From Academic Kids
1863 is a common year starting on Thursday.
1860 1861 1862 - 1863 - 1864 1865 1866
| Decades: |
1830s 1840s 1850s - 1860s - 1870s 1880s 1890s
| Centuries: |
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
- January 1 - Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation during the second year of the American Civil War making slavery's abolition in the rebel states an official war goal.
- January 1 - The first claim under the Homestead Act is made for a farm in Nebraska
- January 8 - Ground is broken in Sacramento, CA on the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States.
- January 11 - American Civil War: Battle of Arkansas Post - General John McClernand and Admiral David Porter capture the Arkansas River for the Union.
- January 10 - The first section of the London Underground Railway opens (Paddington to Farringdon Street).
- January 22 - The January Uprising broke out in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. The aim of the national movement was to regain Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth from occupation of Russia.
- February 10 - The world-famous midgets General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren get married in New York City.
- February 10 - Alanson Crane patents the fire extinguisher.
- February 24 - Arizona is organized as a United States territory.
- February 26 - President of the United States Abraham Lincoln signs the National Currency Act into law.
- March 3 - Idaho Territory is organized by the U.S. Congress
- March 10 - Marriage of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of Denmark
- March 30 - Prince Wilhelm Georg of Denmark is chosen as King George I of Greece.
- May 1 - May 4 - American Civil War: General Robert E. Lee defeats Union forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville
- May 18 - American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg begins (ends Saturday, July 4).
- May 21 - American Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson - Union forces begin to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.
- May 21 - General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists formed.
- May 28 - American Civil War: The 54th Massachusetts, the first African American regiment, leaves Boston, Massachusetts to fight for the Union.
- May 31 - First running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe horse race.
- June 9 - American Civil War: Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia.
- June 14 - American Civil War: Battle of Second Winchester - A Union garrison is defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley town of Winchester, Virginia.
- June 17 - Battle of Aldie in the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War
- June 20 - West Virginia is admitted as the 35th U.S. state.
- July 1 - 3 - American Civil War: Union forces under George G. Meade turn back a Confederate invasion by Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle of the war.
- July 4 - American Civil War: Battle of Vicksburg - Ulysses S. Grant and the Union army capture the Confederate city Vicksburg, Mississippi after the town surrendered. The siege lasted 47 days.
- July 13 - American Civil War (New York Draft Riots): In New York City, opponents of conscription begin three days of violent rioting, which would later be regarded as the worst in the history of the United States.
- July 18 - American Civil War: The first formal African American military unit, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, unsuccessfully assaults Confederate-held Fort Wagner but their valiant fighting still proves the worth of African American soldiers during the war.
- July 26 - American Civil War: Morgan's Raid ends - At Salineville, Ohio, Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and 360 of his volunteers are captured by Union forces.
- July 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.
- August 8 - American Civil War: Following his defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis (Davis will refuse the request upon receipt).
- August 17 - American Civil War: In Charleston, South Carolina, Union batteries and ships bombard Confederate-held Fort Sumter. Bombardment will not end until Thursday, December 31
- September 6 - American Civil War: Confederates evacuate Battery Wagner and Morris Island in South Carolina.
- September 8 - American Civil War: Second Battle of Sabine Pass - On the Texas-Louisiana border at the mouth of the Sabine River, a small Confederate force thwarts a Union invasion of Texas.
- October 5 - The Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Rail Road starts operations in Brooklyn, New York; this is now the oldest right-of-way on the New York City Subway, the largest rapid transit system in the United States and one of the largest in the world.
- October 14 - American Civil War: Battle of Bristol Station - Confederate General Robert E. Lee forces fail to drive the Union army out of Virginia.
- October 15 - American Civil War: The first successful submarine, the CSS Hunley sinks during a test, killing Horace Lawson Hunley (its inventor) and a crew of seven.
- October 26 - 29, the Resolutions of the Geneva International Conference are signed
- October 29 - Sixteen countries meeting in Geneva agree to form the International Red Cross.
- October 29 - American Civil War: Battle of Wauhatchie - Forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant ward-off a Confederate attack led by General James Longstreet. Union forces thus open a supply line into Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- November 16 - American Civil War: Battle of Campbell's Station - Near Knoxville, Tennessee, Confederate troops led by General James Longstreet unsuccessfully attack Union forces under General Ambrose Burnside.
- November 17 - American Civil War: Siege of Knoxville begins - Confederate forces led by General James Longstreet place Knoxville, Tennessee under siege (the two week long siege and one failed attack was unsuccessful).
- November 19 - American Civil War: Union President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at the military cemetery dedication ceremony in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
- November 23 - American Civil War: Battle of Chattanooga III begins - Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant reinforce troops at Chattanooga, Tennessee and counter-attack Confederate troops.
- November 24 - American Civil War: Battle of Lookout Mountain - Near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant capture Lookout Mountain and begin to break the Confederate siege of the city led by General Braxton Bragg.
- November 25 - American Civil War: Battle of Missionary Ridge - At Missionary Ridge in Tennessee, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant break the Siege of Chattanooga by routing Confederate troops under General Braxton Bragg.
- November 26 - American Civil War: Mine Run - Union forces under General George Meade position against troops led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee (Meade's forces could not find any weaknesses in the Confederate lines and gave up trying after five days).
- November 27 - American Civil War: Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and several of his men escape the Ohio state prison and return safely to the South.
- End of term for Amasa Leland Stanford, 8th Governor of California. He is succeeded by Frederick Ferdinand Low.
- Bartolomé Mitre secretly backs the revolt of Venancio Flores against the Uruguayn Blanco government
- Thomas Nast draws the modern Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly, although Santa existed previously.
- Construction begins on the First Transcontinental Railroad in Sacramento, California
- January 1 - Pierre de Coubertin, French founder of the modern Olympic Games (d. 1937)
- January 12 - Swami Vivekananda, Indian religious leader (d. 1902)
- January 15 - Wilhelm Marx, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1946)
- January 17 - David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1945)
- March 12 - Gabriele D'Annunzio, Italian writer, war hero, and politician (d. 1938)
- March 25 - Simon Flexner, American pathologist (d. 1946)
- March 27 - Sir Henry Royce, English automobile pioneer (d. 1933)
- May 24 - George Grey Barnard, American sculptor (d. 1938)
- May 29 - Arthur Mold, English cricketer (d. 1921)
- June 2 - Felix Weingartner, Yugoslavian conductor (d. 1942)
- July 1 - William Stairs, Canadian explorer (d. 1892)
- July 30 - Henry Ford, American automobile manufacturer and industrialist (d. 1947)
- August 3 - Géza Gárdonyi, Hungarian author
- September 21 - John Bunny, American film comedian (d. 1915)
- October 11 - Louis Cyr, Canadian strongman (d. 1912)
- December 7 - Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer (d. 1945)
- December 11 - Annie Jump Cannon, American astronomer (d. 1941)
- December 12 - Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter (d. 1944)
- April 1 - Jakob Steiner, Swiss mathematician (b. 1796)
- May 10 - Stonewall Jackson, American Confederate general (b. 1824)
- July 26 - Sam Houston, first President of the Republic of Texas (b. 1793)
- August 13 - Eugčne Delacroix, French painter (b. 1798)
- September 17 - Alfred de Vigny, French author (b. 1797)
- September 20 - Jakob Grimm, German folklorist (b. 1785)
- December 13 - Christian Friedrich Hebbel, German writer (b. 1813)af:1863
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