1863

    1 January 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect.

    The metric system becomes mandatory in Italy.

    Two Schmiedelieder from Siegfried by Richard Wagner (49) are performed for the first time, in a concert setting in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, directed by the composer.

    2 January 1863 Major fighting resumes at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  The Confederates are badly defeated but the Federals are stopped from gaining the area north of Vicksburg.

    3 January 1863 When US President Abraham Lincoln is informed of General Grant’s order of 17 December, he orders it immediately revoked.

    6 January 1863 Yusuf Kamil Pasha replaces Keçecizade Mehmed Fuad Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.

    Piano Sonata no.3 by Johannes Brahms (29) is performed in Vienna by the composer.  The critic Eduard Hanslick remarks, “it belongs to the most inward experiences that recent piano music has to offer.”  In the audience is Richard Wagner (49) who is in Vienna trying to get Tristan und Isolde performed.  Also premiered are Brahms’ songs Jucche! op.6/4 to words of Reinick, Treue Liebe op.7/1 to words of Ferrand, and Parole op.7/2 to words of Eichendorff.

    8 January 1863 The Central Pacific Railroad begins construction of the western end of the Transcontinental Railroad in Sacramento.

    10 January 1863 The first subway in the world, the Metro, opens to the public in London from Bishop’s Road to Farringdon Street, a distance of six km.

    19 January 1863 Leitartikel op.273, a waltz by Johann Strauss (37), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.

    21 January 1863 Adam Opel founds a company to make sewing machines in Rüsselsheim, Hesse.  (In 1899 they will start making automobiles)

    22 January 1863 Polish revolutionaries in Warsaw proclaim themselves a Provisional National Government and issue a manifesto calling on all Poles to oppose the Tsar and decree the liberation of the peasants.  They name Ludvik Mieroslawski, presently in exile, as dictator, although real power is wielded by Stefan Bobrowski and Zygmunt Padlewski.  6,000 revolutionary soldiers attack Russian units throughout Russian Poland in 35 places, some successfully.

    23 January 1863 British physicist John Tyndall gives a public lecture called “On Radiation Through The Earth's Atmosphere” in which he describes the Greenhouse Effect.

    29 January 1863 Giacomo Meyerbeer (71) presents Jacques Offenbach (43) to Queen Augusta of Prussia in Berlin.

    United States troops attack a Shoshoni camp on the Bear River in Franklin County, Idaho killing about 250 men, women and children.  14 soldiers die.

    2 February 1863 Poorly armed Polish peasants battle Russian cavalry at Cysta Buda near Marijampole.  The Poles are routed and massacred by the Russians.

    3 February 1863 The Greek National Assembly ratifies the vote ending last 15 December and proclaims Prince Alfred of Great Britain as their king.  However, the protecting powers (Britain, France, Russia) have already declared that no member of their royal houses may become King of Greece.

    6 February 1863 Russian forces attack Polish insurgents at Siemiatycze.

    The United States refuses a French offer to mediate differences between the federal government and the rebels.

    7 February 1863 Russian forces defeat Polish insurgents at Siemiatycze, forcing them to flee and entering the town.

    8 February 1863 Prussia allies with Russia to put down the Polish insurgency.

    In Prague, Richard Wagner (49) conducts the Provisional Theatre Orchestra in a concert of his own works.  The principal violist is Antonin Dvorák (21).

    Georges Bizet’s (24) ode-symphony Vasco de Gama to words of Delâtre is performed for the first time, at the Société des Beaux Arts, conducted by the composer.

    9 February 1863 The Geneva Society of Public Welfare appoints a “Committee of Five” to recruit male nurses to assist the armed forces, as suggested by Henri Dunant in his book Un Souvenir de Solferino.

    13 February 1863 Anton Bruckner (38) witnesses the first Linz production of Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner (49).  This begins his love affair with the music and ideas of Wagner, opening an entire universe of new possibilities.

