The title usually applied to the supreme officer in the army or navy of a country.
In the United States
the national Constitution makes the President
commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and, in time of war, of such of the State
militia as may be called into general service
State constitutions give the same title to their respective governors, whose authority as such, however, is confined to their own States.
Under the general orders of May, 1901, re-establishing the United States army on a permanent peace basis, the actual command-in-chief of the army was given to Lieutenant-General Miles
, who had been raised to that rank in the previous year.
After the abolition of the grades of general and lieutenant-general, on the death of Generals Grant
, and Sheridan
, the actual command was invested in the senior major-general