General-in-Chief of the Confederate States Army
|General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States|
|Member of||General Staff|
|Reports to||Secretary of War|
with Congress advice and consent
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, 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."
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.
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."
On February 6, 1865, Adjutant and Inspector General Samuel Cooper published orders appointing Lee General in Chief.