1863 Civil War History


Abraham Lincoln

1863 Civil War History for Kids
Civil War History started
April 12, 1861 and continued until May 10, 1865. The Civil War History guides you through the major events and the battles in the "War Between the States" during the year of 1863. The year started with the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln. Famous battles included the bloody conflicts at Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga and ended in November with the Battle of Chattanooga. President Lincoln was also faced with Northern Opposition to the War, which he answered with the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, and the Draft Riots in New York.

1863 Civil War History
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th American President who served in office from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865. This article provides interesting short facts and
information about the 1863 Civil War History, the third year of the conflict.


1863 - The Third Year of War
This article on the 1863 Civil War History is designed to provide a simple, short history of the events that occured during 1863, the third year in Civil War history.
Links are available providing access to detailed facts and information on specific events, such as the Emancipation Proclamation, the Draft Riots, Battle of Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg, but this article provides kids and students with a basic, short overview and introduction to the history of the year of 1863 in the Civil War.

Access the short history of the other Civil War years from the above Civil War History links for each year by which kids and students can obtain a short summary of the 1863 Civil War history in just five fast web pages. Did you know that 186,000 Black-American soldiers served in the Union Army?

1863 Civil War History: Contents

Emancipation Proclamation
Position of the armies
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act
Battle of Chancellorsville
The Siege of Vicksburg
The Battle of Gettysburg
Port Hudson surrenders
Opening of the Mississippi
The Draft Riots
Battle of Chickamauga
Battle of Chattanooga
1863 Battlefields

Black Soldier - City Point, Virginia

1863 Civil War History: Background History and Information
The second year of Civil War History had witnessed terrible, bloody battles including the Battle of Antietam, Corinth and the history of the year had ended with the Battle of Fredericksburg. In the midst of all the carnage President Lincoln had taken the first steps toward Emancipation when, on September 23, 1862, he issued a proclamation stating that on the first day of the new year he would declare all slaves free in any portion of the United States that were still in rebellion.

1863 Civil War History: The Emancipation Proclamation (History of January 1863)
The 1863 Civil War History started
when President Lincoln kept to his word from the proclamation in the previous year and issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.  The Emancipation Proclamation could, however, only be enforced in those parts of the seceded states that were held by the Union armies. The Emancipation Proclamation did not in fact abolish the institution of slavery anywhere. The final Abolition of Slavery had  to wait until January 31, 1865, when it was abolished throughout the whole of the United States by the adoption of the 13th Amendment.

1863 Civil War History: The Position of the Armies in January 1863
The January 1863 the Civil War history of the battlefields continued
. In the East, the Army of the Potomac, now under the command of Major General "Fighting Joe" Hooker, were face to face with General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia at Fredericksburg in Virginia. In the West,  Union General William Starke Rosecrans was at Murfreesboro', and Confederate General Braxton Bragg was on the way back to Chattanooga. In the Mississippi Valley Ulysses Grant and General Sherman had already begun the Vicksburg campaign...

1862 Civil War History: The Writ of Habeas Corpus Suspended (History in March 1863)
Meanwhile the history of politics during the Civil War began to unfold. There was Northern Opposition to the War. Many people in the North believed that the Southerners had a perfect right to secede from the Union if they wanted to. Northern sympathizers of the South passed on important information to the Confederacy and did all they could to prevent the success of the Union forces. It was hard to prove anything against these Southern sympathizers, but it was dangerous to leave them at liberty. President Lincoln therefore ordered many of the Southern sympathizers to be arrested and imprisoned. The Constitution provides that every citizen shall have a speedy trial which is is brought about by the issuing a writ of habeas corpus.  A writ of habeas corpus compels the jailer to bring his prisoner into court and show just cause why he should not be set at liberty. President Lincoln suspended the operation of the writ of habeas corpus. This action angered many Northerners who although were quite willing that the Southerners should be compelled to obey the law, strongly objected to having their neighbors arrested and locked up without trial. The Habeas Corpus Suspension Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863 and led to considerable unrest in the North.

1863 Civil War History: The Battle of Chancellorsville (History of May 1863)
The Battle of Chancellorsville, Va. was fought May 1-4, 1863 between
General Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac and General Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson and the Army of Northern Virginia. The Confederate leaders, Lee and Jackson then executed one of the boldest plans in the history of the Civil War. Jackson, with 30,000 Confederates, circled the Union on the right and conducted a surprise  attack on their exposed flank driving the stunned Union army back. He then turned east and defeated a separate Union force near Salem Church. General Robert E. Lee's victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville is widely considered to be his greatest in the entire history of the Civil war, but was also greeted with sadness in the Confederacy due the mortal wounding of Stonewall Jackson and his subsequent death on May 10, 1863.

