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Related subjects Years

Centuries: 18th century - 19th century - 20th century
Decades: 1830s  1840s  1850s  - 1860s -   1870s   1880s   1890s
Years: 1860 1861 1862 - 1863 - 1864 1865 1866

Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).

Events of 1863

January - March

Jan.11: Battle of Arkansas Post.
Jan.11: Battle of Arkansas Post.
  • January 9 - The first section of the London Underground Railway opens (Paddington to Farringdon Street).
  • January 11 - American Civil War: Battle of Arkansas Post - General John McClernand and Admiral David Dixon Porter capture the Arkansas River for the Union.
  • January 21 - Adam Opel founded Opel AG.
  • 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 7: HMS Orpheus sinks.
February 7: HMS Orpheus sinks.
  • February 7 - HMS Orpheus sinks attempting to enter Manukau Harbour in New Zealand, with the loss of 189 lives.
  • February 10
    • The world-famous midgets General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren get married in New York City. P. T. Barnum takes an entrance fee.
    • Alanson Crane patents the fire extinguisher.
  • February 16 - Kansas State Agricultural College is established – the first land grant college created under the 1862 Morrill Act.
  • February 24 - Arizona is organized as a United States territory.
  • February 26 - President of the United States Abraham Lincoln signs the National Banking Act into law.
  • March 3
    • Idaho Territory is organized by the U.S. Congress.
    • US National Conscription Act is signed, leading to week-long New York Draft Riots
  • March 10 - Marriage of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
  • March 19 - The SS Georgiana, described as the most powerful Confederate cruiser and said to have been owned by the real Rhett Butler, was destroyed on her maiden voyage, while attempting to run the blockade into Charleston, South Carolina. Lost to history, the wreck was discovered March 19, 1965, exactly 102 years later by then teenage diver and adventurer E. Lee Spence.
  • March 30 - Prince Wilhelm George of Denmark is chosen as King George I of Greece.

April - June

  • April 20 - The end of the Battle of Washington in Beaufort County, North Carolina.
  • April 21
    • Bahá'u'lláh declared His station as " He whom God shall make manifest". This date is celebrated in the Bahá'í Faith as The Festival of Ridván.
    • Quantrill's Raiders launch a reprisal raid Lawrence, Kansas in the Battle of Lawrence, killing a number of civilians.
  • April 30 - the Battle of Camarón in Mexico - 65 soldiers of the French Foreign Legion fight 2000 Mexicans - three of them survive the battle.
  • May 1 - 4 - American Civil War: General Robert E. Lee defeats Union forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville with 13,000 Confederate casualties, among them Stonewall Jackson lost to friendly fire, and 17,500 Union casualties.
  • May 14 - American Civil War: Battle of Jackson (MS).
  • May 17 - After a two-month siege, the French army of Bazaine takes Puebla Mexico.
  • May 18 - American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg begins (ends Saturday, July 4).8600 union 30,189 confederate men surrendered
  • May 21
    • American Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana by Union forces.
    • General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists formed.
  • May 23
    • Ferdinand Lassalle founds the Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein ( General German Workers' Association, ADAV), the first socialist workers party in Germany.
    • The Siege of Port Hudson starts.
  • May 26 - American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg starts
  • 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: Second Battle of Winchester: A Union garrison is defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley town of Winchester, Virginia.
  • June 17 - American Civil War: Battle of Aldie in the Gettysburg Campaign.
  • June 20 - West Virginia is admitted as the 35th U.S. state.

July - September

  • 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. 28,000 Confederate casualties, 23,000 Union.
  • 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 9 - The Siege of Port Hudson ends and the Union controls the entire Mississippi River for the first time.
  • July 13 - American Civil War: 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. Their colonel was shot leading attack and was buried with his men. 450 union/ 175 confederate
  • July 26 - American Civil War: Morgan's Raid ends - At Salineville, Ohio, Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and 375 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
  • August 21 - American Civil War: Lawrence, Kansas attacked by William Quantrill's raiders in the Battle of Lawrence, killing an estimated 200 men and boys. The raid would become notorious in the North as one of the most vicious atrocities of the Civil War.
  • September 6 - American Civil War: Confederates evacuate Battery Wagner and Morris Island in South Carolina.
  • September 16 - Robert College of Istanbul-Turkey, the first American educational institution outside the United States is founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

October - December

  • 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 Bristoe 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.
    • 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 15 - The death of King Frederick VII of Denmark and his succession by his distant cousin Christian IX marks the beginning of the Second Schleswig-Holstein crisis.
  • 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 18 - King Christian IX of Denmark decided to sign the november constitution, which declared Schleswig as part of Denmark, what was seen by the German Confederation as a violation of the London Protocol and lead to the German–Danish war of 1864.
  • 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 Uruguayan Blanco government
  • Thomas Nast draws the modern Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly, although Santa existed previously.
  • Douglas becomes the capital of the Isle of Man, after its parliament; Tynwald moved their chambers from Castletown.

