On This Day

Historical Events in 1863

  • Jan 1 1st homestead under the Homestead Act claimed, near Beatrice, Nebraska
  • Jan 1 Battle of Galveston, Texas-Confederates recapture the city

Music History

Jan 1 Franz Schubert's "Missa Solemnis," premieres in Leipzig

  • Jan 2 Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone's River) ends
  • Jan 4 4 wheeled roller skates patented by James Plimpton of NY
  • Jan 4 The New Apostolic Church is established in Germany
  • Jan 8 American Civil War: Second Battle of Springfield
  • Jan 9 -Jan 11th] Battle of Arkansas Post, AR (Ft Hindman)
  • Jan 10 1st underground railway opens in London
  • Jan 10 General McClernand's Union troops surround Fort Hindman, Arkansas
  • Jan 10 January uprising begins in Poland
  • Jan 11 Naval engagement near Galveston between CSS Alabama & USS Hatteras
  • Jan 11 Union forces capture Arkansas Post, or Ft Hindman, Arkansas
  • Jan 12 President Davis delivers his "State of Confederacy" address
  • Jan 13 Chenille yarn making machine patented by William Canter in NYC
  • Jan 14 Battle between gunboats at Bayou Teche, Louisiana
  • Jan 15 1st US newspaper printed on wood-pulp paper, Boston Morning Journal
  • Jan 16 -Aug 23rd) Cruise of CSS Florida
  • Jan 17 Civil War skirmish near Newtown, Virginia
  • Jan 19 General Mieroslawski appointed dictator of Poland
  • Jan 21 City of Dublin leases part of Cattle Market for 100,000 years
  • Jan 22 Union General Burnside's "Mud March"
  • Jan 22 January Uprising begins in Poland, prompted a rebellion against conscription into the Russian army
  • Jan 25 General Joseph Hooker replaces Burnside as head of Army of Potomac
  • Jan 26 American Civil War: Massachusetts Governor receives permission from Secretary of War to raise a militia organization for men of African descent (54th Massachusetts Regiment)
  • Jan 29 Bear River Massacre: American soldiers slaughter hundreds of Native Americans at the confluence of the Bear River and Beaver Creek in present day Idaho
  • Jan 31 1st black Civil War regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, mustered into US army

Historic Event

Feb 3 Samuel Clemens first uses the pen name Mark Twain in a Virginia City newspaper, the "Territorial Enterprise"

  • Feb 7 HMS Orpheus sinks off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, killing 189
  • Feb 10 1st US fire extinguisher patent granted to Alanson Crane of Virginia
  • Feb 24 Arizona Territory created
  • Feb 24 Forrest's raid on Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Feb 25 Congress creates national banking system, comptroller of currency

Historic Event

Feb 26 Abraham Lincoln signs National Currency Act, establishes single national US currency

  • Feb 28 Confederate raider "Nashville" sinks near Fort McAllister, Georgia

Historic Event

Mar 3 US Congress authorizes track width of 4'8½" for Union Pacific Railroad

  • Mar 3 1st US wartime military conscription bill enacted
  • Mar 3 Abraham Lincoln approves charter for National Academy of Sciences
  • Mar 3 Congress authorizes a US mint at Carson City, Nevada
  • Mar 3 Federal ironclad ships bombard Fort McAllister, Georgia
  • Mar 3 Free city delivery replaces zone postage; 449 letter carriers hired
  • Mar 3 Gold certificates (currency) authorized by US Congress
  • Mar 3 Idaho Territory forms
  • Mar 4 Battle of Thompson's Station, Tennessee
  • Mar 4 Territory of Idaho established
  • Mar 11 25th Grand National: George Stevens wins his 2nd GN aboard 4/1 Emblem; winning mare's full sister Emblematic wins the following year
  • Mar 17 Battle of Kelly's Ford, Virginia with 211 causalities
  • Mar 19 Confederate cruiser SS Georgiana destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, and medicines then valued over $1,000,000. Wreck discovered exactly 102 years later by teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence.
  • Mar 21 Naval Engagement at Havana, Cuba: USS Henrick Hudson vs Confederate blokcade runner Wild Pigeon

Historic Event

Mar 25 1st US Army Medal of Honor awarded to six army soldiers by US Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in Washington

  • Mar 25 Skirmish at Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Mar 26 Voters in West Virginia approve gradual emancipation of slaves

