e Constitution the President is made Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.
The departments of war and of the navy are the channels through which his orders proceed to them respectively, and the secretaries of these departments are the organs by which he makes his will known to them.
The orders issued by those officers are, in the contemplation of the law, not their orders, but the orders of the President of the United States.—[1 Opinions, 380.
By the act of August 7, 1789, establishing the War Department, the duties of the Secretary of War are thus defined:
There shall be an Executive Department, to be denominated the Department of War, and there shall be a principal officer therein to be called the Secretary for the Department of War, who shall perform and execute such duties as shall from time to time be enjoined on or intrusted to him by the President of the United States, agreeable to the Constitution relative to military commissions, or to the la