University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence and the first institution of higher learning in the United States to refer to itself as a university. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum; the university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms. University of Pennsylvania is home many professional and graduate schools including, the first school of medicine in North America, the first collegiate business school and the first "student union" building and organization were founded at Penn; the university has four undergraduate schools which provide a combined 99 undergraduate majors in the humanities, natural sciences and engineering, as well twelve graduate and professional schools.
It provides the option to pursue specialized dual degree programs. Undergraduate admissions is competitive, with an acceptance rate of 7.44% for the class of 2023, the school is ranked as the 8th best university in the United States by the U. S. News & World Report. In athletics, the Quakers field varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference and hold a total of 210 Ivy League championships as of 2017. In 2018, the university had an endowment of $13.8 billion, the seventh largest endowment of all colleges in the United States, as well as an academic research budget of $966 million. As of 2018, distinguished alumni include 14 heads of 64 billionaire alumni. S. House of Representatives. Other notable alumni include 27 Rhodes Scholars, 15 Marshall Scholarship recipients, 16 Pulitzer Prize winners, 48 Fulbright Scholars. In addition, some 35 Nobel laureates, 169 Guggenheim Fellows, 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, many Fortune 500 CEOs have been affiliated with the university.
University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton and Columbia Universities. The university considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies. In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open air sermons; the building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin's autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, "thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution". However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years.
In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled "Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania", his vision for what he called a "Public Academy of Philadelphia". Unlike the other Colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard, William & Mary and Princeton—Franklin's new school would not focus on education for the clergy, he advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation's first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because William Smith, an Anglican priest who became the first provost and other trustees preferred the traditional curriculum. Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America.
At the first meeting of the 24 members of the Board of Trustees, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House, was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the Trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, still vacant, would be an better site; the original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin's group to assume their debts and, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the "Academy of Philadelphia", using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school was chartered July 13, 1753 in accordance with the intentions of the original "New Building" donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the "College of Philadelphia" was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction.
All three schools shared the same Board of Trustees and were consider
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union known as the North, referred to the United States of America and to the national government of President Abraham Lincoln and the 20 free states, as well as 4 border and slave states that supported it. The Union was opposed by 11 southern slave states that formed the Confederate States of America known as "the Confederacy" or "the South". All of the Union's states provided soldiers for the United States Army, though the border areas sent tens of thousands of soldiers south into the Confederacy; the Border states were essential as a supply base for the Union invasion of the Confederacy, Lincoln realized he could not win the war without control of them Maryland, which lay north of the national capital of Washington, D. C.. The Northeast and upper Midwest provided the industrial resources for a mechanized war producing large quantities of munitions and supplies, as well as financing for the war; the Midwest provided soldiers, horses, financial support, training camps.
Army hospitals were set up across the Union. Most states had Republican Party governors who energetically supported the war effort and suppressed anti-war subversion in 1863–64; the Democratic Party supported the war at the beginning in 1861 but by 1862, was split between the War Democrats and the anti-war element led by the "Copperheads". The Democrats made major electoral gains in 1862 in state elections, most notably in New York, they lost ground in 1863 in Ohio. In 1864, the Republicans campaigned under the National Union Party banner, which attracted many War Democrats and soldiers and scored a landslide victory for Lincoln and his entire ticket against opposition candidate George B. McClellan, former General-in-Chief of the Union Army and its eastern Army of the Potomac; the war years were quite prosperous except where serious fighting and guerrilla warfare took place along the southern border. Prosperity was stimulated by heavy government spending and the creation of an new national banking system.
The Union states invested a great deal of money and effort in organizing psychological and social support for soldiers' wives and orphans, for the soldiers themselves. Most soldiers were volunteers, although after 1862 many volunteered in order to escape the draft and to take advantage of generous cash bounties on offer from states and localities. Draft resistance was notable in some larger cities New York City with its massive anti-draft riots of July 1863 and in some remote districts such as the coal mining areas of Pennsylvania. In the context of the American Civil War, the Union is sometimes referred to as "the North", both and now, as opposed to the Confederacy, "the South"; the Union never recognized the legitimacy of the Confederacy's secession and maintained at all times that it remained a part of the United States of America. In foreign affairs the Union was the only side recognized by all other nations, none of which recognized the Confederate government; the term "Union" occurs in the first governing document of the United States, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.