Historic Event

Mar 27 American Confederate President Jefferson Davis calls for this to be a day of fasting & prayer

  • Mar 30 Danish prince Wilhelm Georg of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg chosen as king George of Greece
  • Mar 31 Battle of Grand Gulf, Mississippi and Dinwiddie Court House, Virginia
  • Apr 1 1st wartime conscription law in US goes into effect
  • Apr 2 Bread revolt in Richmond, Virginia
  • Apr 7 Battle of Charleston, South Carolina failed Federal fleet attack on Fort Sumter
  • Apr 10 Confederate General Earl Van Dorn attacks at Franklin, Tennessee
  • Apr 11 Battle of Suffolk, Virginia (Norfleet House)
  • Apr 12 -14] Gunboat battle at Bayou Teche, Louisiana
  • Apr 13 Battle of Irish Bend, Louisiana (Fort Bisland)
  • Apr 13 Society for the Relief of the Ruptured and Crippled is incorporated in the State of New York
  • Apr 14 American inventor William Bullock patents continuous-roll printing press
  • Apr 17 Grierson's raid begins as Colonel Grierson and 1700 horse troopers set off from La Grange, Tennessee
  • Apr 19 Union troops and fleet occupy For Huger, Virginia
  • Apr 21 Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith, enters garden of Rivden near Baghdad. He makes his declaration as a Messenger of God during the 12 days spent there
  • Apr 24 Skirmish at Okolona and Birmingham, Mississippi (Grierson's Raid)
  • Apr 27 Battle of Streight's raid: Tuscumbia to Cedar Bluff, AL
  • Apr 29 Battle of Grand Gulf, Mississippi: Union navy ironclad warships attack Confederate fortifications

Victory in Battle

Apr 30 Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia: In a major victory General Robert E. Lee's troops defeat larger Army of the Potomac under Major General Joseph Hooker, Stonewall Jackson is fatally wounded

Victory in Battle

Apr 30 -5/1] Battle of Snyder's Bluff, Virginia (part of the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War): General Sherman beaten by Confederate forces

  • Apr 30 Mexican forces attacked the French Foreign Legion in Hacienda Camarón, Mexico.
  • May 1 Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled first opens its doors in New York City, oldest orthopaedic hospital in the United States
  • May 1 Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, 29,000 injured or died
  • May 1 Battle of Port Gibson, Mississippi
  • May 1 Confederate "National Flag" replaces "Stars & Bars"
  • May 1 Confederate congress passes resolution to kill black soldiers
  • May 2 South defeats North in Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia

Historic Event

May 2 Stonewall Jackson attacking Chancellorsville is wounded by his own men

  • May 3 Battle of Salem Church, Virginia
  • May 3 The Second Battle of Fredericksburg occurs in Virginia, part of the Chancellorsville Campaign of the American Civil War
  • May 4 U.S. Civil War: Battle of Chancellorsville, action at Salem Church; Union Army withdraws
  • May 5 Irish boxer Joe Coburn KOs American Mike McCoole in the 67th round in his first defence of Heavyweight C'ship of America in Charlestown, Maryland
  • May 8 Confederación Granadina becomes Estados Unidos de Colombia
  • May 12 Battle of Raymond, Mississippi
  • May 14 American Civil War: The Battle of Jackson, Mississippi takes place

Historic Event

May 15 Salon des Refusés opens in Paris, exhibition of works rejected by official Salon, features Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Henri Fantin-Latour, James Whistler, and Édouard Manet

  • May 16 Battle of Champion's Hill, Mississippi - bloodiest action of Vicksburg Campaign
  • May 17 Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi
  • May 17 Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, her first book in the Galician language

Battle of Interest

May 18 US General Ulysses S. Grant begins siege on Vicksburg, Mississippi; after 47 days of battle siege, Confederate Lt. General John C. Pemberton’s troops surrender [1]

  • May 19 Siege of Vicksburg, investment of city complete
  • May 21 Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, begins
  • May 22 War Department establishes Bureau of Colored Troops
  • May 23 Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan
  • May 27 US Civil War: Confederate gunboat CSS Chattahoochee steam boiler explosion kills 19 crew members on the Apalachicola River, near Blountstown, Florida
  • May 27 US Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson in Louisiana by Union forces begins; lasts 48 days, longest American military siege
  • May 28 1st black regiment (54 Mass) leaves Boston to fight in US Civil War

