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First Name: Frederick

Last Name: Ainsworth

Birthplace: Woodstock, VT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Crayton

Date of Birth: 11 September 1852

Date of Death: 05 June 1934

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
Frederick Crayton Ainsworth


Frederick Crayton Ainsworth
Major General, U.S. Army

Frederick Crayton Ainsworth was born on 11 September 1852 in Woodstock, VT.

He graduated from the Medical Department of the University of the City of New York (later New York University) in 1874 and in November of that year enlisted in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as an Assistant Surgeon. He was stationed at various posts in Arkansas and the Southwest for many years, gaining promotion to Captain, Surgeon, in November 1879.

In 1885 he was called to serve as recorder of an Army Examining Board and was assigned to direct the Records and Pensions Division of the Surgeon General's office in 1886. In this capacity he reorganized and brought up to date the records of thousands of soldiers, which made Civil War veteran pension claims faster and easier to process. In 1889 the Division was made a War Department Division, taking over certain functions of the Adjutant General's Office. In 1889 the records of the Adjutant General's office were placed under his control. Promoted to Major, Surgeon, in February 1891, he resigned his commission in May 1892 to take a line commission as a Colonel and Chief, Record and Pension Office of the War Department.

In 1898 he took over the organization and publication of all the "Official Records of the Civil War," which had been published sporadically since 1880. Through his efforts the records of the War were effectively consolidated and published, thus providing an extremely valuable source of information for Civil War historians and researchers.

Ainsworth was promoted to Brigadier General in 1899. He was appointed military secretary over an again-enlarged Department in April 1904 with the rank of Major General and, in March 1907, took over the title, as well as what remained, of Office of Adjutant General. He exercised that office jealously, and sometimes arbitrarily, until February 1912, when, he was faced with suspension from duty, and a court-martial, on grounds of insubordination at the insistence of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, arising from his dispute with Chief of Staff, Leonard Wood. He was strongly opposed to the newly-adopted General Staff idea, and requested and then was granted retirement.

Prominent among Ainsworth's achievements was overseeing the bulk of the work publishing The War Of Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1880-1901.


The U.S. Navy troop transport ship "USNS Fred C. Ainsworth" (T-AP-181) was named in his honor.

Death and Burial

Major General Frederick Crayton Ainsworth died on 5 June 1934 in Washington, DC. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. His wife, Mary Bacon Ainsworth, is buried with him.

Honoree ID: 2046   Created by: MHOH




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