Sesquicentennial events

May 1863 & 2013

May 1–3, 1863 – Battle of Chancellorsville (VA)


Then: Union Gen. Joseph Hooker tried to get around Robert E. Lee's position at Fredericksburg, crossing the Rappahannnock River west of town. In what is generally regarded as Lee's greatest victory, he and Stonewall Jackson ended the threat in three days of intense fighting.


  • The Fredericksburg and Spotyslvania National Military Park plans a full range of events commemorating the battle May 1–5. Ranger-led "real time" bus and walking tours are set May 1–3 with more tours, living history and other programs scheduled May 4–5. See for the complete lineup.
  • A reenactment of the Battle of Chancellorsville near Spotsylvania Court House is planned May 4–5. Complete info:
  • Anniversary medical demonstrations are planned May 4–5 at nearby Ellwood ( and at Kenmore in Fredericksburg (
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May 1863 – Vicksburg (MS) Campaign


Then: In May, Union Gen. U.S. Grant began his final push against the Confederate stronghold in Vicksburg, crossing to the eastern side of the Mississippi River and moving into the Mississippi heartland. He began his initial assaults against the city itself May 19. Good roundup of the campaign:


  • Ranger programs at the Vicksburg National Military Park cover May campaign anniversary dates: Port Gibson (May 1), Battle of Raymond (May 12), Battle of Jackson (May 14), Battle of Champion Hill (May 16), Battle of the Big Black River Bridge (May 17) and the First (May 19) and Second (May 22) assaults against the city. Full-scale citywide programs commemorate the siege May 23–27.
  • The battlefield at Champion Hill (May 16, 1863) is the site of commemorations of that event May 18 with living history, special tours and more: