January 1863

The Confederate economy grew weaker as the government violated states’ rights ostensibly to preserve states’ rights. The Emancipation Proclamation took effect. Fighting resumed in central Tennessee, on the Gulf Coast, and around Vicksburg, Mississippi. Confederate commerce raiders rampaged along the high seas, and yet another humiliation suffered by the Federal Army of the Potomac led to a command change.

The Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln signs the executive order emancipating all slaves in states and parts of states controlled by the Confederacy.

Beginning to Apprehend a Catastrophe

Ambrose Burnside meets with Abraham Lincoln and his top advisors to discuss future military strategy and criticism of his generalship in the Federal Army of the Potomac.

The Battle of Galveston

Confederate army and naval elements attack Federal occupation forces in an effort to take back the vital port city of Galveston on the Texas coast.

Stones River: Federals Make a Stand

Opposing armies outside Murfreesboro in Middle Tennessee contemplate renewing the brutal battle that took place on New Year’s Eve.

The Battle of Stones River: Day Two

Braxton Bragg’s Confederates renew their attacks on the William S. Rosecrans’s Federal army after Bragg discovers that Rosecrans had not retreated as hoped.

The Fort Hindman Expedition

John A. McClernand reorganizes his Federal forces and acts upon William T. Sherman’s recommendation to attack a Confederate fort on the Arkansas River.

Rescinding the Jewish Exclusion Order

President Abraham Lincoln directs General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck to order Ulysses S. Grant to rescind his controversial General Order No. 11.

Reactions to the Emancipation Proclamation

Reactions vary as Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is released to the public.

Marmaduke’s Raid: Springfield

John S. Marmaduke leads a Confederate force from Little Rock, Arkansas, to raid Federal supply depots in southwestern Missouri.

Marmaduke’s Raid: Hartville

John S. Marmaduke’s Confederates clash with Federals during their raid on Federal supply depots in southwestern Missouri.

The Verdict for Fitz John Porter

The court-martial of Federal General Fitz John Porter ends with a shocking verdict and serves as a warning to all other Federal generals.

The Fall of Fort Hindman

A Federal army-navy operation launches an attack on an isolated fort on the Arkansas River.

The Alabama v. The Hatteras

The famed Confederate commerce raider C.S.S. Alabama engages Federal warships trying to reinstate the blockade of Galveston, Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico.


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

A New Offensive for a Demoralized Army

Ambrose E. Burnside moves forward with plans to launch another Federal offensive in northern Virginia, despite reservations by his officers and men within the Army of the Potomac.

McClernand’s Wild-Goose Chase

Ulysses S. Grant disapproves of John A. McClernand’s unauthorized capture of Fort Hindman, and McClernand tries going over Grant’s head to justify his actions.

President Davis’s 1863 Message to Congress

President Jefferson Davis submits his message on the state of the Confederacy to the Confederate Congress as it assembles for its third session at Richmond.

Vicksburg: Grant Takes Command

Ulysses S. Grant steams down the Mississippi River to discuss the new upcoming campaign against Vicksburg, and he decides to lead it himself.

The “Mud March” Begins

Ambrose E. Burnside prepares to launch another offensive intended to restore his reputation and revitalize the demoralized Army of the Potomac.

The Army of Tennessee: Resentment Toward Bragg

President Jefferson Davis learns that the top commanders in the Confederate Army of Tennessee no longer have confidence in Braxton Bragg as their leader.

The “Mud March” Ends

Driving rain in northern Virginia immobilizes the Federal Army of the Potomac and wreaks havoc on Ambrose E. Burnside’s plan to launch another offensive against the Confederates at Fredericksburg.

Nearing Mutiny in the Army of the Potomac

As officers in the Federal Army of the Potomac voice opposition to their commander and the soldiers threaten mutiny, General Ambrose Burnside gives President Abraham Lincoln an ultimatum.

The Next Vicksburg Offensive Begins

Ulysses S. Grant arrives at Young’s Point to begin his third attempt to capture the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, but one of his subordinates has a problem with him.

Army of the Potomac: Hooker Takes Command

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

Commanding a Mighty Large Elephant

Joseph Hooker begins to reorganize and rejuvenate the demoralized Federal Army of the Potomac, but many doubt that he will ultimately succeed.

Vicksburg: Grant Asserts Authority

Ulysses S. Grant continues planning his next Vicksburg offensive while dealing with a disgruntled subordinate.

Last Updated: 2/4/2023

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