US Exe Stanton, Edwin M. - U.S. Secretary of War

Edwin McMasters Stanton


December 19, 1814

Birthplace: Steubenville, Ohio

Father: Dr. David Edwin Stanton (1788–1828)
(Buried: Union Cemetery, Steubenville, Ohio)​

Mother: Lucy Latham Norman (1793–1873)
(Buried: Union Cemetery, Steubenville, Ohio)​

1st Wife: Mary Lamson (1818-March 1844)
Married: December 31, 1836 at the home of Trinity Episcopal's rector in Columbus, Ohio​
(Buried: Union Cemetery, Steubenville, Ohio)​

2nd Wife: Ellen Maria Hutchison (1830-1873)
Married: June 25, 1856 at Hutchinson's father's home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania​
(Buried: Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC)​


Lucy Lamson Stanton (1837–1841)​
(Buried: Unknown)​

Edwin Lamson Stanton (1842–1877)​
(Buried: Saint James the Less Episcopal Churchyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)​

Eleanor Adams Stanton (1857–1910)​
(Buried: Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC)​

Lewis Hutchinson Stanton (1860–1938)​
(Buried: Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana)​

James Hutchinson Stanton (1861–1862)​
(Buried: Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC)​

Bessie Barnes Stanton (1863–1939)​
(Buried: Tashua Burial Ground, Trumbull, Connecticut)​



1831 - Attended Kenyon College​

Occupation before War:
1835: Passed the Bar Exam in Ohio, and began work at a prominent law firm in Cadiz, Ohio​
1837: Elected the prosecutor of Harrison County, Ohio, on the Democratic ticket​
1840: Served as a delegate at the Democrats' 1840 national convention in Baltimore​
1840: Featured prominently in Martin Van Buren's campaign in the 1840 presidential election​
1847: Admitted to the bar in Pittsburgh, was now practicing law in Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania​
1850: Admitted to practice in the Supreme Court, for Oral arguments in the Pennsylvania v. Wheeling and Belmont case beginning on February 25​
1852: Argued before a U.S. Senate Committee on a Florida Contested Election of United States Senator, as Published later that year
1859: Joined the defense team for the Sickles' Murder Trial
1860 – 1861: 25th United States Attorney General (Dec 20, '60 – Mar 4, '61)​

Civil War Career:

1862 – 1868: 27th United States Secretary of War (Jan 20, '62 – Aug 12, '67, Jan 14, '68 – May 28, '68)​
1862 – 1864: Stanton's efforts during the war focused on modernizing the country's infrastructure by updating and expanding the rail and telegraph lines​
1862: Ordered the cancellation of all military contracts with foreign powers, helping bolster the wartime industrial output of the north​
1862: After Lincoln's transfer of enforcement of internal security to the War Department on February 14, 1862, Stanton responded by releasing political prisoners contingent upon them taking an oath of loyalty to the United States.​


Grave of Edwin M. Stanton at Oak Hill Cemetery
Photo CC BY-SA Tim Evanson, Sept 2013

1862: In March, appointed the 57-year old Charles Ellet as colonel of engineers in the Union Army and authorized him to build a fleet of ram ships that eventually helped the Union take control of the Mississippi River.​
1863: Issued General Order No. 143, Creating a Bureau of U.S. Colored Troops, enabling African-American soldiers to fight for the Union​
1865: On April 15, when Stanton arrived at the Petersen House, where President Lincoln passed away following his mortal wounding at the hands of John Wilkes Booth, it is thought that Stanton said of Lincoln, either: "Now he belongs to the ages" or "Now he belongs to the angels."​

Occupation after War:

1868: On May 26, after the final Senate vote on the Johnson Impeachment was completed, Stanton left his War Department office​
1869: Stanton was nominated by President Grant to a position on the Supreme Court on December 19th, it was also Stanton's 55th Birthday​

Died: December 24, 1869

Place of Death: Washington, D.C.

Cause of Death: Congestive heart failure & chronic asthma

Age at time of Death:
55 years old

Burial Place: Reno Hill Lot 675, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

Neat Fact: Stanton was only the second non-president, after Benjamin Franklin, to appear on a U.S. postage stamp.
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