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1860 1861 1862 - 1863 - 1864 1865 1866
| Decades: |
1830s 1840s 1850s - 1860s - 1870s 1880s 1890s
Events of 1863
- January 1
- January 4
- January 8
- January 9 – The first section of the London Underground Railway (Paddington to Farringdon Street) opens.
- 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 founds Opel AG.
- January 22 – The January Uprising breaks out in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. The aim of the national movement is to liberate the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth from Russian occupation.
- February 7 – The HMS Orpheus sinks attempting to enter Manukau Harbour in New Zealand, with the loss of 189 lives.
- February 9: Henry Dunant founded the "Committee of the Five" (together with four other leading figures from well-known Geneva families) as an investigatory commission of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare.
- February 10
- February 16 – Kansas State Agricultural College is established as the first land grant college newly created under the 1862 Morrill Act.
- February 24 – Arizona is organized as a United States territory.
- February 26 – Abraham Lincoln signs the National Banking Act into law.
- March 3
- March 10 – Albert Edward, Prince of Wales marries Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
- March 19 – The S.S. Georgiana is destroyed on her maiden voyage while attempting to run the blockade into Charleston, South Carolina. Lost to history, the wreck is discovered March 19, 1965, (exactly 102 years later) by E. Lee Spence.
- March 30 – Prince Wilhelm George of Denmark is chosen as King George I of Greece.
- April 20 – American Civil War – The Battle of Washington ends inconclusively in Beaufort County, North Carolina.
- April 21 – Quantrill's Raiders launch a reprisal raid Lawrence, Kansas in the Battle of Lawrence, killing a number of civilians.
- April 30 – Battle of Camarón in Mexico: 65 soldiers of the French Foreign Legion fight 2,000 Mexicans; 3 of them survive the battle.
- May 1 – 4 – American Civil War – Battle of Chancellorsville: General Robert E. Lee defeats Union forces 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): Union General Ulysses S. Grant defeats Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, opening the way for the Siege of Vicksburg.
- May 17 – After a 2-month siege, the French army of Bazaine takes Puebla, Mexico.
- May 18 – American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg begins (ends Saturday, July 4, when 30,189 Confederate men surrender).
- May 21
- May 23
- May 26 – American Civil War – The 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 – The first Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe horse race is held.
- June 9 – American Civil War – The Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia ends inconclusively.
- 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 – The Battle of Aldie in the Gettysburg Campaign ends inconclusively.
- 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 (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 – (New York Draft Riots): In New York City, opponents of conscription begin 3 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.
- July 26 – American Civil War – Morgan's Raid: 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 refuses the request upon receipt).
- August 17 – American Civil War: In Charleston, South Carolina, Union batteries and ships bombard Confederate-held Fort Sumter (the bombardment does not end until Thursday, December 31).
- August 21 – American Civil War – Battle of Lawrence: Lawrence, Kansas is attacked by William Quantrill's raiders, who kill an estimated 200 men and boys. The raid becomes 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 3 – President Lincoln proclaims a national Thanksgiving_(United_States) day to be celebrated the final Thursday in November.
- 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 – The Football Association is formed.
- October 26 – 29 – The Resolutions of the Geneva International Conference are signed.
- October 29
- 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 – The Siege of Knoxville begins: Confederate forces led by General James Longstreet place Knoxville, Tennessee under siege (the 2-week-long siege and 1 failed attack are 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: U. S. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at the military cemetery dedication ceremony in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
- November 23 – American Civil War – The 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 can not find any weaknesses in the Confederate lines and give up trying after 5 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.
- December 15 – Romania uses for the first time a mountain railway (from Anina to Oravita).
- Amasa Leland Stanford, the 8th Governor of California, is succeeded by Frederick Ferdinand Low.
- January 17 - David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1945)
- January 19 - Werner Sombart, German economist and sociologist (d. 1941)
- July 30 - Henry Ford, American industrialist (d. 1947)