

  • Miltary officer, lawyer

Career Summary:

  • General-in-Chief of the Armies of the United States, Chief of Staff of the United States Army

Spouse:

  • Elizabeth Hamilton (1855)

Nickname(s):

  • Old Brains

Place of Death:

  • Louisville, Kentucky

Date of Death:

  • January 9, 1872

Place of Burial:

  • Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Significance:

  • Henry Halleck was the third of 14 children of Joseph Halleck and Catherine Wager Halleck.
  • Henry Halleck’s father was a lieutenant who served in the War of 1812.
  • Henry Halleck ran away from home at an early age and was raised by an uncle, David Wager of Utica, New York.
  • Henry Halleck received a common-school education Hudson Academy, N. Y., and attended Union College.
  • Henry Halleck graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1839, third in his class.
  • Henry Halleck was appointed as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers on July 1, 1839.
  • Henry Halleck served as an assistant professor of engineering at the United States Military Academy from July 6, 1839, to June 28, 1840.
  • Henry Halleck was promoted to first lieutenant on January 1, 1845.
  • Henry Halleck served in California during the Mexican-American War (1846 – 1848).
  • Henry Halleck served as military governor of California from August 13, 1847, to December 20, 1849.
  • Henry Halleck was promoted to the rank of brevet captain on May 1, 1847.
  • Henry Halleck was promoted to captain on July 1, 1853.
  • Henry Halleck was a member of the Convention to form, and of the Committee to draft, the Constitution of the State of California in 1849.
  • Henry Halleck resigned from the army on August 1, 1854.
  • Henry Halleck married Elizabeth Hamilton, the granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton, on April 10, 1855.
  • When the American Civil War began, Henry Halleck rejoined the army at the rank of major general on August 19, 1861.
  • Henry Halleck’s first Civil War assignment was commander of the Department of the Missouri from November 9, 1861 through March 11, 1862.
  • Henry Halleck commanded the Missouri Militia from November 25, 1861, to July 11, 1862.
  • Henry Halleck commanded the Department of Mississippi from March 13, 1862 to September 19, 1862.
  • Henry Halleck commanded the field operations of Union forces during the Corinth Campaign (April – May 1862).
  • Henry Halleck served as General-in-Chief of the Armies of the United States from July 11, 1862 to March 12, 1864.
  • Henry Halleck served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from March 12, 1864 to April 19, 1865.
  • Henry Halleck commanded the Military Division of the James, headquarters at Richmond, Virginia from April 22 to July 1, 1865.
  • Henry Halleck commanded the Military Division of the Pacific, headquarters at San Francisco, California from August 30, 1865 to August 12, 1866.
  • Henry Halleck commanded the Division of the Pacific, headquarters at San Francisco, California, from August 12, 1866, to June 1869.
  • Henry Halleck commanded the Division of the South, headquarters at Louisville, Kentucky, from June 17, 1869, to Jan. 9, 1872.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Henry Wager Halleck - Facts
  • Coverage January 16, 1815 – January 9, 1872
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date May 26, 2022
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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