Confederate States Attorney General

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The Attorney General of the Confederate States of America was a member of the Confederate cabinet. The office of Attorney General of the Confederate States was established by statute.[1] By the establishing statute, it was "the duty of the Attorney General to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court, in which the Confederate States [was] concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law, when required by the President of the Confederate States, or when requested by any of the heads of departments, touching any matters that may concern their departments on subjects before them." In this respect, his duties were the same as those of the United States Attorney General. But additionally, he had "supervisory power over the accounts of the marshals, clerks and officers of all the courts of the Confederate States, and all claims against the Confederate States."[2]

Though the United States had established their office of Attorney General by the Judiciary Act of 1789, this act establishing the Confederate States Department of Justice predated and preceded the establishment of the United States Department of Justice by almost a decade, making it the first American Department of Justice.

List of Attorneys General

# Picture Name Born Died Term Began Term Ended Political Party
1 Judah P Benjamin crop.jpg Judah P. Benjamin 1811
Christiansted, Danish West Indies
Paris, France
February 21, 1861 September 17, 1861 Democrat
Wade Keyes
(Assistant Attorney General)
1821 Alabama
Mooresville, Alabama
1879 Alabama
Florence, Alabama
September 17, 1861 November 21, 1861 Democrat
2 Thomas Bragg 1.jpg Thomas Bragg 1810 North Carolina
Warrenton, North Carolina
1872 North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
November 21, 1861 March 18, 1862 Democrat
3 Thomas Hill Watts 1860s.jpg Thomas H. Watts 1819 Alabama
Butler County, Alabama
1892 Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
March 18, 1862 October 1, 1863 Democrat
Wade Keyes
(Attorney General ad interim)
1821 Alabama
Mooresville, Alabama
1879 Alabama
Florence, Alabama
October 1, 1863 January 2, 1864 Democrat
4 George Davis.jpg George Davis 1820 North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
1896 North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
January 2, 1864 April 24, 1865 Democrat


  1. Act of February 21, 1861, An Act to organize and establish an Executive Department to be known as the Department of Justice, Prov. C.S. Cong., Sess. I, Stat. I, Chap. XII, 0 C.S. St. Lg. 33 (C.S. Pb. L. 0:1-12).
  2. Id. at § 2.

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