United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
Andrew A. Humphreys
Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, was a career United States Army officer, civil engineer, a Union General in the American Civil War. He served in senior positions in the Army of the Potomac, including division command, chief of staff, corps command, was Chief Engineer of the U. S. Army. Andrew Atkinson Humphreys was born in Pennsylvania, to a family with Quaker ancestry, his grandfather, was the "Father of the American Navy", who had served as chief naval constructor from 1794-1801 and designed the first U. S. warship, including the USS Constitution and her sister ships. Andrew's father, Samuel designed and built the USS Pennsylvania, the largest and most armed ship at the time. Samuel, like his father, was a chief naval constructor from 1826-1846. Andrew graduated from Nazareth Hall. Thereafter, he entered the United States Military Academy, more known as West Point, at the age of seventeen, he graduated from the Academy on July 1, 1831. Upon graduation Humphreys joined the second artillery regiment at Fort Moultrie in South Carolina.
Near the beginning of the Seminole Wars he followed his regiment in the summer of 1836 to Florida where he received his first combat experience, while falling ill, having to leave by September. De Peyster, who rose to brevet major general for the New York Volunteer Army during the Civil War and Civil War historian says: The only fighting that he saw previous to the "Great American Conflict" was in the miserably mismanaged Seminole War in 1836. Of suffering he underwent sufficiency. Disgusted, he resigned 30 September 1836. For about two years he was a Civil Engineer in the U. S. service. On 7 July 1838, he was re-appointed in the U. S. Army as 1st Lieutenant in the corps of Topographical Engineers. Of the next twenty-three years each one was illustrated by some distinguished engineering achievement which won for him a reputation at home only exceeded by that what he acquired abroad. After being reinstated in the engineer corps in 1844 Humphreys was put in charge of the Central Office of the Coast Survey at Washington and appointed to Captain in 1848.
During 1850 he was directed to investigate the Mississippi River Delta. Investigating the Mississippi River in order to figure out what could prevent inundation and increase the depth of water on the bars; this work would take up ten years of Humphreys' life. From 1853-1857 he worked on the Pacific Railroad Surveys with Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Humphreys, along with 100 plus men went west to find the most practical route for the First Transcontinental Railroad. Just before the Civil War, Humphreys was ranked among the upper echelon of American Scientist and gained membership to the American Philosophical Society. After the outbreak of the Civil War, Humphreys was promoted to major and became chief topographical engineer in Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac. Humphreys was put in this position because of his achievements in life but because "those in power at Washington distrusted him because of his intimacy with Jefferson Davis before the war." Involved in planning the defenses of Washington, D.
C. by March 1862, he shipped out with McClellan for the Peninsula Campaign. He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on April 28 and on September 12 assumed command of the new 3rd Division in the V Corps of the Army of the Potomac, he led the division in a reserve role in the Battle of Antietam. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, his division achieved the farthest advance against fierce Confederate fire from Marye's Heights, with Humphreys commanding from the front of the line on horseback, while five of his seven staff were shot down. During the battle Humphreys himself had two of horses shot from under him and finding a third he continued to ride with having his clothes pierced but himself unharmed, his corps commander, Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield, wrote: "I hardly know how to express my appreciation of the soldierly qualities, the gallantry, energy displayed by my division commanders, Generals George Sykes and Charles Griffin." General Butterfield goes on to talk about Humphreys' actions: "General Humphreys led his division in the most gallant manner.
His attack was spirited, worthy of veterans. Made as it was by raw troops, the value of the example set by the division commander can hardly be estimated." For an officer with little combat experience, he inspired his troops with his personal bravery. Historian Larry Tagg wrote:... for certain good reasons connected with the effect of what I did upon the spirit of the men and from an invincible repugnance to ride anywhere else, I always rode at the head of my troops." Lt. Cavada of the general's staff recalled that just before he took his troops up to the Stone Wall at Fredericksburg, Humphreys had bowed to his staff in his courtly way, "and in the blandest manner remarked,'Young gentlemen, I intend to lead this assault. Since it was put like that, the staff had done so, five of the seven officers were knocked off their horses. After his men had taken as much as they could stand in front of the Stone Wall on Marye's Heights, the next brigade coming up the hill saw Humphreys sitting his horse all alone, looking out across the plain, bullets cutting the air all around him.
Something about the way the general was taking it pleased them, they sent up a cheer. Humphreys looked over, waved his cap to them with a grim smile, went riding off into the twilight. In this way Humph
Original six frigates of the United States Navy
The United States Congress authorized the original six frigates of the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794 on March 27, 1794, at a total cost of $688,888.82. These ships were built during the formative years of the United States Navy, on the recommendation of designer Joshua Humphreys for a fleet of frigates powerful enough to engage any frigates of the French or British navies yet fast enough to evade any ship of the line. After the Revolutionary War, a indebted United States disbanded the Continental Navy, in August 1785, lacking funds for ship repairs, sold its last remaining warship, the Alliance, but simultaneously troubles began in the Mediterranean when Algiers seized two American merchant ships and held their crews for ransom. Minister to France Thomas Jefferson suggested an American naval force to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean, but his recommendations were met with indifference, as were the recommendations of John Jay, who proposed building five 40-gun warships.
