A tank is an armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat, with heavy firepower, strong armour, tracks and a powerful engine providing good battlefield manoeuvrability. They are a key part of combined arms combat. Modern tanks are versatile mobile land weapon system platforms, mounting a large-calibre cannon in a rotating gun turret, supplemented by mounted machine guns or other weapons, such as ATGMs, or rockets, they combine this with heavy vehicle armour which provides protection for the crew, the vehicle's weapons, its propulsion systems, operational mobility, due to its use of tracks rather than wheels, which allows the tank to move over rugged terrain and adverse conditions such as mud, be positioned on the battlefield in advantageous locations. These features enable the tank to perform well in a variety of intense combat situations both offensively with fire from their powerful tank gun, defensively due to their near invulnerability to common firearms and good resistance to heavier weapons, all while maintaining the mobility needed to exploit changing tactical situations.
Integrating tanks into modern military forces spawned a new era of combat, armoured warfare. There are classes of tanks, some being larger and heavily armoured, with high calibre guns, while others smaller armoured, equipped with a smaller calibre, lighter gun; these smaller tanks move over terrain with speed and agility and can perform a reconnaissance role in addition to engaging enemy targets. The smaller faster tank would not engage in battle with a larger armoured tank, except during a surprise flanking manoeuvre; the modern tank is the result of a century of development from the first primitive armoured vehicles, due to improvements in technology such as the internal combustion engine, which allowed the rapid movement of heavy armoured vehicles. As a result of these advances, tanks underwent tremendous shifts in capability in the years since their first appearance. Tanks in World War I were developed separately and by Great Britain and France as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front.
The first British prototype, nicknamed Little Willie, was constructed at William Foster & Co. in Lincoln, England in 1915, with leading roles played by Major Walter Gordon Wilson who designed the gearbox and hull, by William Tritton of William Foster and Co. who designed the track plates. This was a prototype of a new design that would become the British Army's Mark I tank, the first tank used in combat in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme; the name "tank" was adopted by the British during the early stages of their development, as a security measure to conceal their purpose. While the British and French built thousands of tanks in World War I, Germany was unconvinced of the tank's potential, built only twenty. Tanks of the interwar period evolved into the much larger and more powerful designs of World War II. Important new concepts of armoured warfare were developed. Less than two weeks Germany began their large-scale armoured campaigns that would become known as blitzkrieg – massed concentrations of tanks combined with motorised and mechanised infantry and air power designed to break through the enemy front and collapse enemy resistance.
The widespread introduction of high-explosive anti-tank warheads during the second half of World War II led to lightweight infantry-carried anti-tank weapons such as the Panzerfaust, which could destroy some types of tanks. Tanks in the Cold War were designed with these weapons in mind, led to improved armour types during the 1960s composite armour. Improved engines and suspensions allowed tanks of this period to grow larger. Aspects of gun technology changed as well, with advances in shell design and aiming technology. During the Cold War, the main battle tank concept became a key component of modern armies. In the 21st century, with the increasing role of asymmetrical warfare and the end of the Cold War, that contributed to the increase of cost-effective anti-tank rocket propelled grenades worldwide and its successors, the ability of tanks to operate independently has declined. Modern tanks are more organized into combined arms units which involve the support of infantry, who may accompany the tanks in infantry fighting vehicles, supported by reconnaissance or ground-attack aircraft.
The tank is the 20th century realization of an ancient concept: that of providing troops with mobile protection and firepower. The internal combustion engine, armour plate, continuous track were key innovations leading to the invention of the modern tank. Many sources imply that Leonardo da Vinci and H. G. Wells in some way "invented" the tank. Leonardo's late 15th century drawings of what some describe as a "tank" show a man-powered, wheeled vehicle with cannons all around it; however the human crew would not have enough power to move it over larger distance, usage of animals was problematic in a space so confined. In the 15th century, Jan Žižka built armoured wagons containing cannons and used them in several battles; the continuous "caterpillar" track arose from attempts to improve the mobility of wheeled vehicles by spreading their weight, reducing ground pressure, increasing their traction. Experiments can be traced back as far as the 17th century, by the late nineteenth they existed in various recognizable and practical forms in several countries.
