Confederate States of America. Army



The Confederate Army was the military land force of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Known also as the Confederate States Army or Southern Army, it was established by the Provisional Confederate Congress in February 1861 and fell under the authority of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Modeled after the U.S. Army of the 19th century, the Confederate Army technically fell into two categories: a small regular army of professional officers and soldiers (the Army of the Confederate States of America) and a much larger, temporary force of citizen soldiers intended to exist only for the duration of the war (the Provisional Army of the Confederate States). In reality, the Confederacy’s regular army never fully developed and the overwhelming majority of Confederate soldiers served in the provisional force. The distinction between the two played little role during military operations and all were generally considered to be part of the overall Confederate Army.

As many as 1,000,000 soldiers served in the Confederate Army between 1861 and 1865, although not all at one time. Most were volunteers, however, the Confederate government instituted a conscription (or draft) in April 1862—the first in U.S. or Confederate history—to increase the size of the Confederacy’s military force and encourage voluntary enlistment. The government passed two more conscription acts over the next two years. More than ten percent of the men who served in Confederate ranks were drafted.

Over ninety percent of soldiers in the Confederate Army were native-born white men. Nine percent were foreign-born white men. Several Native American units—particularly from the Cherokee, Creek, and Choctaw tribes—served within the Confederate military, especially in the trans-Mississippi theatre. The Confederate military heavily relied upon the forced labor of enslaved African Americans for building fortifications and carrying out menial tasks, and the Confederate government did not formally allow African Americans (free or slave) to join the army until a last minute desperate measure passed the Confederate Congress in March 1865, only weeks before the end of the war. Only around two hundred enslaved soldiers were organized into service, but they were not sent into combat.

By the time the last Confederate soldiers surrendered to Union forces in June 1865, nearly 100,000 had been killed in combat or succumbed to wounds, more than 160,000 had died of disease, and roughly 30,000 had died in prison camps. (Wikipedia)

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