    17 February 1863 The Committee of Five appointed 9 February meets in Geneva and styles itself the International Relief Committee for Injured Combatants.

    23 February 1863 Zinovios Valvis replaces Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris as Prime Minister of Greece.

    France extends a protectorate over Porto Novo (Benin).

    24 February 1863 Feramors, a lyric opera by Anton Rubinstein (33) to words of Rodenberg after Moore, is performed for the first time, in the Dresden Hoftheater.

    “Il brigidino”, a stornello for voice and piano by Giuseppe Verdi (49) to words of Dall’Ongaro, is performed for the first time, in Parma.

    25 February 1863 Johann Strauss, Jr. (37) is named Hofball-Musik-Direktor on his third try.

    The Federal Banking Act is signed by US President Abraham Lincoln.  It creates a system of federally chartered banks.

    2 March 1863 Manuel Pando Fernández de Pinedo, marqués de Miraflores replaces Leopoldo O’Donnell Joris, duque de Tetuán as Prime Minister of Spain.

    3 March 1863 President Lincoln signs the Federal Draft Act.  All males aged 20-45 must register for conscription, although it may be deferred through the payment of $300.

    The United States Congress charters the National Academy of Sciences.

    4 March 1863 The 38th Congress of the United States convenes in Washington.  Republicans retain their strong majority in the Senate but lose it in the House of Representatives, down to a plurality of a mere 13 seats.

    Domine salvum fac for chorus and orchestra by John Knowles Paine (24) is performed for the first time, at the inaugural ceremonies of Thomas Hill as President of Harvard University in First Parish Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    9 March 1863 The first public performance at the Free Music School, St. Petersburg takes place.

    10 March 1863 Federal troops occupy Jacksonville, Florida.

    Arthur Sullivan’s (20) Procession March for orchestra is performed for the first time, in the Crystal Palace, London on the day of the wedding of the Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

    Give the King Thy Judgments for chorus and organ by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (52) is performed for the first time, in Winchester Cathedral to commemorate the wedding of the Prince of Wales, the composer at the keyboard.

    13 March 1863 Bedrich Smetana (39) is elected president of the Czech Society of Arts.

    14 March 1863 The Princess of Wales’s March, a collection of Danish airs arranged by Arthur Sullivan (20) in honor of Princess Alexandra of Denmark, is performed for the first time, at the Crystal Palace.  The Prince of Wales and his new wife, Princess Alexandra, are present.

    15 March 1863 Der Entfernten D.331 for male vocal quartet by Franz Schubert (†34) to words of Salis-Seewis is performed for the first time, in the Redoutensaal, Vienna, 47 years after it was composed.

    18 March 1863 French forces and their conservative Mexican allies complete the encirclement of Puebla.

    19 March 1863 Patrioten-Polka op.274 by Johann Strauss (37) is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.

    20 March 1863 A second child, a daughter, Blandine, is born to Hans von Bülow and Cosima Liszt von Bülow, in Berlin.

    23 March 1863 The first version of Cantico del Sol di San Francesco by Franz Liszt (51) is performed for the first time, in Palazzo Altieri, Rome.

    24 March 1863 Marco Minghetti replaces Luigi Carlo Farini as Prime Minister of Italy.

    French artillery begins a bombardment of Puebla.

    25 March 1863 Hector Berlioz (59) donates his musical library to the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire.

    28 March 1863 French forces begin an assault of Puebla.

    30 March 1863 King Fredrik VII of Denmark annexes Schleswig in violation of the London Protocol of 1852.

    The Greek National Assembly elects the 17-year-old Prince Vilhelm of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (Danish Royal House) as King George I.

    2 April 1863 A bread riot takes place in Richmond, Virginia.

    9 April 1863 Diomidis Kyriakos replaces Zinovios Valvis as Prime Minister of Greece.

    14 April 1863 Representatives of France and Vietnam conclude a treaty at Hué.  The French force Vietnam to open three ports to them, and to allow greater freedom of movement for Christian missionaries.  Saigon is declared the capital of French possessions in southeast Asia.