Shortly afterward, Portugal began blockading Algerian ships from entering the Atlantic Ocean, thus providing temporary protection for American merchant ships. Piracy against American merchant shipping had not been a problem when under the protection of the British Empire prior to the Revolution, but after the Revolutionary War the "Barbary States" of Algiers and Tunis felt they could harass American merchant ships without penalty. Additionally, once the French Revolution started, Britain began interdicting American merchant ships suspected of trading with France and France began interdicting American merchant ships suspected of trading with Britain. Defenseless, the American government could do little to resist; the formation of a naval force had been a topic of debate in the new America for years. Opponents argued that building a navy would only lead to calls for a navy department, the staff to operate it; this would further lead to more appropriations of funds, which would spiral out of control, giving birth to a "self-feeding entity".
Those opposed to a navy felt that payment of tribute to the Barbary States and economic sanctions against Britain were a better alternative. In 1793 Portugal reached a peace agreement with Algeria, ending its blockade of the Mediterranean, thus allowing Algerian ships back into the Atlantic Ocean. By late in the year eleven American merchant ships had been captured. This, combined with the actions of Britain led President Washington to request Congress to authorize a navy. On January 2, 1794, by a narrow margin of 46–44, the House of Representatives voted to authorize building a navy and formed a committee to determine the size and type of ships to be built. Secretary of War Henry Knox submitted proposals to the committee outlining the design and cost of warships. To appease the strong opposition to the upcoming bill, the Federalist Party inserted a clause into the bill that would bring an abrupt halt to the construction of the ships should the United States reach a peace agreement with Algiers.
The bill was presented to the House on March 10 and passed as the Naval Act of 1794 by a margin of 50–39, without division in the Senate on the 19th. President Washington signed the Act on March 27, it provided for acquisition, by purchase or otherwise, of four ships to carry forty-four guns each, two ships to carry thirty-six guns each. It provided pay and sustenance for naval officers and marines, outlined how each ship should be manned in order to operate them; the Act appropriated $688,888.82 to finance the work. With the formation of a Department of the Navy still several years away, responsibility for design and construction fell to the Department of War, headed by Secretary Henry Knox; as early as 1790 Knox had consulted various authorities regarding ship design. Discussions of the designs were carried out in person at meetings in Philadelphia. Little is known about these discussions due to a lack of written correspondence, making determination of the actual designers involved difficult to assemble.
Secretary Knox reached out to ship architects and builders in Philadelphia, the largest seaport in North America at the time and the largest freshwater port in the world. This meant that many discussions of ship design took place in Knox's office, resulting in few if any records of these discussions being available to historians. Joshua Humphreys is credited as the designer of the six frigates, but Revolutionary War ship captains John Foster Williams and John Barry and shipbuilders Josiah Fox and James Hackett were consulted; the final design plans submitted to President Washington for approval called for building new frigates rather than purchasing merchant ships and converting them into warships, an option under the Naval Act. The designers realized that the fledgling United States could not match the European states in the number of ships afloat; this gave the Americans the distinct advantage in that their ship design was not constrained by access to timber nor limited crew. This allowed the designers to plan for enormous ships given their role.
They had the ability to overpower other frigates, but were capable of a speed to escape from a ship of the line. The design was unusual for the time, being long on keel and narrow of beam; this gave the hull greater strength than the hulls of other navies' frigates. Knox advised President Washington that the cost of new construction would exceed the appropriations of the Naval Act. Despite this, Washington accepted and approved the plans the same day they were submitted, April 15, 1794. Joshua Humphreys was appointed Mas
The Congressional Cemetery Washington Parish Burial Ground, is an historic and active cemetery located at 1801 E Street, SE, in Washington, D. C. on the west bank of the Anacostia River. It is the only American "cemetery of national memory" founded before the Civil War. Over 65,000 individuals are buried or memorialized at the cemetery, including many who helped form the nation and the city of Washington in the early 19th century. Although the Episcopal Christ Church, Washington Parish owns the cemetery, the U. S. government has purchased 806 burial plots, which are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Congress, located about a mile and a half to the northwest, has influenced the history of the cemetery; the cemetery still sells plots, is an active burial ground. From the Washington Metro, the cemetery lies three blocks east of the Potomac Avenue station and two blocks south of the Stadium-Armory station. Many members of the U. S. Congress who died while Congress was in session are interred at Congressional Cemetery.
