Monday, December 10, 2007


1863. The Battle of Chickamauga in northern Georgia ends in empty victory for Confederate troops.

1863. President Lincoln dedicates a national cemetery at Gettysburg, November 19.

1863. The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect January 1, freeing nearly 4 million U.S. slaves, but not those in Union-held areas.

1863. The Nez Perce in the Northwest are forced to sign a treaty agreeing to vacate lands coveted by the whites.

1863. President Lincoln signs a bill guaranteeing builders of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads $16,000 for every mile of track laid on the plains, $32,000 per mile for tracks laid through intermountain stretches, and $48,000 for track laid through the mountains.

1863. The world's first underground railway system opens in London.

1863. A scarlet fever epidemic in England takes more than 30,000 lives.

1863. The fundamental principles of the International Red Cross movement to aid wounded soldiers and other victims of war are established at Geneva.

1863. President Lincoln proclaims the first national Thanksgiving Day, October 3, and sets aside the last Thursday of November to commemorate the feast given by the Pilgrims in 1621.

Romola. George Eliot. British. 1863. Novel. After marriage to a hedonistic man, Romola, a Florentine woman, comes under the influence of Savonarola and finds peace.

Tales of a Wayside Inn. Henry W. Longfellow. American. 1863. Poetry. Structure modeled on the Canterbury Tales and the Decameron. Tales reflect Longfellow's interest in the Middle Ages.

The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby. Charles Kingsley. British. 1863. Fantasy. Adventures of a chimney sweep who falls into a river and is transformed into a miniature merman.

"Boston Hymn." Ralph Waldo Emerson. American. 1863. Poetry. Celebrates freedom, denouncing kings and aristocrats. Fervent.

"Barbara Frietchie." John Greenleaf Whittier. American. 1863. Poetry. Fictional encounter between Barbara Frietchie, 96, and Stonewall Jackson. Displayed the Union flag. He orders that she not be harmed.

Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincoln. American. 1863. Freed the slaves in the South, but not in the border states nor in territory under U.S. military occupation.

Gettysburg Address. Abraham Lincoln. 1863. Speech. November 19. Dedication of a national cemetery. Moving, eloquent statement of the American creed.

The Cossacks. Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1863. Novel. Tired of live in civilized society, hero attempts to find happiness among wild, free Cossacks of the Caucasus.

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