January 1863

The war entered its third year, and many changes had taken place throughout America thus far. Wartime taxation and inflation were adversely affecting both northerners and southerners. Others were becoming wealthy through war profiteering and speculating. Southern dissatisfaction over the draft grew, while northerners worried about what changes the Emancipation Proclamation would bring. Everyone prepared for more hardship, destruction, and death to come.

The Emancipation Proclamation

1 Jan – President Abraham Lincoln signed the executive order emancipating all slaves in states and parts of states controlled by the Confederacy.

The Army of the Potomac: Burnside Meets with Lincoln

1 Jan – Major General Ambrose E. Burnside met with President Abraham Lincoln to discuss future military strategy and criticism of his generalship.

The Battle of Galveston

1 Jan – Confederate army and naval elements attacked Federal occupation forces to take back the vital port city of Galveston on the Texas coast.

The Battle of Stones River: Day Two

2 Jan – General Braxton Bragg’s Confederates renewed their attacks on the Federal Army of the Cumberland after Bragg discovered that Major General William S. Rosecrans had not retreated as hoped.

The Jewish Exclusion Order Rescinded

4 Jan – President Abraham Lincoln directed General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck to order Major General Ulysses S. Grant to rescind his controversial General Order No. 11.

Marmaduke’s Raid: Springfield

8 Jan – Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke led a Confederate force from Little Rock, Arkansas, to raid Federal supply depots in southwestern Missouri.

Marmaduke’s Raid: Hartville

9 Jan – Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke’s Confederates clashed with Federals during their raid on Federal supply depots in southwestern Missouri.

The Alabama Versus the Hatteras

11 Jan – The famed Confederate commerce raider C.S.S. Alabama engaged Federal warships trying to reinstate the blockade of Galveston in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Fall of Fort Hindman

11 Jan – Major General John A. McClernand reorganized his Federal forces and acted upon Major General William T. Sherman’s recommendation to attack a Confederate fort on the Arkansas River.

President Davis’s 1863 Message to Congress

12 Jan – President Jefferson Davis submitted his message on the state of the Confederacy to the Confederate Congress as it assembled for its third session at Richmond.

Vallandigham’s Constitution-Peace-Reunion Speech

14 Jan – Outgoing Democratic Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio delivered a speech excoriating President Abraham Lincoln’s war policies and calling for peaceful coexistence with the Confederacy.

Burnside Plans a New Offensive

15 Jan – Major General Ambrose E. Burnside moved forward with plans to launch another offensive in northern Virginia, despite reservations by his officers and men.

The Fall of Fort Hindman: Grant Disapproves

16 Jan – Major General Ulysses S. Grant disapproved of Major General John A. McClernand’s unauthorized capture of Fort Hindman, and McClernand tried going over Grant’s head to justify his actions.

The “Mud March”

20 Jan – Major General Ambrose E. Burnside prepared to launch another offensive intended to restore his reputation and revitalize the demoralized Army of the Potomac.

The Army of Tennessee: Resentment Toward Bragg

21 Jan – President Jefferson Davis learned that the army’s top commanders no longer had confidence in General Braxton Bragg as their leader.

Dissension in the Army of the Potomac

23 Jan – The defeat at Fredericksburg and the failed “Mud March” sparked recriminations among the Federal army command, leading to wholesale changes.

The Army of the Potomac: Hooker Takes Command

26 Jan – Major General Joseph Hooker assumed command of the Federal Army of the Potomac, and he received a stern letter of advice from President Abraham Lincoln.

Vicksburg: Grant’s Third Attempt

28 Jan – Major General Ulysses S. Grant arrived at Young’s Point to begin his third attempt to capture the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg.

Confederates Break the Charleston Blockade

31 Jan – Two new Confederate ironclad rams attempted to break the Federal blockade of Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, by attacking a portion of the blockading fleet.

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Last Updated: 2/13/2018

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