    William Bullock of Pittsburgh receives a patent for a continuous roll printing press.

    Horace Waters publishes a hymnbook called The Golden Harp.  It contains ten new songs by Stephen Foster (36).

    19 April 1863 Hector Berlioz (59) conducts before a full house in Löwenberg at the behest of the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, who is, unfortunately, too ill to attend.  At the conclusion, the Prince’s chamberlain presents Berlioz with the Cross of the Order of Hohenzollern.

    21 April 1863 Bahá’u’lláh and his followers camp on the banks of the Tigris in Baghdad in the Garden of Ridvan.  Over the next twelve days he will reveal to his companions that he is the one of whose coming was prophesied.

    23 April 1863 Bedrich Smetana (39) submits the score of The Brandenburgers in Bohemia to the organizers of a competition to produce a truly Czech opera.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (22) resigns from the Russian Ministry of Justice and becomes a full time student at St. Petersburg Conservatory.

    27 April 1863 Rückblick for chorus and piano by Edvard Grieg (19) is performed for the first time, in Bergen.

    29 April 1863 Alyeksandr Borodin (29) marries Yekaterina Sergeyevna Protopopova, daughter of the staff doctor at Moscow’s Golitsyn Hospital, and an excellent pianist.  The ceremony takes place in the chapel of the agricultural college in the Udelnaya, St. Petersburg.

    Tsar Alyeksandr II signs an edict abolishing cruel punishments.  Corporal punishment for women is banned and only “mild” forms are retained for men.

    30 April 1863 Mexican forces overwhelm French troops at Camarón, the French refusing to surrender and fighting to the last.

    1 May 1863 Johannes Brahms (29) departs Vienna making for Hamburg after a stay of nine months.

    Union and rebel forces engage at Chancellorsville, Virginia.

    The Congress of the Confederate States of America passes a resolution branding black troops and their officers as criminals.

    2 May 1863 Federal troops attempt to encircle the Confederates at Chancellorsville, Virginia, 85 km southwest of Washington but the southerners repulse the attack.  The fighting leaves 30,197 total casualties.

    3 May 1863 Confederate troops occupy Chancellorsville, Virginia and repel Union counterattacks.

    4 May 1863 Federal forces withdraw across the Rappahannock River.  The fighting of recent days at Chancellorsville, Virginia has cost 29,700 total casualties.

    8 May 1863 The Mexican defense of Puebla collapses

    9 May 1863 Le brésilien, a comédie-vaudeville by Jacques Offenbach (43) to words of Meilhac and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Palais-Royal, Paris.

    10 May 1863 Benizelos Athanasiou Rouphos replaces Diomidis Kyriakos as Prime Minister of Greece.

    11 May 1863 A telegram from John Hanning Speke in Khartoum, stating that he has discovered the source of the Nile, is made public at a meeting of the Royal Geographic Society.

    Lieder-Quadrille op.275 by Johann Strauss (37) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.

    12 May 1863 Richard Wagner (49) moves into a new house in Penzing, near Vienna.

    13 May 1863 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (23) resignation from the Russian Ministry of Justice takes effect.

    14 May 1863 Federal troops capture Jackson, Mississippi.

    16 May 1863 Jules Massenet (21) goes into the cubicles for his second attempt at the Prix de Rome.

    After two months of siege and battle, the Mexican defenders of Puebla surrender to the French.

    Union forces push the rebels out of strongly defended positions on Champion’s Hill.  The Confederates are forced to retreat towards Vicksburg.  791 people are killed, 3,684 injured, 1,857 missing.

    17 May 1863 The first Salon des Refusés opens in Paris to show paintings refused by the Salon de Paris.  Among the works exhibited is Le déjeuner sur l'herbe of Edouard Manet.

