South Carolina
The War Between the States

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  • 1863
    [Under construction]

    January 1863

    Jan 1, 1863 - President Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates and emphasizes the enlisting of black soldiers in the Union Army. The war to preserve the Union now becomes a revolutionary struggle for the abolition of slavery. NARA Online Exhibit Explains how limited the "emancipation" really was and why the character of the war was changed from "states' rights" to "abolition of slavery".

    Jan 25, 1863 - The president appoints Gen. Joseph ("Fighting Joe") Hooker as Commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Burnside.

    Jan 29, 1863 - Gen. Grant is placed in command of the Army of the West, with orders to capture Vicksburg.

    March 1863

    March 3, 1863 - The U.S. Congress enacts a draft, affecting male citizens aged 20 to 45, but also exempts those who pay $300 or provide a substitute. "The blood of a poor man is as precious as that of the wealthy," poor Northerners complain.

    April 1863

    April 7, 1863 - Charleston Harbor

    May 1863

    April 30-May 6, 1863 - Chancellorsville Campaign - The Union Army under Gen. Hooker is decisively defeated by Lee's much smaller forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia as a result of Lee's brilliant and daring tactics. Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson is mortally wounded by his own soldiers. Hooker retreats. Union losses are 17,000 killed, wounded and missing out of 130,000. The Confederates, 13,000 out of 60,000.

    "I just lost confidence in Joe Hooker," said Hooker later about his own lack of nerve during the battle.

    The Horrors of War
    Confederate soldiers at the Sunken Road, killed during the fighting at Marye's Heights, near Chancellorsville.

    May 3, 1863 - Fredericksburg II/Marye's Heights
    May 3, 1863 - Hazel Grove
    May 3-4, 1863 - Salem Church / Banks' Ford

    May 10, 1863 - The South suffers a huge blow as Stonewall Jackson dies from his wounds, his last words, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."

    "I have lost my right arm," Lee laments.

    May 1863 -- The Vicksburg Campaign.
    Union General Grant won several victories around Vicksburg, Mississippi, the fortified city considered essential to the Union's plans to regain control of the Mississippi River. On May 22, Grant began a siege of the city. After six weeks, Confederate General John Pemberton surrendered, giving up the city and 30,000 men. The capture of Port Hudson, Louisiana, shortly thereafter placed the entire Mississippi River in Union hands. The Confederacy was split in two.

    June 1863
    June 2 - Combahee River

    June 3, 1863 - Gen. Lee with 75,000 Confederates launches his second invasion of the North, heading into Pennsylvania in a campaign that will soon lead to Gettysburg.

    June 28, 1863 - President Lincoln appoints Gen. George G. Meade as commander of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Hooker. Meade is the 5th man to command the Union Army in less than a year.

    July 1863

    July 1-3, 1863 - Battle of Gettysburg
    The tide of war turns against the South as the Confederates are defeated at a little town in Pennsylvania.

    July 4, 1863 - Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, surrenders to Gen. Grant and the Army of the West after a six week siege. With the Union now in control of the Mississippi, the Confederacy is effectively split in two, cut off from its western allies.

    July - September 1863 -- Charleston Harbor
    July 10-11, 1863 - Fort Wagner
    July 16, 1863 - Grimballís Landing (Charleston and James Island)

    July 18-September 7, 1863 - Fort Wagner/Morris Island
    'Negro troops' of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment under Col. Robert G. Shaw spearhead the assault against fortified Rebels at Fort Wagner, South Carolina. Col. Shaw and half of the 600 men in the regiment are killed.

    August 17-December 31, 1863 - Fort Sumter

    September 1863

    September 7-8, 1863 - Charleston Harbor

    Sept 19-20, 1863 - Chickamauga
    A decisive Confederate victory by Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Chickamauga leaves Gen. William S. Rosecrans' Union Army of the Cumberland trapped in Chattanooga, Tennessee under Confederate siege.

    September-November 1863 - Chattanooga Siege
    After Rosecrans' debacle at Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863, Confederate General Braxton Bragg's army occupied the mountains that ring the vital railroad center of Chattanooga. Grant, brought in to save the situation, steadily built up offensive strength, and on November 23-25 burst the blockade in a series of brilliantly executed attacks.

    October 1863

    Oct 16, 1863 - The president appoints Gen. Grant to command all operations in the western theater.

    November 1863

    November 16 - Campbell's Station

    Nov 19, 1863 - Gettysburg Address President Lincoln delivers a two minute speech, now known as the Gettysburg Address, at a ceremony dedicating the Battlefield as a National Cemetery.
    Gettysburg Address Page One, as written by Lincoln
    Gettysburg Address Page Two

    Nov 23-25, 1863 - The Rebel siege of Chattanooga ends as Union forces under Grant defeat the siege army of Gen. Braxton Bragg. During the battle, one of the most dramatic moments of the war occurs. Yelling "Chickamauga! Chickamauga!" Union troops avenge their previous defeat at Chickamauga by storming up the face of Missionary Ridge without orders and sweep the Rebels from what had been thought to be an impregnable position. "My God, come and see 'em run!" a Union soldier cries.

    November-December, 1863 - Knoxville Siege
    The difficult strategic situation of the federal armies after Chickamauga enabled Bragg to detach a force under Longstreet to drive Burnside out of eastern Tennessee. Burnside sought refuge in Knoxville, which he successfully defended from Confederate assaults.

    November 29, 1863 - Fort Sanders (Tennessee)

    December 1863

    December 14, 1863 - Bean's Station (Tennessee)


    These CSA pages online since December 11, 1996.

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