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.

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]

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.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Henry Wager Halleck - Facts
  • Date January 16, 1815 – January 9, 1872
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date May 25, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 17, 2024

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