Historic Event

Jun 2 Harriet Tubman leads Union guerrillas into Maryland, freeing slaves

  • Jun 5 Battle of Franklin's Crossing, Virginia (Deep Run)
  • Jun 5 CSS Alabama captures "Talisman" in the Mid Atlantic
  • Jun 6 Battle of Milliken's Bend, Louisiana and Williamsport, Maryland
  • Jun 7 Battle of Milliken's Bend, Lousisiana, Jefferson Davis' home burnt
  • Jun 7 Mexico City captured by French troops
  • Jun 9 Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia (Fleetwood, Beverly Ford)

Victory in Battle

Jun 10 Battle of Brice's Crossroads, Miss; Nathan Bedford Forrest w/3500 defeats 8000 Feds

  • Jun 13 Second Battle of Winchester, Virginia
  • Jun 13 Samuel Butler publishes 1st part of "Erewhon" in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Jun 13 Skirmish at Berryville, Virginia
  • Jun 14 Battle of 2nd Winchester, Virginia
  • Jun 15 Second Battle at Winchester Virginia, ends in Federal defeat; 1350 casualties
  • Jun 17 Battle at Middleburg, Virginia
  • Jun 17 Battle of Aldie, Confederates fail to drive back Union in Virginia
  • Jun 17 Naval Engagement at Warsaw Sound GA-USS Weehawken vs CSS Atlanta
  • Jun 17 Travelers Insurance Co of Hartford chartered (1st accident insurer)
  • Jun 18 After long neglect, Confederates hurriedly fortify Vicksburg
  • Jun 19 Battle at Middleburg Virginia (100+ casualties)
  • Jun 20 1st bank chartered in US (National Bank of Davenport Iowa)
  • Jun 20 Skirmish at Greencastle, Pennsylvania
  • Jun 20 West Virginia admitted as 35th US state of the Union
  • Jun 21 Battle at Upperville, Virginia, Union forces hold off Confederate advance, 389 causalities
  • Jun 23 Tullahoma campaign, Tennessee
  • Jun 24 Planning an invasion of Pennsylvania, Lee's army crosses Potomac
  • Jun 25 US General George Meade replaces General Hooker to be more aggressive
  • Jun 27 Skirmish at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia
  • Jun 29 Battle at Westminster, Maryland: Federal assault