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Lebanon known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent; the earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established; as the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their identity.
However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome; the ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era. The region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon; the French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon during the independence, Riad El-Solh, first Lebanese prime minister and Emir Majid Arslan II, first Lebanese minister of defence, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence.
Foreign troops withdrew from Lebanon on 31 December 1946, although the country was subjected to military occupations by Syria that lasted nearly thirty years before being withdrawn in April 2005 as well as the Israeli military in Southern Lebanon for fifteen years. Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been influential in the Arab world, powered by its large diaspora. Before the Lebanese Civil War, the country experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture and banking; because of its financial power and diversity in its heyday, Lebanon was referred to as the "Switzerland of the East" during the 1960s, its capital, attracted so many tourists that it was known as "the Paris of the Middle East". At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. In spite of these troubles, Lebanon has the 7th highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world after the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.
Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 as well as of the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn meaning "white" from its snow-capped peaks. Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh; the name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. Lebanon as the name of an administrative unit was introduced with the Ottoman reforms of 1861, as the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, continued in the name of the State of Greater Lebanon in 1920, in the name of the sovereign Republic of Lebanon upon its independence in 1943; the borders of contemporary Lebanon are a product of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. Its territory was the core of the Bronze Age Phoenician city-states.
As part of the Levant, it was part of numerous succeeding empires throughout ancient history, including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Achaemenid Persian, Hellenistic and Sasanid Persian empires. After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Abbasid Seljuk and Fatimid empires; the crusader state of the County of Tripoli, founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1102, encompassed most of present-day Lebanon, falling to the Mamluk Sultanate in 1289 and to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943. Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and prosperity based on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade, interspersed with political turmoil and
A grenade is an explosive weapon thrown by hand, but can refer to projectiles shot out of grenade launchers. A grenade consists of an explosive charge, a detonating mechanism, firing pin inside the grenade to trigger the detonating mechanism. Once the soldier throws the grenade, the safety lever releases, the striker throws the safety lever away from the grenade body as it rotates to detonate the primer; the primer ignites the fuze. The fuze burns down to the detonator. There are several types of grenades like the fragmentation, high explosive concussion and smoke grenades. Fragmentation grenades are the most common in modern armies, they are missiles designed to disperse shrapnel on detonation. The body is made of a hard synthetic material or steel, which will provide limited fragmentation through sharding and splintering, though in modern grenades a pre-formed fragmentation matrix inside the grenade is used; the pre-formed fragmentation may be spherical, wire or notched wire. Most anti-personnel grenades are designed to detonate either on impact.
When the word grenade is used colloquially, it is assumed to refer to a fragmentation grenade. Stick grenades have a long handle attached to the grenade directly, providing leverage for longer throwing distance, at the cost of additional weight and length; the term "stick grenade" refers to the German Stielhandgranate style stick grenade introduced in 1915 and developed throughout World War I. A friction igniter was used. Grenades are round-shaped with a "pineapple" or "baseball"-style design, or an explosive charge on a handle, referred to as a "stick grenade"; the stick grenade design has been considered obsolete since the Cold War period. They saw extensive use in World War I and in World War II; the WWI and WWII era "stick grenade" was used in trench and built-up warfare by the Central Powers and Nazi Germany, while the Triple Entente and Allied powers would use some improvised earlier grenades or round-shaped fragmentation grenades. The word "grenade" is derived from Old French pomegranate and influenced by Spanish granada, as the bomb is reminiscent of the many-seeded fruit, together with its size and shape.
Its first use in English dates from the 1590s. Rudimentary incendiary grenades appeared in the Eastern Roman Empire, not long after the reign of Leo III. Byzantine soldiers learned that Greek fire, a Byzantine invention of the previous century, could not only be thrown by flamethrowers at the enemy but in stone and ceramic jars. Glass containers were employed; the use of Greek fire spread to Muslim armies in the Near East, from where it reached China by the 10th century. In China, during the Song Dynasty, weapons known as Zhen Tian Lei were created when Chinese soldiers packed gunpowder into ceramic or metal containers. In 1044, a military book Wujing Zongyao described various gunpowder recipes in which one can find, according to Joseph Needham, the prototype of the modern hand grenade; the mid-14th-century book Huolongjing, written by Jiao Yu, recorded an earlier Song-era cast iron cannon known as the "flying-cloud thunderclap cannon". The manuscript stated that: The shells are made of cast iron, as large as a bowl and shaped like a ball.
