Thomas Howell Cobb was an American political figure. A southern Democrat, Cobb was a five-term member of the United States House of Representatives and Speaker of the House from 1849 to 1851, he served as the 40th Governor of Georgia and as a Secretary of the Treasury under President James Buchanan. Cobb is, however best known as one of the founders of the Confederacy, having served as the President of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States. Delegates of the Southern slave states declared that they had seceded from the United States and created the Confederate States of America. Cobb served for two weeks between the foundation of the Confederacy and the election of Jefferson Davis as its first President; as the Speaker of the Congress, he was provisional Head of State at this time. Born in Jefferson County, Georgia in 1815, son of John A. Cobb and Sarah Cobb, Howell Cobb was of Welsh American ancestry, he was raised in Athens and attended the University of Georgia, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society.
He was admitted to the bar in 1836 and became solicitor general of the western judicial circuit of Georgia. He married Mary Ann Lamar on May 26, 1835, she was a daughter of a Lamar family with broad connections in the South. They would have eleven children, the first in 1838 and the last in 1861. Several did not survive childhood, including their last, a son, named after Howell's brother, Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb. Cobb was elected as Democrat to the 29th, 30th and 31st Congresses, he was chairman of the U. S. House Committee on Mileage during the 28th Congress, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives during the 31st Congress, he sided with President Andrew Jackson on the question of nullification, was an effective supporter of President James K. Polk's administration during the Mexican–American War, he was an ardent advocate of extending slavery into the territories, but when the Compromise of 1850 had been agreed upon, he became its staunch supporter as a Union Democrat. He joined Georgia Whigs Alexander Stephens and Robert Toombs in a statewide campaign to elect delegates to a state convention that overwhelmingly affirmed, in the Georgia Platform, that the state accepted the Compromise as the final resolution to the outstanding slavery issues.
On that issue, Cobb was elected governor of Georgia by a large majority. After 63 ballots, he became Speaker of the House on December 22, 1849 at the age of 34. In 1850—following the July 9 death of Zachary Taylor and the accession of Millard Fillmore to the presidency—Cobb, as Speaker he would have been next in line to the presidency for two days due to the resultant vice presidential vacancy and a president pro tempore of the Senate vacancy, except he did not meet the minimum eligibility for the presidency of being 35 years old; the Senate elected William R. King as president pro tempore on July 11. In 1851, Cobb left the House to serve as the Governor of Georgia, holding that post until 1853, he published A Scriptural Examination of the Institution of Slavery in the United States: With its Objects and Purposes in 1856. He was elected to the 34th Congress before being appointed as Secretary of the Treasury in Buchanan's Cabinet, he served for three years, resigning in December 1860. At one time, Cobb was Buchanan's choice for his successor.
In 1860, Cobb ceased to be a Unionist, became a leader of the secession movement. He was president of a convention of the seceded states that assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4, 1861. Under Cobb's guidance, the delegates drafted a constitution for the new Confederacy, he served as President of several sessions of the Confederate Provisional Congress, before resigning to join the military when war erupted. Cobb was commissioned as colonel of the 16th Georgia Infantry, he was appointed a brigadier general on February 13, 1862, assigned command of a brigade in what became the Army of Northern Virginia. Between February and June 1862, he represented the Confederate authorities in negotiations with Union officers for an agreement on the exchange of prisoners of war, his efforts in these discussions contributed to the Dix-Hill Cartel accord reached in July 1862. Cobb saw combat during the Seven Days Battles. Cobb's brigade played a key role in the fighting during the Battle of South Mountain at Crampton's Gap, where it arrived at a critical time to delay a Union advance through the gap, but at a bloody cost.
