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Henry Knox
HENRY KNOX OIL.jpg
1st United States Secretary of War
In office
March 8, 1785 – December 31, 1794
President George Washington
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Timothy Pickering
Personal details
Born (1750-07-25)July 25, 1750
Boston, Massachusetts, British America
Died October 25, 1806(1806-10-25) (aged 56)
near Thomaston, Maine, U.S.
Nationality British (at birth)
American (at death)
Spouse(s) Lucy Flucker
Profession Bookseller, Soldier
Military service
Allegiance Flag of the United States (1777-1795).svg United States of America
Branch/service Continental Army
United States Army
Years of service 1775-1784
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel 1775-1776
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General 1776-1781
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General 1781-1784
Commands Chief of Artillery
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War
Battle of Bunker Hill
Siege of Boston
Battle of Long Island
Battle of Trenton
Battle of the Assunpink Creek
Battle of Princeton
Battle of Brandywine
Battle of Germantown
Battle of Monmouth
Siege of Yorktown

Henry Knox (1750-1806) was a military leader for the Americans during the American Revolutionary War. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, he was appointed Chief Artillery Officer of the Continental Army. He is best known for transporting cannons and other artillery from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston through icy conditions using oxen. Later, George Washington named him the first Secretary of War.

Death

Knox died at his home on October 25, 1806, at the age of 56, three days after swallowing a chicken bone which lodged in his throat and caused a fatal infection. He was buried on his estate in Thomaston with full military honors.

Honors

Towns and cities in Maine, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, and Tennessee are named Knox or Knoxville in his honor. There are counties named for Knox in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. The house he used as a headquarters in New Windsor, New York, during the Revolution has been preserved as Knox's Headquarters State Historic Site; it is a listed National Historic Landmark. Knox Township, Illinois, is named after Knox, as is Knox Place in the Bronx, New York.

Knox has been honored by the U.S. Postal Service with an 8¢ Great Americans series postage stamp.

Knox was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1791.

Two forts, Fort Knox in Kentucky and Fort Knox (Maine) were named after him. Knox Hall at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, home of the U.S. Army Field Artillery School, is named in his honor, as is an annual award recognizing the performance of U.S. artillery batteries. The Major General Nathanael Greene–class large coastal tug USAV Major General Henry Knox (LT-802) is named in honor of Knox. His papers have been preserved at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and his personal library resides in the Boston Athenaeum in proximity to that of his friend, George Washington.

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