General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States

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General in Chief of the Armies
of the Confederate States
Seal of the Confederate States of America.svg
Flag of the Confederate States of America (1865).svg
Robert Edward Lee.jpg
General Robert E. Lee
February 6, 1865 – April 12, 1865
The War Department
StyleGeneral
Reports toThe President
The Secretary of War
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length
No fixed term
FormationJanuary 31, 1865
AbolishedApril 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.

History[edit]

General Orders No. 3 (February 6, 1865). Issued by Adjutant General and Inspector General Samuel Cooper, the orders appointed Lee General in Chief.

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.[1] 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."[2] 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."[3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • 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

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]