Prior to the beginning of the American Revolution, Knox, a native Bostonian, served in a local artillery unit before returning to his career as a bookseller. At the outbreak of war, however, he enlisted in the Continental Army and quickly befriended General Washington. Observing Knox’s potential as an artillerist, Washington commissioned Knox as Colonel of the Continental Regiment of Artillery. Knox quickly rose to the rank of Major General and Chief of Artillery for the duration of the war. He accompanied Washington on virtually every major campaign and participated in some of the most significant battles of the war. After defeating the British in 1783, Knox superseded his beloved friend and mentor George Washington as Commanding General of the Army, before later serving as the first Secretary of War.