Confederate States Army

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The Confederate States Army (CS Army) was a military organization whose primary mission was to provide the necessary forces and capabilities to support the National Security and defense of the Confederate States of America during its brief existence from 1861 to 1865. Its primary responsibility was for land-based military operations. The CS Army was established in two phases with provisional and permanent organizations, which existed concurrently.

  • The Provisional Army of the Confederate States (PACS) was authorized by Act of Congress on February 28, 1861, and began organizing on April 27. Virtually all regular, volunteer, and conscripted men preferred to enter this organization since officers could achieve a higher rank in the Provisional Army than they could in the Regular Army. If the war had ended successfully for them, the Confederates intended that the PACS would be disbanded, leaving only the ACSA.[1]
  • The Army of the Confederate States of America (ACSA) was the regular army, organized by Act of Congress on March 6, 1861. It was authorized to include 15,015 men, including 744 officers, but this level was never achieved. The men serving in the highest rank as Confederate States Generals, such as Samuel Cooper and Robert E. Lee, were enrolled in the ACSA to ensure that they outranked all militia officers.[1]

Members of all the Confederate States military forces, to include the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps were often referred to as "Confederates", and members of the CS Army were referred to as "Confederate soldiers". Supplementing the CS Army were the various state militias:

  • Confederate States State Militias were organized and commanded by the state governments, similar to those authorized by the United States Militia Act of 1792.

Control and operation of the Confederate States Army was administered by the Confederate States War Department, which was established by the Confederate Provisional Congress in an act on February 21, 1861. The Confederate Congress gave control over military operations, and authority for mustering state forces and volunteers to the President of the Confederate States of America on February 28, 1861, and March 6, 1861. By May 8, a provision authorizing enlistments for war was enacted, and by August 8, 1861, the Confederate States, after being invaded[2] and attacked by the United States of America, called for 400,000 volunteers to serve for one or three years. By April 1862, the Confederate States of America found it necessary to pass a conscription act, which drafted men into PACS.

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Eicher, pp. 70, 66.
  2. Johnson, p. 19; Henderson, p. 83; Evans, Vol III, p. 38; Johnston (1961), p. 19.

See also