M33-JULY 1863

This was a disastrous month for the Confederacy, which sustained decisive defeats at two key points that permanently turned the tide of the war. The largest battle ever fought in North America took place, and relentless Federal operations continued in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Charleston Harbor. Meanwhile, the North was torn by dissent over the new military draft.

The Battle of Gettysburg: Day One

1 Jul – Advance elements of the Federal and Confederate armies clashed in southern Pennsylvania, beginning what would grow into the most terrible battle in American history.

The Battle of Gettysburg: Day Two

2 Jul – The Federal and Confederate armies gathered south of Gettysburg, where General Robert E. Lee launched ferocious attacks on both Federal flanks.

The Slow Federal Advance in Tennessee

2 Jul – Major General William S. Rosecrans’s Federal Army of the Cumberland captured Tullahoma, but Rosecrans still faced criticism for not moving against Chattanooga fast enough.

The Battle of Gettysburg: Day Three

3 Jul – General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia launched a massive, desperate charge to destroy the Federal Army of the Potomac once and for all.

Confederates Starving in Vicksburg

3 Jul – The Confederate soldiers and residents under siege in Vicksburg were on the verge of being starved into submission.

The Fall of Vicksburg

4 Jul – Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton’s Confederates formally surrendered on Independence Day, transferring the mighty stronghold of Vicksburg to Federal hands.

The Gettysburg Aftermath

4 Jul – General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia began retreating from Gettysburg, but the swelling Potomac River threatened to trap Lee in hostile territory.

Confederate Peace Overtures

4 Jul – Confederate officials arrived off Hampton Roads, Virginia, to negotiate prisoner exchange terms with the Federals. They were also unofficially authorized to negotiate a possible end to the war.

Charleston: Federals Invade Morris Island

6 Jul – Federal army-navy forces stepped up efforts to capture the vital port of Charleston, South Carolina, by focusing on the Confederate batteries on the islands south of the harbor.

The Gettysburg Aftermath: Lee Reaches the Potomac

7 Jul – General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia reached the Potomac River, but Major General George G. Meade was reluctant to pursue.

The Gettysburg Aftermath: Lee Prepares for Battle

8 Jul – General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia prepared for a battle while still stranded on the Maryland side of the Potomac River.

From John T. Ketchum, 4th New York Cavalry

8 Jul – Letter from 2nd Lieutenant John Townsend Ketchum, Company M, 4th New York Cavalry

The Fall of Port Hudson

9 Jul – Major General Nathaniel P. Banks’s Federal Army of the Gulf captured the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, opening the waterway to Federal commerce and cutting the Confederacy in two.

The Jackson Campaign

10 Jul – Major General William T. Sherman’s Federals approached the Mississippi capital of Jackson to confront General Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederates.

From Florence McCarthy, 7th Virginia

10 Jul – Letter from Florence McCarthy, a chaplain for the 7th Virginia Volunteer Infantry

From Edwin Fay, Minden Rangers

10 Jul – Letter from Sergeant Edwin Fay of the Minden Rangers

Charleston: Federals Target Battery Wagner

11 Jul – Federal forces unsuccessfully attacked Battery Wagner near Charleston Harbor, and then prepared to try again.

The Gettysburg Aftermath: Fight or Flight

12 Jul – Major General George G. Meade prepared his Federal Army of the Potomac to attack, but General Robert E. Lee prepared his Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw.

Morgan’s Raid: The Northern Penetration

13 Jul – Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan embarked on another Kentucky raid, but this time he crossed the Ohio River and invaded the North.

The Gettysburg Aftermath: Falling Waters

14 Jul – General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia tried escaping to Virginia, while Major General George G. Meade’s Federal Army of the Potomac finally advanced.

The New York Draft Riots

15 Jul – Rioting over Federal conscription entered its third day, leaving New York City in the hands of a violent, angry mob.

The Second Fall of Jackson

16 Jul – General Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederates abandoned Jackson and central Mississippi as superior Federal numbers closed in on them.

Charleston: The Second Assault on Battery Wagner

18 Jul – Federal forces suffered a severe repulse in a second attack on Morris Island south of Charleston, despite a heroic effort by the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry.

The Gettysburg Aftermath: Meade Tries Cutting Lee Off

19 Jul – General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia hurried to get through the Blue Ridge, and Major General George G. Meade’s Federal Army of the Potomac hurried to cut them off.

The Gettysburg Aftermath: Lee Escapes Again

23 Jul – Major General George G. Meade’s Federal Army of the Potomac missed another opportunity to destroy General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

The Impending Chattanooga Campaign

25 Jul – Major General William S. Rosecrans prepared his Federal Army of the Cumberland to advance on Chattanooga, while his superiors continued pressing him to move faster.

Morgan’s Northern Raid: Surrender

26 Jul – Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan and his cavalry troopers surrendered to Federal officials after a month-long raid through Indiana and Ohio.

The Gettysburg Aftermath: Both Armies Settle Back in Virginia

28 Jul – Both the Federal Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia settled into position, as Major General George G. Meade was dissuaded from attacking and General Robert E. Lee submitted his official report on the Battle of Gettysburg.

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Last Updated: 9/30/2018

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