Thomas Jesup

Thomas Sidney Jesup

Brigadier General Thomas Sidney Jesup
13th quartermaster General of the United States Army
Born (1788-12-16)December 16, 1788
Berkeley County, Virginia (today West Virginia)
Died June 10, 1860(1860-06-10) (aged 71)
Washington, D.C.
Resting Place Oak Hill Cemetery
Washington, D.C.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1808–1860
Rank Brigadier General

Thomas Sidney Jesup (December 16, 1788 – June 10, 1860) was a United States Army officer known as the "Father of the Modern Quartermaster Corps". His 52-year (1808-1860) military career was one of the longest in the history of the United States Army.

In 1836, Jesup was placed in command of all U.S. troops in Florida during the Second Seminole War. Jesup violated terms of truce in order to capture Seminole leaders Osceola and Micanopy, which provoked controversy. He was famously quoted as having said about the Seminole that "[t]he country can be rid of them only by exterminating them."[1]


He was born in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia). He began his military career in 1808, and served in the War of 1812, seeing action in the battles of Chippewa and Lundy's Lane in 1814, where he was wounded. He was appointed Quartermaster General on May 8, 1818, by President James Monroe.[2]

In 1836, while Jesup was still officially Quartermaster General, President Andrew Jackson detached him first to deal with the Creek tribe in Georgia and Alabama, and then to assume command of all U.S. troops in Florida during the Second Seminole War (1835–1842).[3] His actions in violating truces to capture Seminole leaders, such as Osceola and Micanopy, provoked controversy. At the conclusion of the hostilities, Jesup returned to his official post.[2]

During the Mexican-American War, Jesup traveled from his headquarters in Washington, D.C., to oversee the supplying of troops in Mexico. He served as Quartermaster General for 42 years, having the second longest continual service in the same position in U.S. military history (George Gibson served as Commissary General of the US Army for 43 years, from 1818 until 1861).[4] He died in office in Washington, D.C., at age 72.[2]

Dates of rank

Legacy and honors


  1. Indigenous Peoples History (book cover), Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  2. 1 2 3 4 Brigadier General Jesup, father of the Quartermaster Corps, US Quartermaster Foundation
  3. Jahoda, Gloria. The Trail of Tears: The Story of the American Indian Removals 1813-1855. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. New York. 1975. ISBN 0-03-014871-5.

Further reading

Military offices
Preceded by
George Gibson
Quartermaster General of the United States Army
Succeeded by
Joseph E. Johnston
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