Georgia in 1863

Event affecting Georgia during 1863[1]

January 1, 1863

Emancipation Proclamation - On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues and executive order declaring the freedom of all slaves in any state of the state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. On January 1, 1863, he issues a second executive order naming ten specific states where it would apply. Lincoln issued the Executive Order by his authority as "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" under Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution.[6]

January 19, 1863

William Tatum Wofford promoted to Brigadier General.

February 16, 1863

The CSS Chattahoochee, a twin-screw steam powered gunboat built in Saffold, Georgia (Early County, just north of the Florida-Georgia state line) enters service.

February 18, 1863

Cornerstone laid for the Macon Armory.

February 28, 1863

Confederate ship "Nashville" sunk in the Ogeechee River by Union ironclad USS Montauk.

March 4, 1863

Robert Toombs (July 2, 1810 - December 15, 1885) resigns his commission in the Confederate Army.

March 25, 1863

Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton presents the first Medals of Honor to six participants of the Great Locomotive Chase (known in the North as Andrew's Raid).

May 2, 1863

Union forces under Col. Abel D. Streight attempt to raid Rome, GA. John H. Wisdom rides from Gadsden, Al, and warns the Confederates in Rome of the impending raid. The citizens of Rome fortify the bridge over the Oostanaula River thus allowing the pursing Confederate forces under the command of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest with only 425 men, to capture Col. Streight and his 1,500 men. [2]

May 27, 1863

The boiler on the CSS Chattahoochee explodes while plowing the waters near the coast of Georgia. She is taken to the shipyard in Columbus, where she is eventually scuttled.

June 10, 1863

Union troops under the command of James Montgomery (December 22, 1814 - December 6, 1871) seize St. Simons Island.[3]

June 11, 1863

Union troops on St. Simons Island loot and destroy Christ Church Frederica, the city of St. Simons, many of the plantations and burn Darien, GA.[4] [5]

July 1, 1863

Battle of Gettysburg, PA.

July 4, 1863

Federal forces under the command of Ulysses S. Grant capture Vicksburg, MS.

July 7, 1863

General Braxton Bragg entered Chattanooga, TN, with most of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

August 4, 1863

Col. Lemuel P. Grant reports that the construction of the fortifications around Atlanta has begun. [8]

August 21, 1863

Col. John T. Wilder's brigade of the Union 4th Division begin shelling Chattanooga, TN.

August 21, 1863

The Army of the Cumberland commanded by Major General William S. Rosecrans, cross the Tennessee River well west and south of Chattanooga. When General Braxton Bragg learns that the Union army was in force southwest of the city, he abandons Chattanooga.

Sept. 9, 1863

Confederate forces under the command of Gen James Longstreet leave Virginia to reinforce the Army of Tennessee in north Georgia. Traveling over 16 railroads on a 775-mile route through the Carolinas, the Forward echelons of Longstreet's Corps begins arriving on September 17, in time to take part in the Battle of Chickamauga. [7]

Sept. 19-20, 1863

Battle of Chickamauga.

October 8, 1863

Confederate President Jefferson Davis arrives in Atlanta.

October 9, 1863

Jeff Davis addresses a crowd at Marietta, GA

October 10, 1863

Jeff Davis tours Army of Tennessee lines in North Georgia.

October 12, 1863

At the request of Braxton Bragg, Jeff Davis approves relieving Daniel Harvey Hill of command. James Longstreet is detached and others who disagree with Bragg are reassigned.

October 14, 1863

Jefferson Davis returns to Atlanta, then leaves heading west.

October 29, 1863

Returning from the western states of the Confederacy, President Davis arrives in Atlanta.

October 30, 1863

Jeff Davis stops in Macon, GA, briefly addressing a crowd.

October 30, 1863

Defensive perimeter around Atlanta, built by Col. Lemuel Grant, is completed.

October 31, 1863

Jeff Davis begins a short stay in Savannah, GA.

Nov. 27, 1863

Concerned with the 10 deaths a day at a prison camp in Richmond (Belle Isle), the medical director recommends that another prisoner of war camp be established.

Nov. 27, 1863

Battle of Ringgold Gap.

December 21, 1863

Sidney Winder orders construction to begin on Camp Sumter near Andersonville, Georgia.

For more information visit


  1. Our Georgia History - Georgia History Timeline / Chronology 1863  [Online]
  2. Georgia Historical Commission marker 057-1.  Located on Myrtle Hill Cemetery, at the intersection of Broad Street and Myrtle St. Rome, GA.
    Georgia's Paul Revere - GHM 057-1

    The Ride of John Henry Wisdom to Save Rome, Georgia  [Online]
  3. Georgia Historical Society marker 95-2.   at City Hall, 1 block E. of US 17, Darien, McIntosh Co., GA.
    The Burning of Darien - GHS 95-2
  4. Georgia Historical Society marker 95-2.   at City Hall, 1 block E. of US 17, Darien, McIntosh Co., GA.
    The Burning of Darien - GHS 95-2
  5. Georgia Historical Commission marker 095-7.  Located on Wayne Street at Vernon Square, Darien, McIntosh Co., GA.
    Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church - GHM 095-7
  6. Wikipedia - Emancipation Proclamation  [Online]
  7. Our Georgia History - Georgia History Timeline / Chronology for September 1863  [Online]
    Wikipedia - James Longstreet  [Online]
  8. Garrett, Franklin M. Atlanta and Environs - A Chronicle of Its People and Events - Volume 1; University of Georgia Press, Athens; ©1954, Pg 567-568
    Wikipedia - Lemuel Pratt Grant  [Online]