The First Battles: April 1861 to February 1862

One Special Young Man

How long had General Winfield Scott been around? Why didn’t he lead the armies?

Born in Virginia in 1786, Winfield Scott was commissioned a lieutenant of artillery in the U.S. Regular Army in 1808. Almost at once he ran into trouble with his superiors and was court-martialed out of the army, but his superior talent, as well as the beginning of the War of 1812, opened a new path for him. Scott rose to major-general during that war and was renowned for the discipline he brought to his army units. Right after the war ended, Scott sailed to Europe to observe the Allied armies that had brought down the Emperor Napoleon. He returned with many valuable observations. This was only the beginning, however, of his long and distinguished career.

One of the most distinguished soldiers in American history, General Winfield Scott, who had served in the military since the War of 1812, conceived of the Anaconda Plan to defeat the South.


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