    18 May 1863 The Federal siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi begins.

    19 May 1863 The first Federal assault on Vicksburg fails.

    21 May 1863 Giacomo Meyerbeer (71) receives Richard Nordraak in his Berlin home.  Nordraak wants a recommendation from Meyerbeer and plays several works for him.  “...these give evidence of a most exceptional sensitive talent, the Nordic coloring of which is highly original.”

    22 May 1863 The second Federal assault on Vicksburg fails.

    23 May 1863 Disdained by liberal leaders, 15 delegates to the Allgemeine Deutsche Arbeiterverein meet in Leipzig.  This is the first German labor organization and the forerunner to the Social Democratic Party.  Ferdinand Lassalle is named president.

    25 May 1863 Union troops detonate 1,000 kg of powder under Confederate defenses at Vicksburg but are unable to exploit the breach.

    27 May 1863 The Federal siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana begins with an assault on the town.

    28 May 1863 The 54th Massachusetts volunteers, an all-Black regiment, leaves Massachusetts for Hilton Head, South Carolina.

    30 May 1863 Giacomo Meyerbeer (71) completes his will, in Berlin.

    31 May 1863 President Juárez and the Mexican government leave Mexico City for San Luis Potosí.

    1 June 1863 An ordinance issued by Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck greatly reduces freedom of the press.

    3 June 1863 Keçecizade Mehmed Fuad Pasha replaces Yusuf Kamil Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.

    The Confederate army pulls out of Fredericksburg, Virginia and moves north.

    5 June 1863 The French government decides to subsidize the Théâtre-Lyrique.

    7 June 1863 Leading elements of the French army enter Mexico City.

    10 June 1863 French forces make their official entry into Mexico City.

    11 June 1863 Great Britain, France, and Austria jointly demand of Russia a general amnesty in Poland, a Polish national assembly, autonomous administration, freedom of religion and the use of Polish in government and schools.  The demands will be dismissed by Russia.

    14 June 1863 A second round of voting in French legislative elections results in 251 of 283 seats being won by supporters of Emperor Napoléon III.

    After refusing a surrender ultimatum, the Confederate defenders of Port Hudson, Louisiana repel a Union attack.

    15 June 1863 At a station platform in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (34) alights from the train and with a great crowd reads a sign on the bulletin board.  General Lee has just invaded Pennsylvania and is heading for the state capital at Harrisburg where Gottschalk is due to perform tomorrow.

    16 June 1863 The Confederate army crosses the Potomac.

    Louis Moreau Gottschalk (34) and his party board a train for Harrisburg, the only three civilians on a train full of soldiers.  They pass a stream of refugees fleeing in the opposite direction.  Upon reaching Harrisburg they find a city in terror and decide to forgo their concert and make for Philadelphia.

    17 June 1863 Louis Moreau Gottschalk (34) and his party reach Philadelphia after a train trip of 150 km from Harrisburg which takes the entire night.  Their train, packed to the gills with refugees, is constantly shunted to make room for troop trains going in the opposite direction.

    Czech delegates walk out of the Austrian Reichsrat, demanding autonomy.

    20 June 1863 Franz Liszt (51) moves into the Dominican monastery of the Madonna del Rosario on the Monte Mario near Rome.  He will live there for five years.

    West Virginia becomes the 35th state of the United States.

    24 June 1863 Eugène Rouher replaces Pierre Jules Baroche as Minister President of the Council of State for France.

    25 June 1863 At the urging of the Prince of Choshu, Emperor Osahito orders all foreigners out of Japan.  The edict can not be enforced.

    27 June 1863 Confederate forces capture York and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, heading for Harrisburg.

    1 July 1863 Slavery is abolished in the Netherlands, Suriname, and the Netherlands Antilles.

    Federal forces stumble upon General Lee’s main army at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 105 km north of Washington.  By mid-afternoon, the rebels have forced the Federals back through the town.  Union troops set up defensive positions to the south on Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Ridge.

