- Knox, Henry
died Oct. 25, 1806, Thomaston, Maine, U.S.American Revolutionary officer.Active in the colonial militia, he joined the Continental Army and was sent by George Washington to transport British artillery captured in the Battle of Ticonderoga. In mid-winter, he oversaw the transport of 120,000 lbs (55,000 kg) of artillery by oxen and horses over snow and ice 300 mi (480 km) to Boston. Promoted to general, he commanded the artillery in the battles of Monmouth and Yorktown, and in 1783 he succeeded Washington as commander of the army. He was secretary of war under the Articles of Confederation from 1785 to 1789 and served as the first U.S. secretary of war from 1789 to 1795.
* * *▪ United States generalborn July 25, 1750, Boston, Massachusetts [U.S.]died October 25, 1806, Thomaston, Maine, U.S.American general in the American Revolution (1775–83) and first secretary of war under the U.S. Constitution (Constitution of the United States of America).Forced by family circumstances to leave school at age nine, Knox worked in a Boston bookstore and by age 21 had acquired his own store. He became active in the colonial militia and in 1775 joined the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was commissioned a colonel and placed in charge of the artillery. During the winter of 1775–76 General George Washington (Washington, George) sent him to Fort Ticonderoga, in New York, to bring back captured British artillery there. In a remarkable feat, Knox brought back artillery totaling 120,000 pounds (55,000 kg), using oxen, horses, and men to transport the guns over snow and ice 300 miles (480 km) to Boston. The weapons were used to drive the British from that besieged city and formed the basis for the Revolutionary artillery.In the Philadelphia campaign (1778), Knox, then a brigadier general, distinguished himself in commanding the artillery at Monmouth (Monmouth, Battle of), New Jersey (June), and later at the decisive Siege of Yorktown (Yorktown, Siege of) (1781). He was made a major general and at the end of the war succeeded Washington as commander of the army (December 1783). Knox resigned his command early in 1784 and returned to Boston. He became secretary of war (1785) in the government under the Articles of Confederation and was carried over into President Washington's first cabinet (1789). He retired to a large estate at Thomaston, Maine, in 1795.
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