What Happened in December 1863

Historical Events

Historic Siege

Dec 3 Confederate General James Longstreet abandons his siege at Knoxville, TN

  • Dec 8 2,500 reported killed as result of fire at Jesuit Church of La Compana, Santiago, Chile

Historic Event

Dec 8 Abraham Lincoln issues his Amnesty Proclamation and plan for Reconstruction of the South

  • Dec 14 Battle of Bean's Station-Confederacy repulses Union in Tennessee
  • Dec 15 Romania's mountain railway, from Anina to Oravita, opens
  • Dec 15 Skirmish at Bean's Station, Tennessee (Knoxville Campaign)

Appointment of Interest

Dec 16 Braxton Bragg is replaced by Joseph E. Johnston as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee


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Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 2 Charles Ringling, American circus owner (Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus), born in McGregor, Iowa (d. 1926)
  • Dec 2 Gustav Wohlgemuth, German composer, born in Leipzig, Germany (d. 1937)
  • Dec 5 Paul Painlevé, French Prime Minister (1917, 1925), born in Paris (d. 1933)
  • Dec 6 Charles Martin Hall, American chemist and investor, born in Thompson, Ohio (d. 1914)
  • Dec 7 Felix Calonder, Swiss politician (Free Democratic Party), born in Scuol, Switzerland
  • Dec 7 John Ebenezer West, English composer, born in Hackney, London (d. 1929)
  • Dec 7 Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer (Cavalleria Rusticana), born in Livorno, Italy (d. 1945)
  • Dec 7 Svetolik Ranković, Serbian writer (Forest King), born in Velika Moštanica, Principality of Serbia (d. 1899)

Annie Jump Cannon

Dec 11 Annie Jump Cannon, American stellar spectroscopist (Harvard-classification), born in Dover, Delaware (d. 1941)

Edvard Munch

Dec 12 Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter and print maker (The Scream), born in Ådalsbruk, Løten, Norway (d. 1944)

  • Dec 13 Johannes Weiss, German New Testament scholar, born in Kiel, Germany (d. 1914)
  • Dec 15 Arthur Dehon Little, American chemist (patented rayon), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1935)
  • Dec 16 George Santayana, Spanish philosopher/poet/humanist (Last Puritan)
  • Dec 16 Ralph Adams Cram, American gothic architect (Cathedral of St Joan NYC)
  • Dec 17 Ion Vidu, Romanian composer and conductor, born in Mânerău, Arad district (d. 1931)

Franz Ferdinand

Dec 18 Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria whose assassination in 1914 led to declarations of war in WWI, born in Graz, Austria (d. 1914)

  • Dec 22 Jean-Baptiste Marchand, French military officer & explorer in Africa, born in Thoissey, France (d. 1934)
  • Dec 25 Charles Pathé, French pioneer of film and record industries (Pathé Brothers, 1896), born in Paris, France (d. 1957)
  • Dec 31 Alfredo Panzini, Italian author (Dizionario Moderno), born in Senigallia, Italy (d. 1939)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Jane Appleton Pierce, American 1st lady (1853-57) and wife of Franklin Pierce, dies of tuberculosis at 57
  • Dec 13 Friedrich Hebbel, writer, dies at 50
  • Dec 22 Michael Corcoran, Union brigadier general, dies at 36
  • Dec 24 William Makepeace Thackeray, British novelist (Vanity Fair), dies at 52