Confederate Corps authorization?

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CHAP. III.--An Act to amend an Act entitled "An Act to provide for the public defence."

Sept. 18, 1862.

1861, March 6. Act providing for the public defence amended.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the sixth section of the Act to provide for the public defence, approved on the sixth of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, be amended by adding after the words "brigades into divisions," the words "and divisions into army corps," and each army corps shall be commanded by a Lieutenant-General, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall receive the pay of a Brigadier-General.

APPROVED Sept. 18, 1862.
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
CHAP. III.--An Act to amend an Act entitled "An Act to provide for the public defence."

Sept. 18, 1862.

1861, March 6. Act providing for the public defence amended.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the sixth section of the Act to provide for the public defence, approved on the sixth of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, be amended by adding after the words "brigades into divisions," the words "and divisions into army corps," and each army corps shall be commanded by a Lieutenant-General, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall receive the pay of a Brigadier-General.

APPROVED Sept. 18, 1862.

Thanks!

Passed two months after the US Militia Act of July 17, 1862, which says that the US President can organize Corps. This one is more specific about appointing the Corps commander and limits the President's choice by requiring the "advice and consent of the Senate", which is effectively a potential veto on the President's choice.
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
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Nov 10, 2006
The Confederate Act specifies a new rank for corps commanders, that of lieutenant-general. For all such promotions in both the Union and Confederacy, Congress was required to approve the promotion. It is the promotion being approved, not the assignment to corps. A minor distinction, but one that could have some effect.

Like in the Union, the rank took effect immediately upon nomination by the President. The Senate had a certain amount of time to confirm it, and if they didn't then the rank became void. This happened to DH Hill, who was nominated a LG, and served as such commanding a corps, but after Chattanooga the Senate decided not to confirm the rank, and he reverted to MG.

The Union did not create a new rank for corps commanders, and hence did not have to have appointments confirmed by the Senate. If they had done, as there was consideration of, then the Senate would have to approve it. As it was, being direct Presidential appointees, they were immune to some of the powers of their commanders.

Since the Confederate law stated that the rank of a corps commanders was to be lieutenant-general, only lieutenant-generals could be appointed to command corps. However, once promoted LG, the President could assign them to any corps they wished.

Since the law stipulated a corps was to be commanded by a lieutenant-general, it was required to promote officers to fill these slots.
 

Joshism

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I think the whole Lt. General thing was a mistake, at least as implemented.

The upshot of Colonels commanding Brigades is you get a chance to see whether the guy is up to the task, or if he should remain a regimental commander and someone else should take the brigade.

This problem projected upward. Too often generals were promoted from Brigadier to Major General, and Major General to Lt. General, without first giving them the chance to demonstrate they deserved their new commands. If they didn't then you were stuck with a guy at a higher rank.

If Ewell and Hill remained Major Generals upon being given corps command would they have still been promoted to Lt. General after Gettysburg? As it were, Lee was stuck with them.
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
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Nov 10, 2006
Arguably you weren't stuck with them. Just because someone held x rank, doesn't mean the government has to employ them. In the British Army the majority of senior generals were not employed.

However, the Acts of 17th February 1864 and 31st May 1864 made it possible to make temporary generals of all grades (the initial act only LG and GEN). That is, an officer was given a temporary promotion to the appropriate rank whilst they held a post, and reverted to their permanent post if they left it. It equates in many ways with "local rank" in the British Army. It allowed, say, MG's to be bumped to temporary LG's whilst in command of a corps, without making them a "permanent" LG. I use the term permanent advisedly, because all these ranks were in the volunteer force (PACS) rather than regular army (ACSA).

I personally think that the US Government should have created the ranks of (Captain-)General and Lieutenant-General in the US volunteers, but with a proviso along the lines of the holders of these ranks had to be regular MG's and BG's respectively. The major armies could be commanded by GENs, and army corps be given to LG's.
 

James N.

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I'll add that prior to the Act, following the Seven Days Lee was stuck with the situation of wanting to group his divisions into larger and more manageable formations but was not yet authorized to create army corps. He more or less solved the problem by creating what were dubbed Longstreet's Command and Jackson's Command without the formality of promoting either general. Later following the Maryland Campaign and promulgation of the new law Jackson issued a proclamation announcing the existence of the Second Corps with himself as its commander with the newly-authorized rank of lieutenant general.
 
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