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26 of 44 Presidents Served in the Military – Truly Historic Blog

Chris Hauff Jul 10, 2020

Miss Clark’s Truly Historic Blog! July 10, 2020

Until World War II, a majority of our presidents had served in the Army. So, I thought it would be interesting to examine those leaders who served during times of war and peace. So, for the next few weeks, we’ll learn more about these great Americans.  

As many of my students will verify, Presidential history is one of my favorites. I’ve been reading biographies since I can remember. Believe it or not, as a young student, I read every single biography in my elementary school—which is still standing!

Abraham Lincoln became the United States’ 16th President in 1861.

My favorite President is Abraham Lincoln. Most people don’t know that he served in the military. 

Though He never saw combat during his days in the Black Hawk War, it had a lasting impression. He was mustered in and out of service, going from captain to private and finishing his service in an independent spy company.

Lincoln’s military career ended less than three months after it began. In his last duty as a soldier, Lincoln wrote out the company roll for Lieutenant Robert Anderson – the same Robert Anderson who would later be in charge of Fort Sumter under President Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln returns from war to his land-grant in Illinois.

On April 16, 1852, by an act of Congress from 1850, Lincoln received a 40-acre land-grant in Illinois for his military service, this was a common practice. Besides the tangible rewards for risking life for country, Lincoln’s military service helped him cultivate political connections throughout Illinois. Those connections and a reputation for honesty would serve Lincoln well when he ran and won the election to become our 16th President of the United States of America. His military experience gave him an in-depth understanding of the sadness and desolation of war during his time in office.

Sadly, President Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theater. He passed away the next morning. Secretary of War Stanton is well known for stating, “Now he belongs to the ages.”

Join me next Friday for a dive into the next President who served in the military. Maybe I will write about YOUR favorite one. Thanks for reading! Perhaps YOU SHOULD READ a truly historic book this week!


History Education Program Coordinator Cindy Clark (Miss Clark) comes out of the brig aboard the USS Yorktown.

Getting To Know Miss Clark:

My name is Cindy Clark, but most of my life as a teacher I’ve been known as Miss Clark. For more than 24 years, I was blessed to teach in a traditional classroom full of students who often taught me more than I taught them. Today, I am honored to be part of the Education Department aboard the USS Yorktown at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, and boy is my classroom much BIGGER!!!

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