    2 July 1863 Japan formally apologizes for the Namamugi incident of last 14 September and agrees to pay a fine of £100,000.

    16:00  Confederate troops attack the left of the Federal line at Gettysburg on the Big and Little Round Tops, the Wheat Field, the Slaughter Pen, Devil’s Den and the Valley of Death.  The Union line holds.

    3 July 1863 Giacomo Meyerbeer (71) receives a letter from Cosima von Bülow asking him to become an honorary member of a new music society in Berlin.  He accepts.

    Slavimo slavno slaveni! for male chorus and organ by Franz Liszt (51) to words of Pucic is performed for the first time, in Rome for the millennium celebration of St. Cyril and St. Methodius.

    14:00  After an artillery duel lasting one hour, 13,000 Confederates attack the Union center on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg.  They are repulsed with heavy losses.  In the largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere, 7,058 people have been killed, 33,264 wounded and 10,790 are missing (many of these prisoners).

    4 July 1863 Confederate troops begin to retreat south from Gettysburg.

    Federal forces capture Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Confederacy’s last major port on the Mississippi River.  29,000 rebel troops surrender.

    8 July 1863 Japanese shore batteries fire on the French steamship Kienchang in the Shimoneski Strait.  The Kienchang is damaged and retires.

    Federal troops capture Port Hudson, Louisiana and its 6,000 defenders, the last Confederate position on the Mississippi River.

    9 July 1863 Sir George Grey, British governor of New Zealand, expels all Maori from land held by the British south of Auckland.  This is in advance of a British invasion of the Waikato region.

    11 July 1863 Japanese ships and shore batteries bombard the Dutch corvette Medusa in the Shimoneski Strait.  Medusa returns fire and damage is done on both sides causing nine casualties.

    Pope Pius IX visits Franz Liszt (51) at the monastery of the Madonna del Rosario near Rome.  He asks Liszt to play and he obliges with St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds, followed by Casta Diva from Bellini’s (†27) Norma.  The Pope sings the aria spontaneously from memory.

    Il Signor Fagotto, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (44) to words of Nuitter and Tréfeu, is performed for the first time, at Bad Ems.

    Draft riots begin in New York City and continue for the next four days.  Approximately 1,000 people are killed or wounded including many blacks lynched for being the cause of the war.  Rioters protest money payments in lieu of military service.

    12 July 1863 10,000 British troops invade the Maori region south of Auckland.  This number constitutes one-quarter of the entire British army worldwide.

    13 July 1863 By the Treaty of London, King Frederik of Denmark accepts the throne of Greece for his grandson who will reign as King George.  The protecting powers (France-Great Britain-Russia) guarantee the treaty and agree to fund the government.

    14 July 1863 Jews are granted equality under the law in the Duchy of Holstein.

    16 July 1863 Near the Straits of Shimoneski, the USS Wyoming sinks two Japanese ships in retaliation for the sinking of the US ship Pembroke in May.  It also silences the Japanese shore batteries.  Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi approves of the action as it helps him win influence over the Emperor at the expense of anti-foreign elements.

    18 July 1863 The all-Black 54th Massachusetts regiment leads a Union assault on Ft. Wagner, South Carolina.  The attack fails.  For his actions today, Sgt. William Carney will become the first African-American to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    21 July 1863 Lischen et Fritzchen, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (44) to words of Dubois (pseud. of Boisselot), is performed for the first time, at Bad Ems.

    30 July 1863 Tsar Alyeksandr II signs a manifesto in Hämeenlinna making Finnish equal to Swedish in Finland.

    1 August 1863 The Language Ordinance decrees that Finnish must be used equally with Swedish in all public business in Finland within 20 years.

    3 August 1863 Jules Massenet (21) receives the First Grand Prix de Rome and the first prize in fugue for his setting of the cantata David Rizzio.

    11 August 1863 King Norodom agrees to a French protectorate over Cambodia.

    13 August 1863 Eugène Delacroix dies in Paris at the age of 65.

    An earthquake in Bolivia and Peru kills 25,000 people.

