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Robert E. Lee, the only holder of the office of General-in-Chief of the Confederate States Army

The General-in-Chief of the Confederate States Army was the senior-most officer in the Army of the Confederate States of America, during the American Civil War. The first and only holder of this position was General Robert E. Lee.


General Orders #3

General Robert E. Lee was the only officer appointed to this position, which was created late in the American Civil War by the Congress of the Confederate States on January 23, 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[which?] 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 many of these same 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 issued General Orders #3, which announced Lee as the General-in-Chief.

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Eicher, p. 69.[Clarification needed]
  2. Eicher, p. 25

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