Inside they contain half a pound of'divine fire'. They are sent flying towards the enemy camp from an eruptor, when they get there a sound like a thunder-clap is heard, flashes of light appear. If ten of these shells are fired into the enemy camp, the whole place will be set ablaze... The first cast iron bombshells and grenades did not appear in Europe until 1467. A hoard of several hundred ceramic hand grenades was discovered during construction in front of a bastion of the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt, Germany dated to the 17th century. Many of the grenades igniters. Most the grenades were intentionally dumped in the moat of the bastion prior to 1723. In 1643, it is possible that "Grenados" were thrown amongst the Welsh at Holt Bridge during the English Civil War; the word "grenade" originated during the events surrounding the Glorious Revolution in 1688, where cricket ball-sized iron spheres packed with gunpowder and fitted with slow-burning wicks were first used against the Jacobites in the battles of Killiecrankie and Glen Shiel.
These grenades were not effective and, as a result, saw little use. Grenades were used during the Golden Age of Piracy: pirate Captain Thompson used "vast numbers of powder flasks, grenade shells, stinkpots" to defeat two pirate-hunters sent by the Governor of Jamaica in 1721. Improvised grenades were used from the mid-19th century, being useful in trench warfare. In a letter to his sister, Colonel Hugh Robert Hibbert described an improvised grenade, employed by British troops during the Crimean War: We have a new invention to annoy our friends in their pits, it consists in filling empty soda water bottles full of powder, old twisted nails and any other sharp or cutting thing we can find at the time, sticking a bit of tow-in for a fuse lighting it and throwing it into our neighbors’ pit where it bursts, to their great annoyance. You may
Earthworks are engineering works created through the processing of parts of the earth's surface involving quantities of soil or unformed rock. Excavation may be classified by type of material: Topsoil excavation Earth excavation Rock excavation Muck excavation – this contains excess water and unsuitable soil Unclassified excavation – this is any combination of material typesExcavation may be classified by the purpose: Stripping Roadway excavation Drainage or structure excavation Bridge excavation Channel excavation Footing excavation Borrow excavation Dredge excavation Underground excavation Typical earthworks include roads, railway beds, dams, levees and berms. Other common earthworks are land grading to reconfigure the topography of a site, or to stabilize slopes. In military engineering, earthworks are, more types of fortifications constructed from soil. Although soil is not strong, it is cheap enough that huge quantities can be used, generating formidable structures. Examples of older earthwork fortifications include moats, sod walls, motte-and-bailey castles, hill forts.
Modern examples include berms. Heavy construction equipment is used due to the amounts of material to be moved — up to millions of cubic metres. Earthwork construction was revolutionized by the development of the scraper and other earth-moving machines such as the loader, the dump truck, the grader, the bulldozer, the backhoe, the dragline excavator. Engineers need to concern themselves with issues of geotechnical engineering and with quantity estimation to ensure that soil volumes in the cuts match those of the fills, while minimizing the distance of movement. In the past, these calculations were done by hand using a slide rule and with methods such as Simpson's rule. Earthworks cost is a function of hauled amount x hauled distance; the goal of mass haul planning is to determine these amounts and the goal of mass haul optimization is to minimize either or both. Now they can be performed with a computer and specialized software, including optimisation on haul cost and not haul distance. Contour trenching Cut and fill Earth movers, construction/engineering vehicles used for earthworks civil engineering Earth structure Gabion Keyline design Land restoration Regrading Spoil tip Terrace Finding Volume of Earthwork using Simpson's Rule
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the military land force of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, fighting against the United States forces. On February 28, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress established a provisional volunteer army and gave control over military operations and authority for mustering state forces and volunteers to the newly chosen Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. Davis was a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, colonel of a volunteer regiment during the Mexican–American War, he had been a United States Senator from Mississippi and U. S. Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce. On March 1, 1861, on behalf of the Confederate government, Davis assumed control of the military situation at Charleston, South Carolina, where South Carolina state militia besieged Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, held by a small U. S. Army garrison. By March 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress expanded the provisional forces and established a more permanent Confederate States Army.