    15 August 1863 Even though Japan has apologized for the Namamugi incident of last 14 September, Satsuma Province refuses to pay a £25,000 indemnity and execute the killers.  As a result, Royal Navy warships begin to bombard Kagoshima.

    16 August 1863 At the invitation of Emperor Franz Joseph II of Austria, the German princes meet in Frankfurt in an attempt to unify Germany.  The attempt fails.

    17 August 1863 Royal Navy ships cease three days of bombardment of Kagoshima, Japan.  Only five civilians have been killed, but a good part of the city is destroyed, along with eight Japanese ships.  Satsuma will eventually pay the demanded indemnity, but the killers will never be identified.

    18 August 1863 Invitation à la Polka Mazur op.277 by Johann Strauss (37) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.

    21 August 1863 Confederate terrorists sack and burn Lawrence, Kansas murdering 150 male inhabitants.  30 people are injured.

    28 August 1863 At Apple Creek (Burleigh County, North Dakota), United States troops kill 58 Sioux.

    29 August 1863 Bauern-Polka op.276 by Johann Strauss (37) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.

    In the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, a Confederate submarine designed by HL Hunley sinks with the loss of five men.  It will be raised and tried again.

    30 August 1863 The Duchy of Anhalt, split into five parts since 1603,  is unified.  Leopold IV becomes Duke.

    1 September 1863 Bedrich Smetana (39) reopens his music institute in Prague.

    Federal troops capture Fort Smith, Arkansas.

    2 September 1863 Union troops march into Knoxville, Tennessee.

    3 September 1863 Giacomo Meyerbeer (71) arrives in Paris.

    United States troops battle Sioux (Burleigh County, North Dakota).  Between 100 and 200 Indians are killed, 156 imprisoned.  20 soldiers are killed, 38 wounded.

    5 September 1863 The British government seizes two newly built ironclads destined for the Confederate navy in a Liverpool shipyard.  This ends the last diplomatic crisis between Great Britain and the United States.

    9 September 1863 During the Polish uprising, many souvenirs from the life of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (†13) collected by his sister Isabella are burned by Cossacks.

    Federal troops capture Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    10 September 1863 Union troops march into a Confederate trap at McLemore’s Cove, south of Chattanooga.

    Federal forces take Little Rock, Arkansas.

    13 September 1863 Sangeskönig Hiarne, oder Das Tyringsschwert, a romantic opera by Heinrich August Marschner (†1) to words of Grothe after Tegnér, is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.

    14 September 1863 An insurrection begins in the Dominican Republic against Spanish rule.  General José Salcedo is named provisional president.

    15 September 1863 Tsar Alyeksandr II opens the Finnish Diet in Helsinki beginning constitutional rule in that country.

    Horatio William Parker is born in Auburndale (now part of Newton), Massachusetts, eldest of four children born to Charles Edward Parker, a successful architect, and Isabella Graham Jennings, daughter of a minister.  Charles Parker also has four children from a previous marriage.

    Joana de Flandres, an opera seria by Carlos Gomes (27) to words of de Mendonça, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Lírico Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro.

    19 September 1863 Confederate forces attack Federals along a ten km front at Lee & Gordon’s Mill on the Chickamauga Creek south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The heavy fighting produces high casualties but negligible results.

    20 September 1863 Jacob Grimm dies in Berlin at the age of 78.

    After a wild melee just south of Chattanooga, the Federals stop the Confederate advance but retreat in great disorder to the north.  The fighting sees 34,500 total casualties.

    27 September 1863 Neues Leben op.278, a polka française by Johann Strauss (37), is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.

    28 September 1863 Johannes Brahms (30) conducts his first rehearsal with the Vienna Singakademie.

    30 September 1863 Les pêcheurs de perles, an opéra by Georges Bizet (24) to words of Carré and Cormon, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, Paris.  The audience is enthusiastic but the critics are harsh.

