The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay. It is sometimes known as the Lower Peninsula to distinguish it from two other peninsulas to the north, the Middle Peninsula and the Northern Neck, it is the site of historic Jamestown, founded in 1607 as the first English settlement in North America. Geographically located at the northwestern reaches, Charles City and New Kent counties are part of the Virginia Peninsula. In the 21st century, they are considered part of the Richmond-Petersburg region; the rest of the Virginia Peninsula is all part of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA with a population of about 1.8 million. The Hampton Roads MSA is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name, it is the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the Southeast and the 32nd largest in the United States. The land portion of Hampton Roads has been divided into two regions, the Virginia Peninsula or Peninsula on the north side, South Hampton Roads on the south side.
More the boundaries of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area have expanded to include the two southernmost counties of the Middle Peninsula, across the York River from the Virginia Peninsula. Early in the 16th century, Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to see the Chesapeake Bay, which they called Bahía de Madre de Dios or Bahía de Santa Maria, they were searching for the Northwest Passage to India and the Orient.. They named the land now known as Virginia, as Ajacán; the Spanish succeeded in founding a colonial settlement in the New World in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida, it was the first founded by Europeans in. They established small Spanish outposts along the eastern coast into present-day Georgia and the Carolinas; the northern-most post was Santa Elena. From there Juan Pardo was commissioned to lead expeditions into the interior, founding Fort San Juan in 1567-1568 at the regional Mississippian culture chiefdom of Joara. Located in present-day western North Carolina, this was the first European settlement in the interior of North America.
The first permanent English settlement in North America was established in 1607 at Jamestown. The first continuously occupied settlement was at Kecoughtan in Elizabeth City County what is now the City of Hampton. Nearby, Fort Monroe, the country's oldest military base still in use is located at Old Point Comfort. Old Point Comfort is the site of the first landing of Africans in America, in 1619. After declaring independence from Great Britain, Virginia's first state capital was Williamsburg; the decisive battle of the American Revolution, the siege of Yorktown in 1781, took place on the Virginia Peninsula. During the American Civil War, the Union Army invaded the Virginia Peninsula as part of the Peninsula Campaign in 1862 to capture Richmond, beginning from Fort Monroe at the entrance to Hampton Roads, which had remained in Union control after Virginia seceded in 1861. At the outset of the Peninsula Campaign, the Battle of Hampton Roads between the first ironclad warships took place near the mouth of the James River off the eastern tip of Warwick County.
The 1862 Siege of Yorktown took place along the York River. After a lengthy standoff, the largest Union Army of the war under General George B. McClellan chased the retreating Confederates through the Williamsburg Line and westward to the "Gates of Richmond", where the swampy upper reaches of the Chickahominy River created a natural barrier behind which the defenders held the Confederate capital prolonging the war for three more devastating years; as the region and Virginia rebuilt during Reconstruction, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway under the leadership of Collis P. Huntington was completed from Richmond to the Ohio River by 1871. Long a dream of Virginians, sponsored by both Virginia and West Virginia, the new railroad opened paths to ship products west, as well as offering an economically viable method of shipping the rich bituminous coal of the region to fuel the Industrial Revolution. However, the tidal portion of the James River, while navigable from Hampton Roads to the Fall Line at Richmond, couldn't accommodate the deep drafts of collier ships.
The Peninsula had been long without a railroad, newly developing technology beginning in the 1830s. In 1881, the Peninsula Extension of the C&O was built from Richmond through Williamsburg to Newport News Point. There, Collis Huntington, his associates, his Old Dominion Land Company developed his vision for the area. Within only 15 years, a rural farm community in Warwick County turned into the new independent city of Newport News, Virginia by 1896 as new coal piers brought ships to what would become the world's largest shipyard, Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. Hotels, houses and businesses sprung up there, at many points along the new rail line in Warwick and James City counties. Oyster Point became a shipping place for the watermen and the new town of Lee Hall, Virginia emerged, became an important point due to its proximity to Yorktown and to the new military base which became the U. S. Army's Fort Eustis. In Elizabeth City County, tracks were extended from Newport News to reach Old Point Comfort, where resort hotels and Buckroe Beach were developed.
