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Encyclopedia > Confederate Army
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The Confederate States Army was the branch of the Confederate States Armed Forces which had primary responsibility for land-based military operations.

A picture of some Confederate soldiers.

The Confederate States Army was formed in 1861 to defend the Confederate States of America, which had itself been formed that same year when 11 southern states seceded from the United States. The army was formed around a core of 313 officers who left the United States Army, and had an initial enlistment of 82,000 volunteers. In August of 1861, the Congress of the Confederacy authorized the recruitment of 400,000 men. In April of 1862, The Confederate Congress passed the Conscription Act, which drafted all white men aged 18 to 35. In total, 1,406,180 men enlisted in the Confederate States Army.

The Confederate States Army was initially a defensive army, and many troops resented it when Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia into offensive operations against the North (many deserted at that point, claiming that their enrollments were for defense, not invasion). During this time, an estimated 50,000 soldiers deserted. After the losses at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, the number rose to 100,000.

Some Conderate leaders included Jubal Early, Robert E. Lee, Thomas J. Jackson, J.E.B. Stuart, A.P. Hill, Braxton Bragg and many others.

The Confederate States Army was unusual in that all officers under the rank of Brigadier General were elected by the troops. In addition, no medals were awarded, due to the belief that all soldiers were heroes. The only reward was to be mentioned in dispatches.

The Army of Northern Virginia was disbanded on April 9, 1865, when General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

The other Confederate armies slowly resigned until the war ended near 2 and a half months after Lee resigned.

  Results from FactBites:
The Confederate Army In The Civil War (581 words)
Confederate officials, though supporting state sovereignty, believed the new nation required a military establishment controlled by the central government to ensure organizational stability and facilitate recruitment, supply, and training.
Officially, the troops composing the Provisional Army of the Confederate states were made available to the government by consent of the southern governors, who retained authority over the raising, organizing, and maintaining of units, including the appointment of their officers.
In effect, this army, designed to be an interim expedient became the virtually the sole Confederate fighting force.
Confederate Army (1035 words)
On the outbreak of the American Civil War, 313 officers left the United States Army to join the Confederate Army.
In the Confederate Army all officers below the rank of brigadier were elected by the troops.
Some soldiers in the Confederate Army was willing to defend the South from the Union Army but objected to offensive operations.
  More results at FactBites »



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