An accurate count of the total number of individuals who served in the Confederate Army is not possible due to incomplete and destroyed Confederate records. This does not include an unknown number of slaves who were pressed into performing various tasks for the army, such as construction of fortifications and defenses or driving wagons. Since these figures include estimates of the total number of individual soldiers who served at any time during the war, they do not represent the size of the army at any given date; these numbers do not include men. Although most of the soldiers who fought in the American Civil War were volunteers, both sides by 1862 resorted to conscription as a means to force men to register and to volunteer. In the absence of exact records, estimates of the percentage of Confederate soldiers who were draftees are about double the 6 percent of United States soldiers who were conscripts. Confederate casualty figures are incomplete and unreliable; the best estimates of the number of deaths of Confederate soldiers are about 94,000 killed or mortally wounded in battle, 164,000 deaths from disease and between 26,000 and 31,000 deaths in United States prison camps.
One estimate of Confederate wounded, considered incomplete, is 194,026. These numbers do not include men who died from other causes such as accidents, which would add several thousand to the death toll; the main Confederate armies, the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee and the remnants of the Army of Tennessee and various other units under General Joseph E. Johnston, surrendered to the U. S. on April 9, 1865, April 18, 1865. Other Confederate forces surrendered between April 16, 1865 and June 28, 1865. By the end of the war, more than 100,000 Confederate soldiers had deserted, some estimates put the number as high as one third of Confederate soldiers; the Confederacy's government dissolved when it fled Richmond in April and exerted no control of the remaining armies. By the time Abraham Lincoln took office as President of the United States on March 4, 1861, the seven seceding slave states had formed the Confederate States; the Confederacy seized federal property, including nearly all U.
S. Army forts, within its borders. Lincoln was determined to hold the forts remaining under U. S. control when he took office Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. By the time Lincoln was sworn in as president, the Provisional Confederate Congress had authorized the organization of a large Provisional Army of the Confederate States. Under orders from Confederate President Jefferson Davis, C. S. troops under the command of General P. G. T. Beauregard bombarded Fort Sumter on April 12–13, 1861, forcing its capitulation on April 14; the United States demanded war. It rallied behind Lincoln's call on April 15, for all the states to send troops to recapture the forts from the secessionists, to put down the rebellion and to preserve the United States intact. Four more slave states joined the Confederacy. Both the United States and the Confederate States began in earnest to raise large volunteer, armies with the objectives of putting down the rebellion and preserving the Union, on the one hand, or of establishing independence from the United States, on the other.
The Confederate Congress provided for a Confederate army patterned after the United States Army. It was to consist of a large provisional force to exist only in time of war and a small permanent regular army; the provisional, volunteer army was established by an act of the Provisional Confederate Congress passed on February 28, 1861, one week before the act which established the permanent regular army organization, passed on March 6. Although the two forces were to exist concurrently little was done to organize the Confederate regular army; the Provisional Army of the Confederate States began organizing on April 27. All regular and conscripted men preferred to enter this organization since officers could achieve a higher rank in the Provisional Army than they could in the Regular Army. If the war had ended for them, the Confederates intended that the PACS would be disbanded, leaving only the ACSA; the Army of the Confederate States of America was the regular army and was authorized to include 15,015 men, including 744 officers, but this level was never achieved.
The men serving in the highest rank as Confederate States generals, such as Samuel Cooper and Robert E. Lee, were enrolled in the ACSA to ensure that they outranked all
Continuous track called tank tread or caterpillar track, is a system of vehicle propulsion in which a continuous band of treads or track plates is driven by two or more wheels. This band is made of modular steel plates in the case of military vehicles and heavy equipment, or synthetic rubber reinforced with steel wires in the case of lighter agricultural or construction vehicles; the large surface area of the tracks distributes the weight of the vehicle better than steel or rubber tyres on an equivalent vehicle, enabling a continuous tracked vehicle to traverse soft ground with less likelihood of becoming stuck due to sinking. The prominent treads of the metal plates are both hard-wearing and damage resistant in comparison to rubber tyres; the aggressive treads of the tracks provide good traction in soft surfaces but can damage paved surfaces, so some metal tracks can have rubber pads installed for use on paved surfaces. Continuous tracks can be traced back as far as 1770 and today are used on a variety of vehicles, including bulldozers, excavators and tractors.