There, a new town was incorporated. Phoebus was named after one of its early leading citizens, Harrison Phoebu
The Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War was a major Union operation launched in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862, the first large-scale offensive in the Eastern Theater. The operation, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, was an amphibious turning movement against the Confederate States Army in Northern Virginia, intended to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond. McClellan was successful against the cautious General Joseph E. Johnston, but the emergence of the more aggressive General Robert E. Lee turned the subsequent Seven Days Battles into a humiliating Union defeat. McClellan moved northwest, up the Virginia Peninsula. Confederate Brig. Gen. John B. Magruder's defensive position on the Warwick Line caught McClellan by surprise, his hopes for a quick advance foiled, McClellan ordered his army to prepare for a siege of Yorktown. Just before the siege preparations were completed, the Confederates, now under the direct command of Johnston, began a withdrawal toward Richmond.
The first heavy fighting of the campaign occurred in the Battle of Williamsburg, in which the Union troops managed some tactical victories, but the Confederates continued their withdrawal. An amphibious flanking movement to Eltham's Landing was ineffective in cutting off the Confederate retreat. In the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, an attempt by the U. S. Navy to reach Richmond by way of the James River was repulsed; as McClellan's army reached the outskirts of Richmond, a minor battle occurred at Hanover Court House, but it was followed by a surprise attack by Johnston at the Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks. The battle was inconclusive, with heavy casualties. Johnston was wounded by a Union artillery shell fragment on May 31 and replaced the next day by the more aggressive Robert E. Lee, who reorganized his army and prepared for offensive action in the final battles of June 25 to July 1, which are popularly known as the Seven Days Battles. On August 20, 1861, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan formed the Army of the Potomac, with himself as its first commander.
During the summer and fall, McClellan brought a high degree of organization to his new army, improved its morale by his frequent trips to review and encourage his units. It was a remarkable achievement, in which he came to personify the Army of the Potomac and reaped the adulation of his men, he created defenses for Washington that were impregnable, consisting of 48 forts and strong points, with 480 guns manned by 7,200 artillerists. On November 1, 1861, Gen. Winfield Scott retired and McClellan became general in chief of all the Union armies; the president expressed his concern about the "vast labor" involved in the dual role of army commander and general in chief, but McClellan responded, "I can do it all."On January 12, 1862, McClellan revealed his intentions to transport the Army of the Potomac by ship to Urbanna, Virginia, on the Rappahannock River, outflanking the Confederate forces near Washington, proceeding 50 miles overland to capture Richmond. On January 27, Lincoln issued an order that required all of his armies to begin offensive operations by February 22, Washington's birthday.
On January 31, he issued a supplementary order for the Army of the Potomac to move overland to attack the Confederates at Manassas Junction and Centreville. McClellan replied with a 22-page letter objecting in detail to the president's plan and advocating instead his Urbanna plan, the first written instance of the plan's details being presented to the president. Although Lincoln believed his plan was superior, he was relieved that McClellan agreed to begin moving, reluctantly approved. On March 8, doubting McClellan's resolve, Lincoln called a council of war at the White House in which McClellan's subordinates were asked about their confidence in the Urbanna plan, they expressed their confidence to varying degrees. After the meeting, Lincoln issued another order, naming specific officers as corps commanders to report to McClellan. Before McClellan could implement his plans, the Confederate forces under General Joseph E. Johnston withdrew from their positions before Washington on March 9, assuming new positions south of the Rappahannock, which nullified the Urbanna strategy.
McClellan retooled his plan so that his troops would disembark at Fort Monroe and advance up the Virginia Peninsula to Richmond. However, McClellan came under extreme criticism from the press and the Congress when it was found that Johnston's forces had not only slipped away unnoticed, but had for months fooled the Union Army through the use of Quaker Guns. A further complication for the campaign planning was the emergence of the first Confederate ironclad warship, CSS Virginia, which threw Washington into a panic and made naval support operations on the James River seem problematic. In the Battle of Hampton Roads, Virginia defeated wooden U. S. Navy ships blockading the harbor of Hampton Roads, including the frigates USS Cumberland and USS Congress on March 8, calling into question the viability of any of the wooden ships in the world; the following day, the USS Monitor ironclad arrived at the scene and engaged with the Virginia, the famous first duel of the ironclads. The battle, although inconclusive, received worldwide publicity.