1863 Civil War History: Lee invades Pennsylvania
Following the Battle at Chancellorsville General Lee again crossed the Potomac and invaded the North. This time he penetrated to the heart of Pennsylvania. General Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac moved on parallel lines, always keeping between Lee's Confederate soldiers and the city of Washington. In the midst of the campaign, General Hooker asked to be relieved, and George Gordon Meade became the fifth and last chief of the Army of the Potomac.

1863 Civil War History: The Siege of Vicksburg (History of May-July)
Meanwhile the
Vicksburg Campaign in Mississippi was proving a difficult proposition for General Grant. The town of Vicksburg stood on the top of a steep headland directly on the river. Artillery fortifications had been erected at under the Confederate command of under Lt. Gen. John Pemberton on the northern end of the town overlooking the river. General Grant attacked overland from Corinth but the Confederates kept forcing him back. General Grant finally he marched his army down on the western side of the river, crossed it below Vicksburg, and approached the fortress from the south and east. He was greatly helped by the Union fleet under Admiral David Dixon Porter, whose ships protected the army while crossing the river. John Pemberton, the Confederate commander, immediately came out from Vicksburg to meet the Union army. However, General Grant drove him back and began the siege of  Vicksburg from the land side. The Siege of Vicksburg was fought between May 18-July 4, 1863. The Confederates made a gallant defense but slowly and surely they were starved into submission. On July 4, 1863, Lt. Gen. John Pemberton and over 31,000 men surrendered the fortress at Vicksburg.

1863 Civil War History: Gettysburg (History of July 1863)
Battle of Gettysburg. Pa. was fought July 1 to 3, 1863 by George Gordon Meade (1815 – 1872) leading the Union Army of the Potomac against the Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. After fierce fighting General Lee was forced to retreat on July 4, 1863. The Battle of Gettysburg cost the South another 31,000 fighting men. Following his crushing defeat at Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee sent a letter of resignation to President Jefferson Davis on August 8, 1863. President Davis refused Lee's request.

1863 Civil War History: Port Hudson surrenders - The Opening of the Mississippi (History of July 1863)
Port Hudson, Louisiana, located between Vicksburg and New Orleans, was now the only important Confederate position on the Mississippi. The Siege of Port Hudson occurred from May 22 to July 9, 1863 at the Confederate garrison of Port Hudson, under General Franklin Gardner that was besieged by Union Army troops led by General Grant and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks.  The siege lasted for 48 days. On July 9, 1863, after hearing of the fall of Vicksburg, the Confederate garrison of Port Hudson. surrendered, opening the Mississippi River to Union navigation and the Confederacy was cut in two.

1862 Civil War History: The Draft Riots (History of July 1863)
history of politics during the Civil War took a sour turn between July 13–16, 1863 with the outbreak of the New York City draft riots. Many of the rioters were Southern sympathizers. At the start of the Civil War both the Union and Confederate armies were made up of volunteers. However, as the number of conflicts escalated soon there were not enough volunteers. Both the governments in the North and South drafted men for their armies. Men between 20-45 years of age were picked out by lot and compelled them to become soldiers. The draft was bitterly resisted in some parts of the North, especially in New York City. Rioters torched government buildings and fought pitched battles with troops diverted by President Lincoln from following up the Battle of Gettysburg. Tension in the northern city eased and support for the South declined.

1863 Civil War History: Battle of Chickamauga (History of September 1863)
The 1863 Civil War History returns to the battlefield with the Battle of Chickamauga, Ga. on September 19-20, 1863 between the forces of
Union General William Starke Rosecrans and Confederate General Braxton Bragg. For 6 months after Murfreesboro' General Rosecrans and Bragg remained in their respective camps. In the summer of 1863 General Rosecrans, by a series of skillful marching, forced General Bragg to abandon Chattanooga. But the forces of General Bragg were now greatly strengthened by soldiers from the Mississippi and by the division of Confederate General James Longstreet's from Lee's army in Virginia. General Bragg turned on Rosecrans, and attacked him at Chickamauga Creek. The right wing of the Union army was driven from the field. But Union General George Henry Thomas, "the Rock of Chickamauga," held his ground. The Confederate General Bragg attacked Thomas again and again but failed every time despite having twice the number of soldiers. The other Union General Rosecrans, believing the battle to be lost, had left the battleground for Chattanooga in Tennessee. General Thomas was victorious at the Battle of Chickamauga and was given command of the whole Union army at Chattanooga, where he was destined to once again face General Braxton Bragg.

