1863 was 8 years before the founding of the City of Birmingham, 44 years after Alabama became a state, and 2 years after Alabama joined the Confederacy.
- April 3: Welsh miner Llewellyn Johns arrived at New York Harbor.
- December 1: Thomas Hill Watts succeeded John Gill Shorter as governor of Alabama.
- April 30: The forces of Union Colonel Abel Streight defeated those of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest at the Battle of Day's Gap.
- May 1: Battle Royal saw Forrest's column attack Streight's troops as they crossed the Locust Fork River at Royal.
- May 3: Colonel Streight surrendered to General Forrest near Cedar Bluff, Cherokee County.
- February 22: Wallace McElwain purchased an 80-acre parcel from Willis B. Eastis to erect the Cahaba Iron Works.
- March: Shelby Furnace No. 2 was blown in.
- September 9: The Confederate government purchased Brierfield Ironworks for $600,000 in Confederate tender.
- November: Oxmoor Furnace No. 1 was blown in.
- George Baker purchased William Browne's coal mines near Montevallo.
- Bibb Furnace No. 2 was blown in.
- Irondale Furnace was blown in.
- Little Cahaba Furnace No. 2 was blown in.
- Tannehill Furnace Nos. 2 & 3 were blown in.
- September: William Walker Jr enlisted in the 7th Alabama Cavalry.
- November: Charles Drennen and Charles Whelan were captured at Missionary Ridge.
- Rufus Cobb was assigned to General Joe Wheeler's cavalry in Tennessee and placed in charge of a scouting party.
- John Guttry succeeded D. H. Whatley as Walker County Sheriff.
- Robert Jemison Jr was elected to the Confederate Senate and became president of the Northeast & Southwest Railroad.
- Mortimer Jordan Jr was elected 3rd Lieutenant in his company.
- Alburto Martin was elected solicitor for the Jefferson County judicial circuit.
- Moses Stroup moved to Jefferson County to work on Oxmoor Furnace.
- John Terry was honorably discharged from the Confederate army as a Colonel.
- James Walton succeeded Richard H. Brasher as Shelby County Sheriff.
- Captain Goldsmith Hewitt II was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga in North Georgia.
- Lieutenant Colonel J. F. B. Jackson was captured at the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
- February 9: John McQueen, state representative and judge
- March 20: Brother Bryan, pastor
- May: William Hassinger, chemist and industrialist
- August 8: Daniel Greene, judge
- August 9: Jake Wells, theater owner
- September 1: William Tynes, co-founder of Hardie-Tynes
- November 25: William Elias B. Davis, surgeon
- December 20: Christian Rambow, saloon keeper and alderman
- Lewis Houston, railroad laborer
- Thad Mullin, Birmingham Fire Chief
- March 17: John Pelham, Civil War hero
- Ashton Bailey, pioneer
- John McLaughlin, pioneer
In 1863, the Civil War and Taiping Rebellion continued. Harper's Weekly published Thomas Nast's first drawing of the modern Santa Claus. The first section of the London Underground Railway opened. The world-famous midgets General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were married in New York City. Arizona and Idaho were organized as territories. West Virginia was admitted as a state. The largest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, was fought. Thanksgiving was proclaimed a national holiday.
Books published in 1863 included The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley, Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne, and The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy.
Notable births in 1863 included automobile pioneer Henry Royce, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, automobile manufacturer Henry Ford, statesman Austen Chamberlain, and astronomer Annie Jump Cannon. Notable deaths included Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, Confederate General Lewis Armistead, statesman Sam Houston, painter Eugène Delacroix, folklorist Jacob Grimm, King Frederick VII of Denmark, and novelist William Makepeace Thackeray.
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