John Schofield was born in 1831. He joined the United States Army and after serving in Florida he taught at West Point and Washington University.
On the outbreak of the American Civil War Schofield was appointed as a brigadier general and commanded the District of St Louis. He was transferred to the Army of the Frontier (October, 1862-May, 1863) and after being promoted to the rank of major general was put in charge of the Department of Ohio.
In March, 1867, Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act. The South was now divided into five military districts, each under a major general. President Andrew Johnson appointed Schofield as military governor of Virginia.
Schofield also served as Superintendent of West Point and Commander in Chief of the United States Army (1888-95). John Schofield died in 1906.