The subsequent Constitution of 1787 was issued and ratified in the name not of the states, but of "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union...". Union, for the United States of America, is repeated in such clauses as the Admission to the Union clause in Article IV, Section 3. Before the war started, the phrase "preserve the Union" was commonplace, a "union of states" had been used to refer to the entire United States of America. Using the term "Union" to apply to the non-secessionist side carried a connotation of legitimacy as the continuation of the pre-existing political entity. Confederates saw the Union states as being opposed to slavery referring to them as abolitionists, as in reference to the U. S. Navy as the "Abolition fleet" and the U. S. Army as the "Abolition forces". Unlike the Confederacy, the Union had a large industrialized and urbanized area, more advanced commercial and financial systems than the rural South. Additionally, the Union states had a manpower advantage of 5 to 2 at the start of the war.
Year by year, the Confederacy shrank and lost control of increasing quantities of resources and population. Meanwhile, the Union turned its growing potential advantage into a much stronger military force. However, much of the Union strength had to be used to garrison conquered areas, to protect railroads and other vital points; the Union's great advantages in population and industry would prove to be vital long-term factors in its victory over the Confederacy, but it took the Union a long while to mobilize these resources. The attack on Fort Sumter rallied the North to the defense of American nationalism. Historian, Allan Nevins, says: The thunderclap of Sumter produced a startling crystallization of Northern sentiment... Anger swept the land. From every side came news of mass meetings, resolutions, tenders of business support, the muster of companies and regiments, the determined action of governors and legislatures. McClintock states: At the time, Northerners were right to wonder at the near unanimity that so followed long months of bitterness and discord.
It would not last throughout the protracted war to come – or through the year – but in that moment of unity was laid bare the common Northern nationalism hidden by the fierce battles more typical of the political arena." Historian Michael Smith, argues that, as the war grou
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Washington Monument is an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States. Located due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, the monument, made of marble and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest predominantly stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches tall according to the National Geodetic Survey or 555 feet 5 1⁄8 inches tall according to the National Park Service, it is the tallest monumental column in the world if all are measured above their pedestrian entrances. It was the tallest structure in the world from 1884 to 1889, when it was overtaken by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Construction of the monument began in 1848 and was halted from 1854 to 1877 due to a lack of funds, a struggle for control over the Washington National Monument Society, the intervention of the American Civil War. Although the stone structure was completed in 1884, internal ironwork, the knoll, other finishing touches were not completed until 1888.
A difference in shading of the marble, visible 150 feet or 27% up, shows where construction was halted and resumed with marble from a different source. The original design was by Robert Mills, but he did not include his proposed colonnade due to a lack of funds, proceeding only with a bare obelisk; the cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848. The Washington Monument is a hollow Egyptian style stone obelisk with a 500-foot tall column and a 55-foot tall pyramidion, its walls are 1 1⁄2 feet thick at their top. The marble pyramidion has thin walls only 7 inches thick supported by six arches, two between opposite walls that cross at the center of the pyramidion and four smaller corner arches; the top of the pyramidion is a large marble capstone with a small aluminum pyramid at its apex with inscriptions on all four sides. The lowest 150 feet of the walls, constructed during the first phase 1848–1854, are composed of a pile of bluestone gneiss rubble stones held together by a large amount of mortar with a facade of semi-finished marble stones about 1 1⁄4 feet thick.
The upper 350 feet of the walls, constructed during the second phase 1880–1884, are composed of finished marble surface stones, half of which project into the walls backed by finished granite stones. The interior is occupied by iron stairs that spiral up the walls, with an elevator in the center, each supported by four iron columns, which do not support the stone structure; the stairs contain fifty sections, most on the north and south walls, with many long landings stretching between them along the east and west walls. These landings allowed many inscribed memorial stones of various materials and sizes to be viewed while the stairs were accessible, plus one memorial stone between stairs, difficult to view; the pyramidion has eight observation windows, two per side, eight red aircraft warning lights, two per side. Two aluminum lightning rods connected via the elevator support columns to ground water protect the monument; the monument's present foundation is 37 feet thick, consisting of half of its original bluestone gneiss rubble encased in concrete.
At the northeast corner of the foundation, 21 feet below ground, is the marble cornerstone, including a zinc case filled with memorabilia. Fifty American flags fly 24 hours a day on a large circle of flag poles centered on the monument. In 2001, a temporary screening facility was added to the entrance to prevent a terrorist attack. In 2011, an earthquake damaged the monument the pyramidion. George Washington, hailed as the father of his country, as the leader, "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen", was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799, his former enemy King George III called him "the greatest character of the age."At his death in 1799, he left a critical legacy. Washington was the unchallenged public icon of American civic patriotism, he was identified with the Federalist Party, which lost control of the national government in 1800 to the Jeffersonian Republicans, who were reluctant to celebrate the hero of the opposition party.