After the battle, it was clear. Neither ship damaged the other. On
Collis Potter Huntington
Collis Potter Huntington was one of the Big Four of western railroading. Who invested in Theodore Judah's idea to build the Central Pacific Railroad as part of the first U. S. transcontinental railroad. Huntington helped lead and develop other major interstate lines such as the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, which he was recruited to help complete; the C&O, completed in 1873, fulfilled a long-held dream of Virginians of a rail link from the James River at Richmond to the Ohio River Valley. The new railroad facilities adjacent to the river there resulted in expansion of the former small town of Guyandotte, West Virginia into part of a new city, named Huntington in his honor. Next, turning attention to the eastern end of the line at Richmond, he was responsible for the C&O's Peninsula Extension in 1881–82 which opened a pathway for West Virginia bituminous coal to reach new coal piers on the harbor of Hampton Roads for export shipping, he is credited with the development of Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, as well as the incorporation of Newport News, Virginia as a new independent city.
After his death, both his nephew Henry E. Huntington and his stepson Archer M. Huntington continued his work at Newport News, all three are considered founding fathers in the community, with local features named in honor of each. Much of the railroad and industrial development Collis P. Huntington envisioned and led are still important activities in the early 21st century; the Southern Pacific is now part of the Union Pacific Railroad, the C&O became part of CSX Transportation, each major U. S. railroad systems. West Virginia coal still rides the rails to be loaded aboard colliers at Hampton Roads, where nearby, Huntington Ingalls Industries operates the massive shipyard. Huntington, from his base in Washington, was a lobbyist for the Central Pacific and the Southern Pacific in the 1870s and 1880s; the Big Four had built a powerful political machine. He was generous in providing bribes to Congressmen. Revelation of his misdeeds in 1883 made him one of the most hated railroad men in the country.
Huntington defended himself: The motives back of my actions have been honest ones and results have redounded far more to the benefit of California than they have to my own. Collis Potter Huntington was born in Harwinton, Connecticut, on October 22, 1821, his family farmed and he grew up helping. In his early teens, he did odd jobs for neighbors, saving his earnings. At age 16, he began traveling as a peddler. About this time, he visited rural Newport News Point in Warwick County, Virginia in his travels as a salesman, it was to become quite clear that he never forgot the untapped potential of the location he observed where the James River emptied into the large harbor of Hampton Roads. In 1842 he and his brother Solon Huntington, of Oneonta, New York, established a successful business in Oneonta, selling general merchandise there until about 1848; when he saw opportunity blooming in America's West, he set out for California, established himself as a merchant in Sacramento at the start of the California Gold Rush.
Huntington succeeded in his California business, it was here that he teamed up with Mark Hopkins selling miners' supplies and other hardware. In the late 1850s, Huntington and Hopkins joined forces with two other successful businessmen, Leland Stanford and Charles Crocker, to pursue the idea of creating a rail line that would connect America's east and west. In 1861, these four businessmen pooled their resources and business acumen, formed the Central Pacific Railroad company to create the western link of America's First Transcontinental Railroad. Of the four, he had a reputation for being the most ruthless in pursuing the railroad's business and the ouster of his partner, Stanford. Huntington negotiated with Grenville Dodge in Washington, D. C, they completed their agreement in April 1869, deciding to meet at Utah. On May 10, 1869, at Promontory, the tracks of the Central Pacific Railroad joined with the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad, America had a transcontinental railroad; the joining was celebrated by the driving of the golden spike.