His men fought at the subsequent Battle of Antietam. In October 1862, Cobb was detached from the Army of Northern Virginia and sent to the District of Middle Florida, he was promoted to major general on September 9, 1863, placed in command of the District of Georgia and Florida. He suggested the construction of a prisoner-of-war camp in southern Georgia, a location thought to be safe from Union invaders; this idea led to the creation of Andersonville prison. When William T. Sherman's armies entered Georgia during the 1864 Atlanta Campaign and subsequent March to the Sea, Cobb commanded the Georgia Reserve Corps as a general. In the spring of 1865, with the Confederacy waning, he and his troops were sent to Columbus, Georgia to help oppose Wilson's Raid, he led the hopeless Confederate resistance in the Battle of Columbus, Georgia on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1865. During Sherman's March to the Sea, the army camped one night near Cobb's plantation; when Sherman discovered that the house he planned to stay in for the night belonged to Cobb, whom Sherman described in his Memoirs as "one of the leading rebels of the South a general in the Southern army," he dined in Cobb's slave quarters, confiscated Cobb's property a
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes more referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania, was the second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. Following the bloody but inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness, Grant's army disengaged from Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army and moved to the southeast, attempting to lure Lee into battle under more favorable conditions. Elements of Lee's army beat the Union army to the critical crossroads of Spotsylvania Court House and began entrenching. Fighting occurred on and off from May 8 through May 21, 1864, as Grant tried various schemes to break the Confederate line. In the end, the battle was tactically inconclusive, but with 32,000 casualties on both sides, it was the costliest battle of the campaign. On May 8, Union Maj. Gens. Gouverneur K. Warren and John Sedgwick unsuccessfully attempted to dislodge the Confederates under Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson from Laurel Hill, a position, blocking them from Spotsylvania Court House.
On May 10, Grant ordered attacks across the Confederate line of earthworks, which by now extended over 4 miles, including a prominent salient known as the Mule Shoe. Although the Union troops failed again at Laurel Hill, an innovative assault attempt by Col. Emory Upton against the Mule Shoe showed promise. Grant used Upton's assault technique on a much larger scale on May 12 when he ordered the 15,000 men of Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock's corps to assault the Mule Shoe. Hancock was successful, but the Confederate leadership rallied and repulsed his incursion. Attacks by Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright on the western edge of the Mule Shoe, which became known as the "Bloody Angle", involved 24 hours of desperate hand-to-hand fighting, some of the most intense of the Civil War. Supporting attacks by Warren and by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside were unsuccessful. Grant repositioned his lines in another attempt to engage Lee under more favorable conditions and launched a final attack by Hancock on May 18, which made no progress.
A reconnaissance in force by Confederate Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell at Harris farm on May 19 was a costly and pointless failure. On May 21, Grant disengaged from the Confederate Army and started southeast on another maneuver to turn Lee's right flank, as the Overland Campaign continued toward the Battle of North Anna. In March 1864, Grant was summoned from the Western Theater, promoted to lieutenant general, given command of all Union armies, he chose to make his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, although Maj. Gen. George G. Meade remained the actual commander of that army, he left Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in command of most of the western armies. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the heart of the Confederacy from multiple directions, including attacks against Lee near Richmond, in the Shenandoah Valley, West Virginia and Mobile, Alabama; this was the first time the Union armies would have a coordinated offensive strategy across a number of theaters.
Grant's campaign objective was not the Confederate capital of Richmond, but the destruction of Lee's army. Lincoln had long advocated this strategy for his generals, recognizing that the city would fall after the loss of its principal defensive army. Grant ordered Meade, "Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also." Although he hoped for a quick, decisive battle, Grant was prepared to fight a war of attrition. Both Union and Confederate casualties could be high, but the Union had far greater resources to replace lost soldiers and equipment. On May 5, after Grant's army crossed the Rapidan and entered the Wilderness of Spotsylvania, it was attacked by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Although Lee was outnumbered, about 60,000 to 100,000, his men fought fiercely and the dense foliage provided a terrain advantage. After two days of fighting and 29,000 casualties, the results were inconclusive and neither army was able to obtain an advantage. Lee had stopped Grant, but had not turned him back, Grant had not destroyed Lee's army.
Under similar circumstances, previous Union commanders had chosen to withdraw behind the Rappahannock, but Grant instead ordered Meade to move around Lee's right flank and seize the important crossroads at Spotsylvania Court House to the southeast, hoping that by interposing his army between Lee and Richmond, he could lure the Confederates into another battle on a more favorable field. As of May 7, Grant's Union forces totaled 100,000 men, they consisted of the Army of the Potomac, under Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, the IX Corps; the five corps were: II Corps, under Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, including the divisions of Maj. Gen. David B. Birney and Brig. Gens. Francis C. Barlow, John Gibbon, Gershom Mott. V Corps, under Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren, including the divisions of Brig. Gens. Charles Griffin, John C. Robinson, Samuel W. Crawford, Lysander Cutler. VI Corps, under Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick, including the divisions of Brig. Gens. Horatio G. Wright, Thomas H. Neill, James B. Ricketts. (Sedgwick was killed on May 9 and r
A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by branch of service. A battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry; the term was first used in Italian as battaglione no than the 16th century. It derived from the Italian word for battaglia; the first use of battalion in English was in the 1580s, the first use to mean "part of a regiment" is from 1708. A battalion is the smallest military unit capable of "limited independent operations", meaning it includes an executive, staff with a support and services unit; the battalion must have a source of re-supply to enable it to sustain operations for more than a few days. This is because a battalion's complement of ammunition, expendable weapons, rations, lubricants, replacement parts and medical supplies consists of only what the battalion's soldiers and the battalion's vehicles can carry.
In addition to sufficient personnel and equipment to conduct operations, as well as a limited administrative and logistics capability, the commander's staff coordinates and plans operations. A battalion's subordinate companies and their platoons are dependent upon the battalion headquarters for command, control and intelligence, the battalion's service and support structure; the battalion is part of a brigade, or group, depending on the branch of service. A battalion's companies are of one type, although there are exceptions such as combined arms battalions in the U. S. Army. A battalion includes a headquarters company and some sort of combat service support, combined in a combat support company; the term battalion is used in the British Army Infantry and some corps including the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, intelligence corps. It was used in the Royal Engineers, was used in the now defunct Royal Army Ordnance Corps and Royal Pioneer Corps. Other corps use the term "regiment" instead.
An infantry battalion is numbered ordinarily within its regiment. It has a headquarters company, support company, three rifle companies; each company is commanded by a major, the officer commanding, with a captain or senior lieutenant as second-in-command. The HQ company contains signals, catering, administration, training and medical elements; the support company contains anti-tank, machine gun, mortar and reconnaissance platoons. Mechanised units have an attached light aid detachment of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to perform field repairs on vehicles and equipment. A British battalion in theatre during World War II had around 845 men, whereas, as of 2012, a British battalion had around 650 soldiers. With successive rounds of cutbacks after the war, many infantry regiments were reduced to a single battalion. Important figures in a battalion headquarters include: Commanding officer Second-in-command Adjutant Quartermaster Quartermaster Medical officer Administrative officer Padre Operations officer Regimental sergeant major Regimental quartermaster sergeant Regimental quartermaster sergeant Battalions of other corps are given separate cardinal numbers within their corps.
A battle group consists of an infantry battalion or armoured regiment with sub-units detached from other military units acting under the command of the battalion commander. In the Canadian Forces, most battalions are reserve units of between 100–200 soldiers that include an operationally ready, field-deployable component of a half-company apiece; the nine regular force infantry battalions each contain three or four rifle companies and one or two support companies. Canadian battalions are commanded by lieutenant-colonels, though smaller reserve battalions may be commanded by majors; those regiments consisting of more than one battalion are: The Royal Canadian Regiment Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Royal 22e Régiment The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Tactically, the Canadian battalion forms the core of the infantry battle group, which includes various supporting elements such as armour, combat engineers and combat service support. An infantry battle group will be commanded by the commander of the core infantry battalion around which it is formed and can range in size from 300 to 1,500 or more soldiers, depending on the nature of the mission assigned.
In the Royal Netherlands Army, a mechanised infantry battalion consists of one command- and medical company, three mechanised infantry companies, one support company
Army of Northern Virginia
The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. It was the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia, it was most arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac. The name Army of Northern Virginia referred to its primary area of operation, as did most Confederate States Army names; the Army originated as the Army of the Potomac, organized on June 20, 1861, from all operational forces in northern Virginia. On July 20 and July 21, the Army of the Shenandoah and forces from the District of Harpers Ferry were added. Units from the Army of the Northwest were merged into the Army of the Potomac between March 14 and May 17, 1862; the Army of the Potomac was renamed Army of Northern Virginia on March 14. The Army of the Peninsula was merged into it on April 12, 1862. Robert E. Lee's biographer, Douglas S. Freeman, asserts that the army received its final name from Lee when he issued orders assuming command on June 1, 1862.
However, Freeman does admit that Lee corresponded with Joseph E. Johnston, his predecessor in army command, prior to that date and referred to Johnston's command as the Army of Northern Virginia. Part of the confusion results from the fact that Johnston commanded the Department of Northern Virginia and the name Army of Northern Virginia can be seen as an informal consequence of its parent department's name. Jefferson Davis and Johnston did not adopt the name, but it is clear that the organization of units as of March 14 was the same organization that Lee received on June 1, thus it is referred to today as the Army of Northern Virginia if, correct only in retrospect. In addition to Virginians, it included regiments from all over the Confederacy, some from as far away as Georgia and Arkansas. One of the most well known was the Texas Brigade, made up of the 1st, 4th, 5th Texas, the 3rd Arkansas, which distinguished themselves in numerous battles, such as during their fight for the Devil's Den at the Battle of Gettysburg.
The first commander of the Army of Northern Virginia was General P. G. T. Beauregard from June 20 to July 20, 1861, his forces consisted of six brigades, with various militia and artillery from the former Department of Alexandria. During his command, Gen. Beauregard is noted for creating the battle flag of the army, which came to be the primary battle flag for all corps and forces under the Army of Northern Virginia; the flag was designed due to confusion during battle between the Confederate "Stars and Bars" flag and the flag of the United States. Beauregard continued commanding these troops as the new First Corps under Gen. J. E. Johnston as it was joined by the Army of the Shenandoah on July 20, 1861, when command was relinquished to General J. E. Johnston; the following day this army fought its first major engagement in the First Battle of Manassas. With the merging of the Army of the Shenandoah, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston took command from July 20, 1861, until May 31, 1862. First Corps – commanded by General P.
G. T. Beauregard Second Corps – commanded by Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith Left Wing – commanded by Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill Center Wing – commanded by Maj. Gen. James Longstreet Right Wing – commanded by Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder Reserve – commanded by Maj. Gen. G. W. SmithUnder the command of Johnston, the Army entered into the First Battle of Manassas. On October 22, 1861, the Department of Northern Virginia was created ending the Army of the Potomac; the Department comprised three districts: Aquia District, Potomac District, the Valley District. In April 1862, the Department was expanded to include the Departments of the Peninsula. Gen. Johnston was forced into maneuvering the Army southward to the defenses of Richmond during the opening of the Peninsula Campaign, where it conducted delay and defend tactics until Johnston was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines. During the months after the First Battle of Bull Run, Johnston organized his Shenandoah Army and Beauregard's Potomac Army into two divisions under a unified command with Gustavus Smith and James Longstreet as division commanders.
Beauregard quarreled with Johnston and was transferred to the Western theater over the winter months. Jackson was sent to the Shenandoah Valley in October 1861 with his own old Stonewall Brigade and with two other brigades from Western Virginia. Several newly arrived brigades were added to Johnston's army in late 1861-early 1862; when the Peninsula Campaign began, Johnston took his army down to the Richmond environs where it was merged with several smaller Confederate commands, including a division led by D. H. Hill as well as Benjamin Huger's Department of Norfolk, John Magruder's Army of the Peninsula, miscellaneous brigades and regiments pulled from various Southern states. Richard Ewell was elevated to division command in the spring of 1862 and sent to join Jackson in the Valley. On May 27, an additional new division was created and led by A. P. Hill consisting of several new brigades from the Carolinas and Virginia, soon augmented with James Archer's brigade from Smith's division. At Seven Pines and Smith served as temporary wing commanders, operational control of their divisions went to Brig.
Gen William H. C. Whiting and Brig. Gen Richard H. Anderson. Maj. Gen. Gustavus Woodson Smith commanded the ANV on May 31, 1862, following the wounding of Gen. J. E. Johnston during the Battle of Seven Pines. With Smith having a nervous breakdown, President Jefferson Davis drafted orders to place Gen. Robert E. Lee in command the following day. On June 1, 1862, its most
Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam known as the Battle of Sharpsburg in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War, fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, near Sharpsburg and Antietam Creek. Part of the Maryland Campaign, it was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil, it was the bloodiest day in United States history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing. After pursuing the Confederate general Robert E. Lee into Maryland, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan of the Union Army launched attacks against Lee's army, in defensive positions behind Antietam Creek. At dawn on September 17, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee's left flank. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller's Cornfield, fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up.
In the afternoon, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's corps entered the action, capturing a stone bridge over Antietam Creek and advancing against the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, Confederate Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill's division arrived from Harpers Ferry and launched a surprise counterattack, driving back Burnside and ending the battle. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout September 18, while removing his battered army south of the Potomac River. Despite having superiority of numbers, McClellan's attacks failed to achieve force concentration, which allowed Lee to counter by shifting forces and moving along interior lines to meet each challenge. Therefore, despite ample reserve forces that could have been deployed to exploit localized successes, McClellan failed to destroy Lee's army.
McClellan's persistent but erroneous belief that he was outnumbered contributed to his cautiousness throughout the campaign. McClellan had halted Lee's invasion of Maryland, but Lee was able to withdraw his army back to Virginia without interference from the cautious McClellan. McClellan's refusal to pursue Lee's army led to his removal from command by President Abraham Lincoln in November. Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, the Confederate troops had withdrawn first from the battlefield, abandoned their invasion, making it a Union strategic victory, it was a sufficiently significant victory to give Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, which discouraged the British and French governments from pursuing any potential plans to recognize the Confederacy. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia—about 55,000 men—entered the state of Maryland on September 3, 1862, following their victory at Second Bull Run on August 30. Emboldened by success, the Confederate leadership intended to take the war into enemy territory.
Lee's invasion of Maryland was intended to run with an invasion of Kentucky by the armies of Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith. It was necessary for logistical reasons, as northern Virginia's farms had been stripped bare of food. Based on events such as the Baltimore riots in the spring of 1861 and the fact that President Lincoln had to pass through the city in disguise en route to his inauguration, Confederate leaders assumed that Maryland would welcome the Confederate forces warmly, they sang the tune "Maryland, My Maryland!" as they marched, but by the fall of 1862 pro-Union sentiment was winning out in the western parts of the state. Civilians hid inside their houses as Lee's army passed through their towns, or watched in cold silence, while the Army of the Potomac was cheered and encouraged; some Confederate politicians, including President Jefferson Davis, believed that the prospect of foreign recognition would increase if the Confederacy won a military victory on Union soil. While McClellan's 87,000-man Army of the Potomac was moving to intercept Lee, two Union soldiers discovered a mislaid copy of Lee's detailed battle plans—Special Order 191—wrapped around three cigars.
The order indicated that Lee had divided his army and dispersed portions geographically, thus making each subject to isolation and defeat if McClellan could move enough. McClellan waited about 18 hours before deciding to take advantage of this intelligence and reposition his forces, thus squandering an opportunity to defeat Lee decisively. There were two significant engagements in the Maryland campaign prior to the major battle of Antietam: Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's capture of Harpers Ferry and McClellan's assault through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Battle of South Mountain. The former was significant because a large portion of Lee's army was absent from the start of the battle of Antietam, attending to the surrender of the Union garrison. Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, bolstered by units absorbed from John Pope's Army of Virg
Battle of Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North. After his success at Chancellorsville in Virginia in May 1863, Lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley to begin his second invasion of the North—the Gettysburg Campaign. With his army in high spirits, Lee intended to shift the focus of the summer campaign from war-ravaged northern Virginia and hoped to influence Northern politicians to give up their prosecution of the war by penetrating as far as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, or Philadelphia. Prodded by President Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker moved his army in pursuit, but was relieved of command just three days before the battle and replaced by Meade.
Elements of the two armies collided at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, as Lee urgently concentrated his forces there, his objective being to engage the Union army and destroy it. Low ridges to the northwest of town were defended by a Union cavalry division under Brig. Gen. John Buford, soon reinforced with two corps of Union infantry. However, two large Confederate corps assaulted them from the northwest and north, collapsing the hastily developed Union lines, sending the defenders retreating through the streets of the town to the hills just to the south. On the second day of battle, most of both armies had assembled; the Union line was laid out in a defensive formation resembling a fishhook. In the late afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union left flank, fierce fighting raged at Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Devil's Den, the Peach Orchard. On the Union right, Confederate demonstrations escalated into full-scale assaults on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. All across the battlefield, despite significant losses, the Union defenders held their lines.
On the third day of battle, fighting resumed on Culp's Hill, cavalry battles raged to the east and south, but the main event was a dramatic infantry assault by 12,500 Confederates against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, known as Pickett's Charge. The charge was repulsed at great loss to the Confederate army. Lee led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle, the most costly in US history. On November 19, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address. Shortly after the Army of Northern Virginia won a major victory over the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee decided upon a second invasion of the North; such a move would upset U. S. plans for the summer campaigning season and reduce the pressure on the besieged Confederate garrison at Vicksburg.
The invasion would allow the Confederates to live off the bounty of the rich Northern farms while giving war-ravaged Virginia a much-needed rest. In addition, Lee's 72,000-man army could threaten Philadelphia and Washington, strengthen the growing peace movement in the North. Thus, on June 3, Lee's army began to shift northward from Virginia. Following the death of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, Lee reorganized his two large corps into three new corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill; the Cavalry Division remained under the command of Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart; the Union Army of the Potomac, under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, consisted of seven infantry corps, a cavalry corps, an Artillery Reserve, for a combined strength of more than 100,000 men; the first major action of the campaign took place on June 9 between cavalry forces at Brandy Station, near Culpeper, Virginia. The 9,500 Confederate cavalrymen under Stuart were surprised by Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton's combined arms force of two cavalry divisions and 3,000 infantry, but Stuart repulsed the Union attack.