Starting with victory in the Revolution, there were many proposals to build a monument to Washington. After his death, Congress authorized a suitable memorial in the national capital, but the decision was reversed when the Democratic-Republican Party took control of Congress in 1801; the Republicans were dismayed. They blocked his image on coins or the celebration of his birthday. Further political squabbling, along with the North–South division on the Civil War, blocked the completion of the Washington Monument until the late 19th century. By that time, Washington had the image of a national hero who could be celebrated by both North and South, memorials to him were no longer contr
Siege of Petersburg
The Richmond–Petersburg Campaign was a series of battles around Petersburg, fought from June 15, 1864, to April 2, 1865, during the American Civil War. Although it is more popularly known as the Siege of Petersburg, it was not a classic military siege, in which a city is surrounded and all supply lines are cut off, nor was it limited to actions against Petersburg; the campaign consisted of nine months of trench warfare in which Union forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant assaulted Petersburg unsuccessfully and constructed trench lines that extended over 30 miles from the eastern outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, to around the eastern and southern outskirts of Petersburg. Petersburg was crucial to the supply of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army and the Confederate capital of Richmond. Numerous raids were conducted and battles fought in attempts to cut off the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. Many of these battles caused the lengthening of the trench lines. Lee gave in to the pressure and abandoned both cities in April 1865, leading to his retreat and surrender at Appomattox Court House.
The Siege of Petersburg foreshadowed the trench warfare, common in World War I, earning it a prominent position in military history. It featured the war's largest concentration of African-American troops, who suffered heavy casualties at such engagements as the Battle of the Crater and Chaffin's Farm. In March 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to lieutenant general and was given command of the Union Army, he devised a coordinated strategy to apply pressure on the Confederacy from many points, something President Abraham Lincoln had urged his generals to do from the beginning of the war. Grant put Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman in immediate command of all forces in the West and moved his own headquarters to be with the Army of the Potomac in Virginia, where he intended to maneuver Lee's army to a decisive battle, his coordinated strategy called for Grant and Meade to attack Lee from the north, while Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler drove toward Richmond from the southeast. Gens. George Crook and William W. Averell to operate against railroad supply lines in West Virginia.
Banks to capture Alabama. Most of these initiatives failed because of the assignment of generals to Grant for political rather than military reasons. Butler's Army of the James bogged down against inferior forces under Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard before Richmond in the Bermuda Hundred Campaign. Sigel was soundly defeated at the Battle of New Market in May and soon afterward he was replaced by Maj. Gen. David Hunter. Banks was failed to move on Mobile; however and Averell were able to cut the last railway linking Virginia and Tennessee, Sherman's Atlanta Campaign was a success, although it dragged on through the fall. On May 4, Grant and Meade's Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan River and entered the area known as the Wilderness of Spotsylvania, beginning the six-week Overland Campaign. At the bloody but tactically inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness and Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Grant failed to destroy Lee's army but, unlike his predecessors, did not retreat after the battles. Grant spent the remainder of May maneuvering and fighting minor battles with the Confederate army as he attempted to turn Lee's flank and lure him into the open.
Grant knew that his larger army and base of manpower in the North could sustain a war of attrition better than Lee and the Confederacy could. This theory was tested at the Battle of Cold Harbor when Grant's army once again came into contact with Lee's near Mechanicsville, he chose to engage Lee's army directly, by ordering a frontal assault on the Confederate fortified positions on June 3. This attack was repulsed with heavy losses. Cold Harbor was a battle that Grant regretted more than any other and Northern newspapers thereafter referred to him as a "butcher". Although Grant suffered high losses during the campaign—approximately 50,000 casualties, or 41%—Lee lost higher percentages of his men—approximately 32,000, or 46%—losses that could not be replaced. On the night of June 12, Grant again advanced by his left flank, he planned to cross to the south bank of the river, bypassing Richmond, isolate Richmond by seizing the railroad junction of Petersburg to the south. While Lee remained unaware of Grant's intentions, the Union army constructed a pontoon bridge 2,100 feet long and crossed the James River on June 14–18.
What Lee had feared most of all—that Grant would force him into a siege of Richmond—was poised to occur. Petersburg, a prosperous city of 18,000, was a supply center for Richmond, given its strategic location just south of Richmond, its site on the Appomattox River that provided navigable access to the James River, its role as a major crossroads and junction for five railroads. Since Petersburg was the main supply base and rail depot for the entire region, including Richmond, the taking of Petersburg by Union forces would make it impossible for Lee to continue defending Richmond; this represented a change of strategy from that of the preceding Overland Campaign, in which confronting and defeating Lee's