Beginning in 1865, he was involved in the establishment of the Southern Pacific Railroad with the Big Four principals of the Central Pacific Railroad. The railroad's first locomotive, C. P. Huntington, was named in his honor. With rail lines from New Orleans to the Southwest and into California, Southern Pacific grew to more than 9,000 miles of track, it controlled 5,000 miles of connecting steamship lines. Using the Southern Pacific Railroad, Huntington endeavored to prevent the port at San Pedro from becoming the main Port of Los Angeles in the Free Harbor Fight. Following the American Civil War, efforts were renewed to fulfill a long-held desire of Virginians for a canal or railroad link between Richmond and the Ohio River Valley. With considerable financial assistance from the Virginia Board of Public Works, the Virginia Central Railroad and a state-owned link through the Blue Ridge Mountains had been completed along this route as far as the upper reaches of the Shenandoah Valley when the War interrupted progress.
Officials of the Virginia Central, led by company president Williams Carter Wickham, realized that they would have to get capital to rebuild from outside the economically devastated South, attempted to attract British interests, without success. Major Wickham succeeded in getting Collis Huntington interested helping to complete the line. Beginning in 1871, he oversaw completion of the newly formed Chesapeake and
Williamsburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 U. S. Census, the population was 14,068. In 2014, the population was estimated to be 14,691. Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is bordered by James City York County. Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation, a fortified settlement on high ground between the James and York rivers; the city served as the capital of the Colony and Commonwealth of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and was the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. The College of William & Mary, established in 1693, is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the only one of the nine colonial colleges located in the South. S. Presidents as well as many other important figures in the nation's early history; the city's tourism-based economy is driven by Colonial Williamsburg, the restored Historic Area of the city.
Along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg forms part of the Historic Triangle, which attracts more than four million tourists each year. Modern Williamsburg is a college town, inhabited in large part by William & Mary students and staff. Prior to the arrival of the English colonists at Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia in 1607, the area which became Williamsburg was within the territory of the Powhatan Confederacy. By the 1630s, English settlements had grown to dominate the lower portion of the Virginia Peninsula, the Powhatan tribes had abandoned their nearby villages. Between 1630 and 1633, after the war that followed the Indian Massacre of 1622, the English colonists constructed a defensive palisade across the peninsula and a settlement named Middle Plantation as a primary guard station along the palisade. Jamestown was the original capital of Virginia Colony, but was burned down during the events of Bacon's Rebellion in 1676; as soon as Governor William Berkeley regained control, temporary headquarters for the government to function were established about 12 miles away on the high ground at Middle Plantation, while the Statehouse at Jamestown was rebuilt.
The members of the House of Burgesses discovered that the'temporary' location was both safer and more pleasant environmentally than Jamestown, humid and plagued with mosquitoes. A school of higher education had long been an aspiration of the colonists. An early attempt at Henricus failed after the Indian Massacre of 1622; the location at the outskirts of the developed part of the colony had left it more vulnerable to the attack. In the 1690s, the colonists tried again to establish a school, they commissioned Reverend James Blair, who spent several years in England lobbying, obtained a royal charter for the desired new school. It was to be named the College of Mary in honor of the monarchs of the time; when Reverend Blair returned to Virginia, the new school was founded in a safe place, Middle Plantation in 1693. Classes began in temporary quarters in 1694, the College Building, a precursor to the Wren Building, was soon under construction. Four years in 1698, the rebuilt Statehouse in Jamestown burned down again, this time accidentally.
The government again relocated'temporarily' to Middle Plantation, in addition to the better climate now enjoyed use of the College's facilities. The College students made a presentation to the House of Burgesses, it was agreed in 1699 that the colonial capital should be permanently moved to Middle Plantation. A village was laid out and Middle Plantation was renamed Williamsburg in honor of King William III of England, befitting the town's newly elevated status. Following its designation as the Capital of the Colony, immediate provision was made for construction of a capitol building and for plotting out the new city according to the survey of Theodorick Bland, his design utilized the extant sites of the College and the almost-new brick Bruton Parish Church as focal points, placed the new Capitol building opposite the College, with Duke of Gloucester Street connecting them. Alexander Spotswood, who arrived in Virginia as lieutenant governor in 1710, had several ravines filled and streets leveled, assisted in erecting additional College buildings, a church, a magazine for the storage of arms.
