General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States
|General in Chief of the Armies|
of the Confederate States
|The War Department|
|Reports to||The President|
The Secretary of War
with Senate advice and consent
No fixed term
|Formation||January 31, 1865|
|Abolished||April 9, 1865 (de facto)|
The General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States, or simply General in Chief, was the professional head of the Confederate States Army from February to April 1865. The office was effectively abolished on April 9, 1865, when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union forces at Appomattox, Virginia.
On January 31, 1865, the 2nd Confederate States Congress provided “for the appointment of a General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States.” On February 6, General Robert E. Lee was appointed to the position and served in that capacity until the end of the American Civil War. Lee retained command of the Army of Northern Virginia, serving in both assignments de facto until April 9, 1865, when he surrendered to Union forces at Appomattox, Virginia.
The appointment of a General in Chief had been debated as early as February 27, 1862. President Jefferson Davis voiced his rejection (and veto) of creating this position to the 1st Confederate States Congress on March 14, 1862, believing that such a general could "command an army or armies without the will of the President." Davis performed many of the responsibilities of a general in chief himself throughout the war, acting as both a military operations manager and commander-in-chief. Lee (from March to May 1862) and General Braxton Bragg (from February 1864 to January 1865) also performed related duties, as they were military advisers to Davis, or "charged with the conduct of military operations in the armies of the Confederacy."
- Cooper, S. (1865), General Orders No. 3, C.S. War Department, Richmond, Virginia
- Eicher, John H.; Eicher, David J. (2001), Civil War High Commands, Foreword by John Y. Simon, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3, LCCN 2001020194, OCLC 704488651
- U.S. War Department (1880–1901), War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series III, volume V, Washington: Government Printing Office, p. 688, LCCN 03003452, OCLC 427057, retrieved September 22, 2018 – via Internet ArchiveCS1 maint: date format (link)
- Media related to General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States at Wikimedia Commons