Confederate States Army

The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America (or "Confederacy") while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States of America. On February 28, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress established a provisional volunteer army and gave control over military operations and authority for mustering state forces and volunteers to the President of the Confederate States of America. On March 1, 1861, Provisional Confederate President Jefferson Davis, on behalf of the Confederate States government, assumed control of the military situation at Charleston, South Carolina where state militia were threatening to seize Fort Sumter from the small United States Army garrison. On March 6 and 9, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress passed additional military legislation and established a more permanent Confederate States Army.

The Confederacy's government was effectively dissolved with the last meeting of the Confederate cabinet on May 5, 1865 and with the capture of President Jefferson Davis by Union forces on May 10, 1865. The main Confederate armies, the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee and the remnants of the Army of Tennessee and various other units under General Joseph E. Johnston, had already surrendered on April 9, 1865 (officially April 12) and April 18, 1865 (officially April 26). Confederate forces at Mobile, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia also had already surrendered on April 14, 1865 and April 16, 1865, respectively. Union and Confederate units fought a battle at Columbus, Georgia before the April 16, 1865 surrender and a small final battle at Palmito Ranch, Texas on May 12, 1865. In areas more distant from the main theaters of operations, Confederate forces in Alabama and Mississippi under Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, in Arkansas under Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson, in Louisiana and Texas under General E. Kirby Smith and in Indian Territory under Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered on May 4, 1865, May 12, 1865, May 26, 1865 (officially June 2, 1865) and June 28, 1865, respectively.

Incomplete and destroyed records make an accurate count of the number of individuals who served in the Confederate Army impossible. All but extremely improbable estimates of this number range between 600,000 and 1,500,000 men. The better estimates of the actual number of individual Confederates soldiers seem to be between 750,000 and 1,000,000 men. This does not include an unknown number of slaves who were impressed into performing various tasks for the army, such as construction of fortifications and defenses or driving wagons. Records of the number of individuals who served in the Union Army are more extensive, but still are not entirely reliable. Estimates of the number of individual Union soldiers with whom the Confederates had to contend range between 1,550,000 and 2,400,000, with a number between 2,000,000 and 2,200,000 appearing to be most likely accurate. Union Army records show slightly more than 2,677,000 enlistments in that army but this number apparently includes many re-enlistments. Since these figures include estimates of the total number of individual soldiers who served in each army at any time during the war, they do not represent the size of the armies at any given date. The numbers of Union and Confederate soldiers do not include men who served in Union or Confederate naval forces.

Although most Civil War soldiers were volunteers, both sides ultimately resorted to conscription. Exact figures again are unavailable but estimates of the percentage of Confederate soldiers who were draftees have often been about double the 6 percent of Union soldiers who were conscripts. Some historians have suggested that the threat of conscription may have had a greater effect on raising volunteers than it did in providing large numbers of reliable soldiers.

Confederate casualty figures are as incomplete and unreliable as the figures on the number of Confederate soldiers. The best estimates of the number of deaths of Confederate soldiers appear to be about 94,000 killed or mortally wounded in battle, 164,000 deaths from disease and between 26,000 and 31,000 deaths in Union prison camps. One estimate of Confederate wounded, which is considered incomplete, is 194,026. In comparison, the best estimates of the number of deaths of Union soldiers are 110,100 killed or mortally wounded in battle, 224,580 deaths from disease and 30,192 deaths in Confederate prison camps, although these figures also are subject to some dispute. The best conjecture for Union Army wounded is 275,175.

Read more about Confederate States Army:  Prelude, Establishment, Control, Conscription, Organization, Supply, Native Americans in The Confederate Army, African Americans in The Confederate Army, Chinese in The Confederate Army, Statistics and Size

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Famous quotes containing the words confederate states, army, confederate and/or states:

    Figure a man’s only good for one oath at a time. I took mine to the Confederate States of America.
    Frank S. Nugent (1908–1965)

    These semi-traitors [Union generals who were not hostile to slavery] must be watched.—Let us be careful who become army leaders in the reorganized army at the end of this Rebellion. The man who thinks that the perpetuity of slavery is essential to the existence of the Union, is unfit to be trusted. The deadliest enemy the Union has is slavery—in fact, its only enemy.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)

    During the Civil War the area became a refuge for service- dodging Texans, and gangs of bushwhackers, as they were called, hid in its fastnesses. Conscript details of the Confederate Army hunted the fugitives and occasional skirmishes resulted.
    —Administration in the State of Texa, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    I think those Southern writers [William Faulkner, Carson McCullers] have analyzed very carefully the buildup in the South of a special consciousness brought about by the self- condemnation resulting from slavery, the humiliation following the War Between the States and the hope, sometimes expressed timidly, for redemption.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.)