In 1722, the town of Williamsburg was granted a royal charter as a "city incorporate". However, it was a borough. Middle Plantation was included in James City Shire when it was established in 1634, as the Colony reached a total population of 5,000.. However, the middle ground ridge line was the dividing line with Charles River Shire, renamed York County after King Charles I fell out of favor with the citizens of England; as Middle Plantation and Williamsburg developed, the boundaries were adjusted slightly. For most of the colonial period, the border between the two counties ran down the center of Duke of Gloucester Street. During this time, for 100 years after the formation of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States, despite practical complications, the town remained divided between the two counties. Williamsburg was the site of the first attempted canal in the United States. In 1771, Lord Dunmore, who would turn out to be Virginia's last Royal Governor, announced plans to connect Archer's Creek, which leads to the James River with Queen's Creek, leading to the York River.
It was not completed. Remains of this c
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown is a United States Navy base in York County, James City County, Newport News in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. It provides a weapons and ammunition storage and loading facility for ships of the US Atlantic Fleet; the Naval Weapons Station Complex is 20.7 square miles in area 1/5 of the total land area of York County, in which most of it lies. The station is bounded on the northwest by the Naval Supply Center Cheatham Annex, the Virginia Emergency Fuel Farm, land owned by the Department of the Interior; the station borders the cities of Newport Williamsburg. It shares 14 miles of the York River shoreline with the National Park Service; the large Camp Peary, which has much York River frontage on the northern side of the Virginia Peninsula, is adjacent to the Naval Station. The site of NWS Yorktown is rich in colonial era history, as well as that of the American Civil War; the station is located on the York River, in an area, an early settlement of English colonists in Virginia.
They displaced the Algonquian-speaking Kiskiack and other American Indian tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy, who inhabited the area. The oldest structure at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station is the brick "Kiskiack", built as a private residence in the late 17th century by English immigrant Henry Lee or his near descendants. At that time, the owner of the farm cultivated tobacco for export, it is listed on the National Register of the Virginia Landmarks Register. Descendants of the Lee family owned the property until its acquisition in 1918 by the federal government for the Navy Mine Depot; the colonial infantry of the American Revolutionary War and forces of the Civil War slogged along the Old Williamsburg Road that today runs through the station. Around 1914, the DuPont Company acquired a 4,000-acre site on the banks of the York River and built a dynamite plant, which came to be known as Penniman. Before DuPont production started, the Navy acquired the site in August 1918 by presidential proclamation in response to the outbreak of World War I in Europe.
This developed as the largest naval installation in the world. The Navy acquired the property to establish the Navy Mine Yorktown at this site; the Navy planned to lay the North Sea Mine Barrage to protect commercial shipping and required an Atlantic Seaboard plant to support the effort. Here the mines would be stored, loaded and issued to the Service. A related station was required for the training of personnel to operate the mines; the Navy selected the DuPont site, about 18 square miles of area near Yorktown, Virginia, as the best location on the East Coast for its mine activities. The Bureau of Ordnance of the Navy Department assumed possession one month later. Yorktown was near the Navy Operating Base at Hampton Roads, the Norfolk Navy Yard, the Fuel Bases of the Fifth Naval District, it had excellent transportation access, with the main lines of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad forming one of the boundaries of the Depot, five miles of waterfront on the navigable York River. Ocean-going vessels of largest dimension and deepest draft could navigate there.
To make way for the new Mine Depot, the government acquired by eminent domain the property of many landowners along the former Yorktown-Williamsburg Road in nearby Lackey, Virginia. Both landowners and tenants in this area were African American. Assisted by self-educated farmer John Tack Roberts, many of the displaced residents of Lackey negotiated better financial compensation for their properties. Many relocated to the community of Grove in nearby James City County. Another small community named Lackey, was developed along the Yorktown Road a few miles away; as many as 10,000 personnel worked at the Naval facility during World War I. Many workers lived in the town of Penniman. After World War I and the Navy's shift away from mines, this community vanished as workers moved away. Halstead's Point, another community of workers on the station declined and disappeared, it was located near the present main gate off State Route 143. Over the years, the growth and expansion of the Navy's technical requirements and responsibilities have been reflected by corresponding developments at the station to support the Atlantic Fleet.
As part of the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic installation consolidation, Cheatham Annex an annex of the Fleet Industrial Supply Center, was incorporated with the station on October 1, 1998. This area of land, located in the Jamestown and Yorktown area known as the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, was acquired by the Navy on June 21, 1943. Cheatham Annex includes the former site of the "lost town" of Virginia. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown hosts 25 tenant commands which include the Navy Munitions Command, the Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity, the Marine Corps Second Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk detachment, Navy Expeditionary Medical Support Command, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, Riverine Squadron THREE, Maritime Civil Affairs Squadron TWO, 19 Storefronts; the station and tenant commands work together as a team to provide ordnance logistics, tech
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
Virginia the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first English colonial possession established in mainland North America and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U. S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna; the capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million. The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy.
Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution. In the American Civil War, Virginia's Secession Convention resolved to join the Confederacy, Virginia's First Wheeling Convention resolved to remain in the Union. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia; the Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The state government was ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States in both 2005 and 2008, it is unique in how it treats cities and counties manages local roads, prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley. S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency. Virginia has a total area of 42,774.2 square miles, including 3,180.13 square miles of water, making it the 35th-largest state by area. Virginia is bordered by Maryland and Washington, D.
C. to the north and east. Virginia's boundary with Maryland and Washington, D. C. extends to the low-water mark of the south shore of the Potomac River. The southern border is defined as the 36° 30′ parallel north, though surveyor error led to deviations of as much as three arcminutes; the border with Tennessee was not settled until 1893, when their dispute was brought to the U. S. Supreme Court; the Chesapeake Bay separates the contiguous portion of the Commonwealth from the two-county peninsula of Virginia's Eastern Shore. The bay was formed from the drowned river valleys of the James River. Many of Virginia's rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, including the Potomac, Rappahannock and James, which create three peninsulas in the bay; the Tidewater is a coastal plain between the fall line. It includes major estuaries of Chesapeake Bay; the Piedmont is a series of sedimentary and igneous rock-based foothills east of the mountains which were formed in the Mesozoic era. The region, known for its heavy clay soil, includes the Southwest Mountains around Charlottesville.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the Appalachian Mountains with the highest points in the state, the tallest being Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet. The Ridge and Valley region includes the Great Appalachian Valley; the region includes Massanutten Mountain. The Cumberland Plateau and the Cumberland Mountains are in the southwest corner of Virginia, south of the Allegheny Plateau. In this region, rivers flow northwest, into the Ohio River basin; the Virginia Seismic Zone has not had a history of regular earthquake activity. Earthquakes are above 4.5 in magnitude, because Virginia is located away from the edges of the North American Plate. The largest earthquake, at an estimated 5.9 magnitude, was in 1897 near Blacksburg. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Virginia on August 2011, near Mineral. The earthquake was felt as far away as Toronto and Florida. 35 million years ago, a bolide impacted. The resulting Chesapeake Bay impact crater may explain what earthquakes and subsidence the region does experience.
Coal mining takes place in the three mountainous regions at 45 distinct coal beds near Mesozoic basins. Over 64 million tons of other non-fuel resources, such as slate, sand, or gravel, were mined in Virginia in 2018; the state's carbonate rock is filled with more than 4,000 caves, ten of which are open for tourism, including the popular Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns. The climate of Virginia is humid subtropical and becomes warmer and more humid farther south and east. Seasonal extremes vary from average lows of 26 °F in January to average highs of 86 °F in July; the Atlantic Ocean has a strong effect on southeastern coastal areas of the state. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, coastal weather is subject to hurricanes, most pronouncedly near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. In spite of its position adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean the coastal areas have a significant continental influence with quite large temperature differences between summ