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Civil War Sesquicentennial: 1863
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"I have seen the elephant."
Private Alexander B. Walker,
12th Battalion, Tennessee Cavalry (Day's), CSA

1862 saw both sides win significant victories and suffer serious defeats on the battlefield. 1863, however, can be viewed as the year the Confederacy began losing the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation made freeing slaves an explicit war goal, effectively preventing European powers, notably Great Britain, from recognizing and supporting the Confederacy. Ulysses S. Grant's victory at the Siege of Vicksburg secured Union control of the Mississippi River. The Battle of Gettysburg ended Confederate hopes of winning the war through an invasion of the North. The Battle of Stones River, the Tullahoma Campaign, and the Chattanooga Campaign would drive Confederate forces from Tennessee and set the stage for William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign the following year.

1863 composite

Click image for captions.







Presented by the Tennessee State Library and Archives Exhibits Committee: Susan Gordon, Elinor Madeira, Rachel Meredith, Ronald Peaks, Heather Singley, Will Thomas, Kate Williams, Kimberley Wires.

Special thanks to Tony Teal, Kathy Lauder, and Dr. Kathleen M. Therrien for their assistance.

The Battle of Gettysburg sheet music, New York, New York, 1917
Kenneth D. Rose Sheet Music Collection

Grant, Our Great Commander

Grant, Our Great Commander sheet music, Toledo, Ohio, 1868
Kenneth D. Rose Sheet Music Collection

Map of the Siege of Vicksburg, Miss.

Map of the Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., 1863
Archives Map Collection