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The Civil War Month by Month: Jul 1863

CW - 150

Civil War 150th anniversary

The Civil War 150th Anniversary

Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.

July 1863

This Month's Events


  • During this month John Hunt Morgan leads 2,460 troops racing past Union lines into Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. "Morgan's Raid" is the farthest north any uniformed Confederate troops penetrate during the war.

  • 1 July. Battle begins at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The fighting will last 4 days.
    Among the regiments involved today is the 26th North Carolina which will suffer 687 casualties (killed, wounded captured), the greatest number of any regiment in the battle. The 11th North Carolina, including Co. I from Gaston and Lincoln Counties, will lose 336 men. The 24th Michigan, the "Iron Brigade" which meets the 26th N. C. head on has the most Union casualties, 363. The 26th and the 11th are also the regiments with the most men killed in these 4 days. The 23rd North Carolina with 3 companies, B, H, and K, from Gaston and Lincoln Counties is a smaller regiment. By the end of the battle 282 of 316 men, or 89.2 %, will be casualties, a percentage lower only than that of the 8th Virginia with 92.2 % casualties.
    Other local companies at this battle are in the 16th, 28th, 34th, 37th,52nd, and 59th North Carolina regiments. See Confederate Companies.

  • 3 July. As the battle at Gettysburg continues, Confederate infantry under General Pickett and others are ordered to charge Union positions on Cemetery Ridge. The attempt is a failure and the slaughter is immense. The line reached by the soldiers is sometimes referred to as "the high-water mark of the Confederacy".
    During the battle the bands of the 11th and 26th North Carolina regiments play for hours so loudly that Federal artillery men target them. Ordinarily musicians tend the wounded during battles, but commanders feel the music will strengthen the troops' morale.

  • 4 July. After a 47 day siege with troops and civilians starving and 6,000 shells a day falling into the city, Vicksburg surrenders. The Union now controls the Mississippi River.

  • 7 July. The North Carolina legislature establishes a new militia organization, the Home Guard, whose members are men exempt from the draft. Their duties largely consist of keeping internal order within the state.

  • 11-18 July 1863. Union forces attack Fort Wagner on Morris Island, South Carolina, which defends Charleston. The attack on July 18 is led by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. Their attack is unsuccessful, they suffer almost 50% casualties, and their commander, Robert Shaw, is killed, but the bravery displayed puts to rest the perception that Negro troops will not fight and encourages the recruitment of many more men.

  • 12 July. Amanda Murph of Lincoln County writes to her husband Daniel Washington Murph in the 10th N. C. Her news is about the children's whooping cough and the price of crops.

  • 13-17 July. Anti-draft riots in New York City cause more than $1 million in damage and 105 deaths. The rioters go after African-Americans, the wealthy, and any officials involved in conscription. The rioting ends only when army troops are called in and clear areas at the point of their bayonets.

  • 25 July. The little town of Kensington, Connecticut dedicates a monument "to commemorate the death of those who perished in suppressing the Southern Rebellion". Sixteen men's names will be engraved on it. This is believed to be the first Civil War monument.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

The Battle of Gettysburg, by Frank Aretas Haskell, edited by Bruce Catton, pub. 1958, 169 p., call #: 973.73 Has. An account by a Union officer on the receiving end of Pickett's Charge, this was written only a few weeks after the battle. Haskell was an excellent writer as well as a soldier -- his story tells you what it felt like to be there.

A History of Morgan's Cavalry, by Basil Wilson Duke. Edited with an introd. and notes by Cecil Fletcher Holland, pub. 1960, 595 p., call #: 973.742 D. This substantial, well known and highly regarded work is a history of a renowned unit of Confederate cavalry written by one of its officers. Originally published 1923.

Children's Nonfiction

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