The inconclusive battle, the largest predominantly cavalry engagement of the war, proved for the first time that the Union horse soldier was equal to his Southern counterpart. By mid-June, the Army of Northern Virginia was poised to enter Maryland. After defeating the Union garrisons at Winchester and Martinsburg, Ewell's Second Corps began crossing the river on June 15. Hill's and Longstreet's corps followed on June 24 and 25. Hooker's army pursued, keeping between the U. S. capital and Lee's army. The Union army crossed the Potomac from June 25 to 27. Lee gave strict orders for his army to minimize any negative impacts on the civilian population. Food and other supplies were not seized outright, although quartermasters reimbursing Northern farmers and merchants with Confederate money were not well received. Various towns, most notably York, were required to pay indemnities in lieu of supplies, under threat of destruction. During the invasion, the Confederates seized some 40 northern African Americans.
A few of them were escaped fugitive slaves.
Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry and tank forces. Known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress; the first military forces in history were infantry. In antiquity, infantry were armed with an early melee weapon such as a spear, axe or sword, or an early ranged weapon like a javelin, sling, or bow, with a few infantrymen having both a melee and a ranged weapon. With the development of gunpowder, infantry began converting to firearms. By the time of Napoleonic warfare, infantry and artillery formed a basic triad of ground forces, though infantry remained the most numerous. With armoured warfare, armoured fighting vehicles have replaced the horses of cavalry, airpower has added a new dimension to ground combat, but infantry remains pivotal to all modern combined arms operations.
Infantry have much greater local situational awareness than other military forces, due to their inherent intimate contact with the battlefield. Infantry can more recognise and respond to local conditions and changing enemy weapons or tactics, they can operate in a wide range of terrain inaccessible to military vehicles, can operate with a lower logistical burden. Infantry are the most delivered forces to ground combat areas, by simple and reliable marching, or by trucks, sea or air transport, they can be augmented with a variety of crew-served weapons, armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles. In English, use of the term infantry began about the 1570s, describing soldiers who march and fight on foot; the word derives from Middle French infanterie, from older Italian infanteria, from Latin īnfāns, from which English gets infant. The individual-soldier term infantryman was not coined until 1837. In modern usage, foot soldiers of any era are now considered infantrymen. From the mid-18th century until 1881 the British Army named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from cavalry and dragoon regiments.
Infantry equipped with special weapons were named after that weapon, such as grenadiers for their grenades, or fusiliers for their fusils. These names can persist long after the weapon speciality. More in modern times, infantry with special tactics are named for their roles, such as commandos, snipers and militia. Dragoons were created. However, if light cavalry was lacking in an army, any available dragoons might be assigned their duties. Conversely, starting about the mid-19th century, regular cavalry have been forced to spend more of their time dismounted in combat due to the ever-increasing effectiveness of enemy infantry firearms, thus most cavalry transitioned to mounted infantry. As with grenadiers, the dragoon and cavalry designations can be retained long after their horses, such as in the Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Lancers, King's Royal Hussars. Motorised infantry have trucks and other unarmed vehicles for non-combat movement, but are still infantry since they leave their vehicles for any combat.
Most modern infantry have vehicle transport, to the point where infantry being motorised is assumed, the few exceptions might be identified as modern light infantry, or "leg infantry" colloquially. Mechanised infantry go beyond motorised, having transport vehicles with combat abilities, armoured personnel carriers, providing at least some options for combat without leaving their vehicles. In modern infantry, some APCs have evolved to be infantry fighting vehicles, which are transport vehicles with more substantial combat abilities, approaching those of light tanks; some well-equipped mechanised infantry can be designated as armoured infantry. Given that infantry forces also have some tanks, given that most armoured forces have more mechanised infantry units than tank units in their organisation, the distinction between mechanised infantry and armour forces has blurred; the terms "infantry", "armour", "cavalry" used in the official names for military units like divisions, brigades, or regiments might be better understood as a description of their expected balance of defensive and mobility roles, rather than just use of vehicles.
Some modern mechanised infantry units are termed cavalry or armoured cavalry though they never had horses, to e