Polish mathematician and inventor Józef Maria Hoene-Wroński conceived of the idea in the 1830s. The British polymath Sir George Cayley patented a continuous track, which he called a "universal railway". In 1837, a Russian inventor Dmitry Zagryazhsky designed a "carriage with mobile tracks" which he patented the same year, but due to a lack of funds and interest from manufacturers he was unable to build a working prototype, his patent was voided in 1839. Although not a continuous track in the form encountered today, a dreadnaught wheel or "endless railway wheel" was patented by the British Engineer James Boydell in 1846. In Boydell's design, a series of flat feet are attached to the periphery of the wheel, spreading the weight. A number of horse-drawn wagons and gun carriages were deployed in the Crimean War, waged between October 1853 and February 1856, the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich manufacturing dreadnaught wheels. A letter of recommendation was signed by Sir William Codrington, the General commanding the troops at Sebastopol.
Boydell patented improvements to his wheel in 1854 – the year his dreadnaught wheel was first applied to a steam engine – and 1858, the latter an impracticable palliative measure involving the lifting one or other of the driving wheels to facilitate turning. A number of manufacturers including Richard Bach, Richard Garrett & Sons, Charles Burrell & Sons and Clayton & Shuttleworth applied the Boydell patent under licence; the British military were interested in Boydell's invention from an early date. One of the objectives was to transport Mallet's Mortar, a giant 36 in weapon, under development, but, by the end of the Crimean war, the mortar was not ready for service. A detailed report of the tests on steam traction, carried out by a select Committee of the Board of Ordnance, was published in June 1856, by which date the Crimean War was over the mortar and its transportation became irrelevant. In those tests, a Garrett engine was put through its paces on Plumstead Common; the Garrett engine featured in the Lord Mayor's show in London, in the following month that engine was shipped to Australia.
A steam tractor employing dreadnaught wheels was built at Bach's Birmingham works, was used between 1856 and 1858 for ploughing in Thetford. Between late 1856 and 1862 Burrell manufactured not less than a score of engines fitted with dreadnaught wheels. In April 1858, "The Engineer" gave a brief description of a Clayton & Shuttleworth engine fitted with dreadnaught wheels, supplied not to the Western Allies, but to the Russian government for heavy artillery haulage in the Crimea, in the post-war period. Steam tractors fitted with dreadnaught wheels had a number of shortcomings and, notwithstanding the creations of the late 1850s, were never used extensively. In August 1858, more than two years after the end of the Crimean War, John Fowler filed British Patent No. 1948 on another form of "Endless Railway". In his illustration of the invention, Fowler used a pair of wheels of equal diameter on each side of his vehicle, around which pair of toothed wheels ran a'track' of eight jointed segments, with a smaller jockey/drive wheel between each pair of wheels, to support the'track'.
Comprising only eight sections, the'track' sections are essentially'longitudinal', as in Boydell's initial design. Fowler's arrangement is a precursor to the multi-section caterpillar track in which a large number of short'transverse' treads are used, as proposed by Sir George Caley in 1825, rather than a small number of long'longitudinal' treads. Further to Fowler's patent of 1858, in 1877, a Russian, Fyodor Blinov, created a tracked vehicle called "wagon moved on endless rails", it was pulled by horses. Blinov received a patent for his "wagon" in 1878. From 1881 to 1888 he developed a steam-powered caterpillar-tractor; this self-propelled crawler was tested and featured at a farmers' exhibition in 1896. Steam traction engines were used at the end of the 19th century in the Boer Wars, but neither dreadnaught wheels nor continuous tracks were used, rather "roll-out" wooden plank roads were thrown under the wheels as required. In short, whilst the development of the continuous track engaged the attention of a number of inventors in the 18th and 19th centuries, the general use and exploitation of the continuous track belonged to the 20th century.
A little-known American inventor, Henry T. Stith, developed a continuous track prototype which was, in multiple forms, patented in 1873, 1880, 1900; the last
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th