How should one uses titles in sentences?

Should I capitalize the title?

I talked to General Lee.

or not,

I talked to general Lee.

And if the name is not mentioned, but I'm talking about the person:

I talked to the general today.


I talked to the General today.


When the title appears in front of a name, it must be capitalized:

General Lee, Doctor Jekyll, Mr. Rochester (perfectly natural)

When you use the title by itself in a sentence, it is more normal to leave it uncapitalized:

I talked to the general today. (perfectly natural)

The capitalized variant is also possible, but only if "the General" is some kind of nickname or epithet, which means you can only use it if you always refer to that person as "the General."

I talked to the General today. (marked but possible)

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