Ongoing Events


1863 in other calendars
Gregorian calendar 1863
Ab urbe condita 2616
Armenian calendar 1312
Bahá'í calendar 19 – 20
Berber calendar 2813
Buddhist calendar 2407
Burmese calendar 1225
Chinese calendar 4499/4559-11-12
( 壬戌年十一月十二日)
— to —
( 癸亥年十一月廿一日)
Coptic calendar 1579 – 1580
Ethiopian calendar 1855 – 1856
Hebrew calendar 5623 – 5624
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat 1918 – 1919
 - Shaka Samvat 1785 – 1786
 - Kali Yuga 4964 – 4965
Holocene calendar 11863
Iranian calendar 1241 – 1242
Islamic calendar 1279 – 1280
Japanese calendar Bunkyū 3
Korean calendar 4196
Thai solar calendar 2406

January - June

  • January 1 - Pierre de Coubertin, French founder of the modern Olympic Games (d. 1937)
  • January 12 - Swami Vivekananda, Indian religious leader (d. 1702)
  • January 15 - Wilhelm Marx, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1946)
  • January 17 - David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1945)
  • January 17 - Constantin Stanislavski, Russian theatre practitioner and founder of modern realistic acting (d. 1938)
  • January 28 - Ernest William Christmas, Australian painter (d. 1918)
  • March 11 - Andrew Stoddart, English cricketer (d. 1915)
  • March 12 - Gabriele D'Annunzio, Italian writer, war hero, and politician (d. 1938)
  • March 25 - Simon Flexner, American pathologist (d. 1946)
  • May 21 - Archduke Eugen of Austria, Austrian field marshal (d. 1954)
  • March 27 - Henry Royce, English automobile pioneer (d. 1933)
  • April 18 - Leopold Graf Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian foreign minister (d. 1942)
  • 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)
  • June 13 - Lady Lucy Duff Gordon, English fashion designer (d. 1942)
  • June 17 - Duke Charles Michael of Mecklenburg, head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (d. 1934)

July - December

  • July 1 - William Grant Stairs, Canadian explorer (d. 1892)
  • July 6 - Reginald McKenna, British Chancellor of the Exchequer 1915–1916 (d. 1943)
  • July 21 - C. Aubrey Smith, English actor (d. 1948)
  • July 30 - Henry Ford, American automobile manufacturer and industrialist (d. 1947)
  • August 3 - Géza Gárdonyi, Hungarian author (d. 1922)
  • August 17 - Gene Stratton-Porter, American author, screenwriter and naturalist (d. 1924)
  • September 13 - Arthur Henderson, Scottish politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1935)
  • September 21 - John Bunny, American film comedian (d. 1915)
  • October 11 - Louis Cyr, Canadian strongman (d. 1912)
  • October 16 - Austen Chamberlain, English statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1937)
  • October 18 - Tommy Tucker, 19th century baseball pioneer (d. 1935)
  • December 5 - Pattillo Higgins, oil pioneer and businessman, known as the "Prophet of Spindletop" (d. 1955)
  • 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)
  • Aaron S. Watkins, American Presidential candidate (d. 1941)
  • December 18 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (d. 1914)


  • Dost Mohammad Khan, Wazir-i-azam of Kabul, King-Regent of Kabul, Emir of Kabul, King of Kandahar (b. 1789)

January - June

  • April 1 - Jakob Steiner, Swiss mathematician (b. 1796)
  • May 10 - Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, American Confederate general (b. 1824)

July - December

  • July 1 - John F. Reynolds, Major General in the Union Army
  • July 26 - Sam Houston, first President of the Republic of Texas (b. 1793)
  • August 13 - Eugène Delacroix, French painter (b. 1798)
  • September 17 - Alfred de Vigny, French author (b. 1797)
  • September 20 - Jakob Grimm, German folklorist (b. 1785)
  • October 13 - Philippe Antoine d’Ornano, Marshal of France (b. 1784)
  • November 2 - Theodore Judah, American railroad engineer (b. 1826)
  • November 15 - Frederick VII, King of Denmark (b. 1808)
  • December 13 - Christian Friedrich Hebbel, German writer (b. 1813)
  • December 24 - William Makepeace Thackeray, British novelist (b. 1811)