Sesquicentennial events

July 1863 & 2013

July 1-3, 1863 – Battle of Gettysburg


Then: Fought in and near a small southern Pennsylvania crossroads town, this is the most famous Civil War battle. It was also the costliest: more than 23,000 casualties on each side.

2013: Several comprehensive web pages cover hundreds of events in the area. Expect large crowds.

July 4-23, 1863 – Retreat from Gettysburg (PA, MD, VA)

Then: Following the battle, Lee led his army south as Federal pursuit dogged his route through Maryland and into Virginia. The Confederate army "escaped" east of the Blue Ridge Mountains after one last fight near Front Royal (VA) July 23.

2013: For event details, please visit locality websites:

July 4, 1863 – Vicksburg (MS) surrenders


Then: The Confederate surrender of this Mississippi River city was finalized July 4, 1863. With the fall of Port Hudson days later, control of the river was essentially in Union hands.

2013: A 20,000-candle evening luminary is planned for July 3 at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

July 9, 1863 – Port Hudson (LA) surrenders

Then: This Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River surrendered following at 48-day siege and the fall of Vicksburg days earlier.

2013: See the Port Hudson State Historic Site for anniversary details:

July 9, 1863 – Battle of Corydon (IN)


Then: A handful of Indiana militia stood briefly against Confederate John Hunt Morgan's 2,500 cavalry shortly after the raiders crossed the Ohio River into Indiana. After brushing aside the resistance, Morgan continued into Indiana and Ohio. The brief fight here, however, alerted Northern authorities and mobilized Union pursuit.

2013: A reenactment of the battle, with camps, baseball game and more is planned at the Heywood Nature Reserve and downtown Corydon July 12-14.

July 17, 1863 – Battle of Honey Springs (Indian Territory)


Then: The largest battle fought in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) was a decisive Union victory and contributed to Federal control of the area. This is sometimes called the "rainbow" battle because of the number of black and Indian troops fighting on both sides.

2013: Battle reenactment is planned at the state park near Checotah. Nov. 9-10.

July 18, 1863 – Second assault on Fort Wagner, Charleston (SC) Harbor

Then: Union forces, spearheaded by the 54th Mass USCT, made a second attack on Confederate Fort Wagner on Morris Island in Charleston Harbor. This assault was made even more famous in the movie "Glory."

2013: Living history, music, a ceremony and a dusk luminary commemorate the Wagner attack at Fort Moultrie (part of the Fort Sumter National Monument) on Sullivan's Island. Ceremony planned at 7:45 pm, about the time the assault was launched. More living history planned at Fort Moultrie July 20-21.

July 19, 1863 – Battle of Buffington Island (OH)


Then: Union cavalry broke up a raid by Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan's cavalry in this battle on the Ohio River. Morgan lost more than half his men here and was captured a week later.

2013: Anniversary activities including living history scheduled for July 20-21 at the Buffington Island State Memorial.