Other burials include early landowners and speculators, the builders and architects of early Washington, Native American diplomats, Washington city mayors, American Civil War veterans. Nineteenth-century Washington, D. C. families unaffiliated with the federal government have graves and tombs at the cemetery. In all, there are one Vice President, one Supreme Court justice, six Cabinet members, 19 Senators and 71 Representatives buried there, as well as veterans of every American war, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover; the cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 23, 1969, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011. The Congressional Cemetery was established by private citizens associated with Christ Church on a 4.5 acre plot in 1807 and was given to Christ Church, which gave it its official name Washington Parish Burial Ground. By 1817 sites were set aside for government officials; the cenotaphs, designed by Benjamin Latrobe, each have a large square block with recessed panels set on a wider plinth and surmounted by a conical point.
From 1823 to 1876 the U. S. Congress funded the expansion and maintenance of the cemetery, but it never became a federal institution. Appropriations funded a gravel road from the Capitol to the cemetery, paving within the cemetery, the public vault and the gatehouse, as well as funerals for congressmen and the cenotaphs. During the early part of this period, graves were laid out in a grid pattern in an extension of the grid in the L'Enfant Plan for Washington, little or no landscaping or plantings were made on the grounds; the grid was extended as the cemetery expanded. Starting in the late 1840s, the cemetery was influenced by the rural cemetery movement in which the graves were placed in a park-like setting with extensive landscaping. To implement this new vision, the cemetery needed to expand. Between 1849 and 1869 the cemetery grew in area to 35.75 acres. The original cemetery was located on block 1115 on E Street between 18th and 19th Streets Southeast in 1808. In 1849, it doubled in size by acquiring the block to its south, 1116.
In 1853, it expanded to the east on blocks 1130, 1148 and 1149 between G Streets Southeast. In 1853-53, the cemetery expanded to the west by acquiring block 1104, between 17th Street and 18th Streets Southeast. In 1858, the cemetery acquired block 1105 and Reservation 13. In 1859, it added blocks 1105 and 1123; the cemetery reached its current extent of 35.75 acres by growing south to Water Street Southeast with blocks 1106 and 1117 in 1869. The land to the south of the cemetery was transferred to the National Park Service although the access road to the RFK Stadium parking lot is administered by the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission. In the 1950s, it appeared that the southeast corner of the cemetery would become a part of the right of way for the Southeast-Southwest Freeway. However, protracted environmental litigation halted construction at Pennsylvania Avenue, with the dead end of the freeway being connected by a temporary road to the RFK parking lot and to 17th Street Southeast at the southwest corner of the cemetery.
After 1876 the cemetery was used or supported by Congress. Many wealthy Washingtonians continued to bury family members there, figures associated with the government who were local residents, such as Marine Corps Band Director John Philip Sousa and J. Edgar Hoover, were buried there. By the 1970s urban decay, the declining membership of Christ Church, the declining value of the endowment funded by Christ Church, left the cemetery in serious difficulties. Monuments and burial vaults were in disrepair. Maintenance on buildings had been long delayed. There was minimal funding. Drug dealers and prostitutes began to occupy the cemetery; the cemetery is still owned by Christ Church but since 1976 it has been managed by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery. Progress on the renovation was slow until two volunteers became involved. Jim Oliver assistant manager of the House Republican Cloakroom, became involved in the late 1980s and helped revive congressional interest in the cemetery.
The K-9 Corps, a group of dog owners whose activities helped drive away the drug dealers, was organized in 1997. Renovation picked-up after C-SPAN broadcast a video on the cemetery on July 5, 1996; the following weekend 100 airmen from Andrews Air Force Base arrived unannounced to mow the 35-acre lawn, a contingent from the Army post at Fort Belvoir followed the ne
Southern Historical Collection
The Southern Historical Collection is a repository of distinct archival collections at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which document the culture and history of the American South. These collections are made up of unique primary materials, such as manuscripts, photographs, drawings, journals, oral histories, ledgers, moving images, literary manuscripts and other materials; the North Carolina Historical Society began collecting manuscripts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1844. The collecting stopped in the early twentieth century; the holdings were transferred to the University Library. By the 1920s, Dr. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, a professor of history was corresponding about the idea of creating "a great library of Southern human records." Hamilton began traveling the South, in his "faithful Fords," gathering materials. On January 14, 1930, the Southern Historical Collection was established. Dr. Hamilton served as director, the initial endowment was offered by Sarah Graham Kenan.
Upon Hamilton's 1951 retirement, the Southern Historical Collection held 2,140,000 manuscript items. The Southern Historical Collection now holds more than 15 million items, which are organized into over 4,600 discrete collections; the collection can be found in Wilson Library on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Materials are non-circulating due to rarity and fragility; the collections held in the Southern Historical Collection are described in online and print finding aids, which contain information on the history or background of the entity that created the collection, as well as a description or list of most of the materials in the collection itself. Some of the subject strengths of the collection include: Social activism Communities Labor Civil rights Slavery Journalism FamilyTime periods chiefly represented in the SHC include: Antebellum plantation era American Civil War Reconstruction The New South The Jim Crow South The South since 1954 The Southern Historical Collection SHC 75th Anniversary News Release SHC on public radio station WUNC Digital Collections at UNC The Southern Folklife Collection General Manuscripts The Southern Historical Collection at Google Cultural Institute
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
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