Colonel Decius Wadsworth was born on January 2, 1768 and graduated from Yale College with honors in 1785.
On June 2, 1794, he was appointed by President Washington as a captain in the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers. He briefly served as acting Superintendent of the Military Academy and was later a merchant in Montreal, Canada.
Colonel Wadsworth was selected to be Commissary General of Ordnance July 2, 1812. On February 8, 1815, the Office of Commissary General of Ordnance was redesignated as the Chief of Ordnance.
His newly authorized, but unorganized department was charged with the procurement, supply, and maintenance of all cannon, small arms, powder, ball, shot, and other related items for the war effort. He drew up a set of regulations to ensure uniformity in the public armories and in the manufacture of ordnance materiel. He standardized small arms in the service and accomplished inventories of materiel on-hand at posts and forts around the country.
Colonel Wadsworth served as the Chief of Ordnance until June 1, 1821, at which time he left the service due to illness. Colonel Wadsworth died on November 8, 1821.