1863 Civil War History: Battle of Chattanooga (History of November 1863)
Union soldiers at the Battle of Chattanooga were at first in dire straights. They were surrounded by Confederate forces under General Bragg and were unable to get more supplies of food. Then General "Fighting Joe" Hooker, with 15,000 men from the Army of the Potomac, arrived and opened a road by which food could be transported to Chattanooga. Then General Ulysses Grant came with Sherman's corps from Vicksburg. Grant dispatched Sherman to attack Bragg's right flank and ordered Hooker to attack his left flank. Bragg's men were caught in the middle. The Union troops were eager to avenge the defeat Chickamauga in which over 16,000 Union soldiers had been lost. Without orders, they rushed up the hillside over the inner lines. They then shelled soldiers and civilians in church. The Union soldiers achieved victory at the Battle of Chattanooga. General Bragg had no alternative but to abandon Chattanooga and marched his Army of Tennessee into Georgia where the history of the Civil War would roll into the next year...

1863 Civil War History
So ends the major events and battles of the 1863 Civil War history - details of the major battlefields of 1863 are provided below but to continue the story click 1864 Civil War History.


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1863 Civil War History: Major Battlefields in 1863 (Over 500 men)
The following chart provides the details of the numbers of soldiers from the North and South who were killed, wounded, and missing in Engagements in the major battlefields in 1863 Civil War history in which over 500 men were involved in the conflict (the numbers of Confederate troops are estimated.

Date Name of Battle and Location   Killed Wounded Missing Total
Union Loss
CSA Loss
January 1, 1863 Galveston, Texas   - - 600 600 50
January 11, 1863 Fort Hindman, Arkansas Post, Ark.   129 831 17 977 5,500
March 4-5, 1863 Thompson's Station, Tenn.   100 300 1,306 1,706 600
April 27-May 3, 1863 Streight's raid from Tuscumbia, Ala., to Rome, Ga.   12 69 1,466 1,547 -
May 1, 1863 Port Gibson, Miss.   130 718 5 853 1,650
May 1-4, 1863 Chancellorsville, Va.   1,512 9,518 5,000 16,030 12,281
May 16, 1863 Champion Mills, Miss.   426 1,842 189 2,457 4,300
May 18-July 4, 1863 Siege of Vicksburg, Miss.   545 3,688 303 4,536 31,277
May 27-July 9, 1863 Siege of Port Hudson, La.   500 2,500 - 3,000 7,208
June 6-8, 1863 Milliken's Bend, La.   154 223 115 492 725
June 9, 1863 Beverly Ford and Brandy Station, Va.   - - - 500 700
June 13-15, 1863 Winchester, Va.   - - 3,000 3,000 850
June 23-30, 1863 Rosecrans' campaign from Murfreesboro' to Tullahoma, Tenn.   85 462 13 560 1,634
July 1 to 3, 1863 Gettysburg, Pa.   2,834 13,709 6,643 23,186 31,621
July 9-16, 1863 Jackson, Miss.   100 800 100 1000 1,339
July 18, 1863 Second assault Fort Wagner, S. C   - - - 1,500 174
September 19-20, 1863 Chickamauga, Ga.   1,644 9,262 4,945 15,851 17,804
November 3, 1863 Grand Coteau, La.   26 124 576 726 445
November 6, 1863 Rogersville, Tenn.   5 12 650 667 30
November 23-25, 1863 Chattanooga, Tenn.; includes Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge.   757 4,529 330 5,616 8,684
November 26 to 28, 1863 Operations at Mine Run, Va.   100 400 - 500 500
December 14, 1863 Bean's Station, Tenn.   - - - 700 900
Date Name of Battle and Location   Killed Wounded Missing Union Loss Confederate Loss

1863 Civil War History - President Abraham Lincoln Video
The article on the 1863 Civil War History provides an overview of this year of the American Civil War during his presidential term in office. The following Abraham Lincoln video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 16th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865.




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Abraham Lincoln Presidency from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865
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