Winfield Scott, Election of 1852 (American National Biography)

Richard E. Beringer, "Scott, Winfield," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
The Whigs sought a military hero again in 1852, and the party mobilized for Scott's election. However, Scott remained quiet on the slavery question and had been slow in his support of the Compromise of 1850, which worried southern members of the Whig party. He accepted the platform, which included full support of the Compromise of 1850, including the Fugitive Slave Law, which worried many northern members of the party. Scott lost the election, carrying only four states, although the popular vote was not nearly so one-sided.
The successful Democratic candidate, Franklin Pierce, appointed Jefferson Davis as his secretary of war, and Davis and Scott soon quarreled, initially over reimbursements for official travel. Scott and Davis argued over other questions as well, but the underlying cause of their quarrels was longstanding defects in the command system, which led to a division between the line and staff of the army. Whereas the secretary of war controlled the staff, he had not customarily commanded the commanding general, whose duties were undefined by law. Davis sought to remedy that situation, and he had the law and Constitution on his side. Scott maintained that he did not have to follow the orders of the secretary of war except when they were given in the name of the president, but he lost the argument when the attorney general's opinion was that the orders of the secretary of war were always presumed to be issued under the authority of the president.
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