Winfield Scott (1786 – 1866) was a United States Army general and the unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852 against General William Henry Harrison (winner) and Senator Henry Clay. He served on active duty as a general longer than any other person in American history, is rated as one of the Army’s most senior commissioned officers, and is ranked by many historians as the best American commander of his time. Over the course of his 53-year career, he commanded forces in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Mexican–American War, and the Second Seminole War. He developed many strategic plans for the wars as well as the US Civil War, which he did not fight in, but was thrilled by the Union Army win.
During his years as commanding general, Scott took great interest in the development of the United States Military Academy (West Point). A Home in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan is named for him. The General Winfield Scott House is a historic rowhouse at 24 West 12th Street built in 1851-52. The house was home to the General and his family from 1853 to 1855. He spent most of his later years in the West Point Military Academy area.