Appointment of Interest

Jun 29 George Armstrong Custer, aged 23, appointed Union Brigadier General

  • Jun 29 Confederate General Robert Lee orders his forces to concentrate near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Jun 29 Very 1st First National Bank opens in Davenport, Iowa
  • Jun 30 Battles in Hanover, Pennsylvania: 80 casualties
  • Jun 30 Dutch colony Suriname counts population of 33,000 slaves
  • Jun 30 Skirmish at Sporting Hill, Pennsylvania
  • Jul 1 -2] Battle at Baltimore: Crump's Crossroads Virginia
  • Jul 1 Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Lee's northward advance halted
  • Jul 1 Free city delivery of mail begins in 49 US cities; postage 3 cents per oz
  • Jul 1 Slavery abolished in Dutch territories including Sint Maarten, Suriname and the Dutch Antilles, (now marked as Keti Koti Day in Suriname and the Netherlands)
  • Jul 2 2nd day of the Battle of Gettysburg (US Civil War)
  • Jul 2 R Morgan's: Burksville, Kentucky to Salineville, Ohio [->JUL 26]
  • Jul 3 American Civil War: Battle of Donaldsonville, Louisiana
  • Jul 3 Battle of Gettysburg, largest battle ever fought on the American continent, ends in a major victory for the Union during the US Civil War
  • Jul 4 Boise, Idaho, founded (now capital of Idaho)
  • Jul 4 Failed Confederate assault on Helena Arkansas (640 casualties)
  • Jul 4 General Lee's army withdraws from Gettysburg
  • Jul 4 Skirmish at Smithburg, Tennessee
  • Jul 4 Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to Union forces
  • Jul 5 Battle of Jackson, Mississippi and Battle of Birdsong Ferry, Mississippi
  • Jul 6 Battle of Williamsport, Maryland [-Jul 07]
  • Jul 6 Northern Territory passes from New South Wales to South Australia
  • Jul 7 1st military draft by US (exemptions cost $100)
  • Jul 7 Orders barring Jews from serving under US General Ulysses S. Grant are revoked
  • Jul 9 Confederate John Hunt Morgan begins his cavalry aid into Indiana by leading 2,100 men across the Ohio river
  • Jul 9 Union troops enter Port Hudson
  • Jul 10 Battle of Charleston, South Carolina (Morris Island) [->SEP 06]
  • Jul 10 Battle of Jackson, Mississippi - captured by federals [->JUL 16]
  • Jul 11 Battle at Green River, Kentucky (Morgan's Ohio Raid)
  • Jul 11 Japanese battle cruiser shoots at Dutch warship Medusa, kills 4
  • Jul 12 In New Zealand, British forces invade Waikato, home of the Maori King Movement, beginning a new phase of the wars between Maori and Colonial British
  • Jul 13 Anti-draft mobs lynch blacks in NYC; about 1,000 die
  • Jul 13 Battle of Bayou La Fourche, Louisiana
  • Jul 13 Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi (Harrisburg) [->JUL 15]
  • Jul 13 Rebellion at Morgan's, Ohio [->JUL 26]
  • Jul 14 Battle of Falling Waters, Maryland (Beaver Creek)
  • Jul 14 Jews of Holstein Germany granted equality
  • Jul 15 President Davis orders service duty for confederate army
  • Jul 16 Utrecht-Swells railway opens
  • Jul 17 Battle of Honey Springs - largest battle in Indian Territory
  • Jul 17 Māori forces are defeated by British troops at Koheroa, Waikato, in the New Zealand Wars between Maori tribes and British colonials
  • Jul 18 Battle of Fort Wagner, South Carolina - Second assault
  • Jul 19 Battle of Buffington's Island (St George Creek), Ohio
  • Jul 23 Alexandra Park opens in North London, England
  • Jul 24 Battle at Battle Mountain, Virginia
  • Jul 25 Skirmish at Barbee's Crossroads, Virginia
  • Jul 26 Battle of Salineville Ohio: Confederate cavarly leader John Hunt Morgan and 364 troops surrender to Union forces after a 17-day unauthorised raid through Indiana and Ohio
  • Jul 30 President Abraham Lincoln issues "eye-for-eye" order to shoot a rebel prisoner for every black prisoner shot
  • Jul 30 Indian Wars: Chief Pocatello of the Shoshone tribe signs the Treaty of Box Elder, promising to stop harassing the emigrant trails in southern Idaho and northern Utah
  • Aug 1 Battle of Little Rock, Arkansas; start of Chattanooga campaign
  • Aug 1 Cavalry action near Brandy Station-End of Gettysburg Campaign
  • Aug 3 Governor Seymour asks Lincoln to suspend draft in NY
  • Aug 8 American Civil War: Tennessee's "military" Governor Andrew Johnson frees his personal slaves. Celebrated as a holiday by Tennessee African Americans (early 20th century)
  • Aug 9 Skirmish at Calfkiller Creek, Tennessee - Union troops attack Confederate scouts
  • Aug 11 Cambodia becomes French protectorate
  • Aug 12 1st cargo of lumber leaves Burrard Inlet (Vancouver, BC)
  • Aug 15 Submarine "HL Hunley" arrives in Charleston on railroad cars
  • Aug 15 The Anglo-Satsuma War begins between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom (Traditional Japanese date: July 2, 1863).
  • Aug 16 Chickamauga campaign of the US Civil War begins in Georgia
  • Aug 17 Federal batteries & ships attacked Fort Sumter in SC
  • Aug 21 Raid at Lawrence KS by William Quantrill
  • Aug 26 Battle of Rocky Gap, West Virginia (White Sulphur Springs): Colonel George S. Patton's Confederate forces defeat Union brigade advance
  • Sep 1 6th Ohio Cavalry ambush at Barbees Crossroads Virginia
  • Sep 1 Federal troops reconquer Fort Smith Arkansas
  • Sep 1 Rail & ferry connection between San Francisco & Oakland inaugurated
  • Sep 5 Bread revolt in Mobile, Alabama
  • Sep 6 -7] After 59 day siege Confederate troops vacate Fort Wagner SC (1700 casualties)
  • Sep 7 Federal naval expedition arrives off Sabine Pass
  • Sep 8 -10] Federal troops reconquer the Cumperland Gap, Tennessee
  • Sep 8 Battle of Sabine Pass Texas: 47 Texas volunteers repel Federal forces
  • Sep 8 Battle of Telford's Depot, Tennessee
  • Sep 9 Battle of Cumberland Gap, TN