General-in-Chief of the Confederate States Army

General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States
General Robert E. Lee in March 1864
War Department
Style General
Member of General Staff
Reports to Secretary of War
Appointer The President
with Congress advice and consent
Term length
No fixed term
Formation January 31, 1865
First holder General Robert E. Lee
Final holder General Robert E. Lee
Abolished April 12, 1865

The General-in-Chief of the Confederate States Army, formally the General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States, was the senior-most officer in the Confederate States Army in 1865. The only holder of this military office was General Robert E. Lee, who retained command of the Army of Northern Virginia.


General Lee was the only officer appointed to the military office, which was established in 1865 by the Confederate States Congress on 23 January 1865,[1] but it had been debated as early as February 27, 1862.

President Jefferson Davis voiced his rejection (and veto) of creating this position to the Congress on March 14 of that year, 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.[1]

General 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."[1]

On February 6, 1865, Adjutant and Inspector General Samuel Cooper published orders appointing Lee General in Chief.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Eicher, p. 69.
  2. Eicher, p. 25
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.