    1 October 1863 The German Diet votes for united action against Denmark.

    A bomb is thrown at the Russian governor of Poland in Warsaw.  In retaliation, Russian authorities burn everything the house contains.  By coincidence, the contents include all the books and manuscripts of Poland’s leading orientalist, Jozef Kowaleski, as well as a piano once owned by Chopin.

    8 October 1863 After journalistic efforts of 30 years, Hector Berlioz (59) contributes his last article to the Journal des débats, a review of Bizet’s (24) Les pêcheurs de perles.  See 10 October 1833.

    13 October 1863 Chief Minister Auguste Billault of France dies at his chateau near Nantes.  Although he had a long standing heart ailment, his death is unexpected.

    The remains of Franz Schubert (†34) are exhumed and examined in Vienna.  The biographer, Heinrich Kreissle von Hellborn reports that “His round, plump, somewhat swollen face; the low forehead; the pouting lips; bushy eyebrows; the stumpy nose; and the curly hair gave his head a moorish appearance...His stature was below medium size, rounded back and shoulders, the arms and hands plump, the fingers short.”  The body of Ludwig van Beethoven (†35) is also exhumed.

    15 October 1863 The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sinks for a second time in Charleston Harbor, this time drowning the inventor along with a seven-man crew.  It will be raised and tried again.

    18 October 1863 Gustave Rouland replaces Eugène Rouher as Minister President of the Council of State for France.

    24 October 1863 Mihail Kogalniceanu replaces Nicolae Cretulescu as Prime Minister of Romania.

    26 October 1863 The Football Association of England is formed by eleven clubs from the London area, beginning the standardization of football.

    Representatives of 16 countries and four private organizations meet in Geneva to adopt resolutions on the treatment of wounded on the battlefield.

    29 October 1863 36 people, representatives of 16 countries and four private organizations, conclude four days of meetings in Geneva under the auspices of the International Relief Committee for Injured Combatants.  They resolve to create national committees to assist the military medical services.  They further resolve that the international symbol for their battlefield volunteers shall be a white armlet with a red cross.  Personnel and vehicles which display this symbol shall be considered neutral by belligerent armies.

    30 October 1863 Prince Vilhelm of Denmark arrives in Athens as King Georgios I.  He pledges to abide by the new constitution, as soon as it is completed.

    2 November 1863 A grand concert to inaugurate the new organ at Boston’s Music Hall includes a performance by John Knowles Paine (24).

    3 November 1863 Schleswig is made a Danish province.

    4 November 1863 The second part of Les troyens (Les troyens à Carthage), a grand opéra by Hector Berlioz (59) to his own words, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, Paris.  The audience applauds vociferously and critics are very enthusiastic.  See 6 December 1890.

    6 November 1863 Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris replaces Benizelos Athanasiou Rouphos as Prime Minister of Greece.

    11 November 1863 After the premiere of Franco Faccio’s opera I profughi fiamminghi at La Scala, Milan, Arrigo Boito (21) recites his ode All’arte italiana, condemning the current state of Italian art and advocating the ideas of Faccio, Boito and their bohemian friends.

    12 November 1863 French warships capture Mazatlán, Mexico.

    15 November 1863 King Fredrik VII of Denmark dies before signing the constitution of 13 November. He is succeeded by Christian IX, his first cousin once removed.  This is the end of the Oldenburg dynasty.  Denmark and Schleswig go to the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg family.  The status of Holstein becomes an item of dispute.

    The Vienna Singakademie gives its first concert under the direction of Johannes Brahms (30).  The eclectic program includes Viennese premieres of the Cantata no.21 of Johann Sebastian Bach (†113), Requiem für Mignon by Robert Schumann (†7) as well as works by Isaac (†346) and Beethoven (†36) and folksong arrangements.  It is well received.

    16 November 1863 Once More My Love, a song for voice and piano by Charles Villiers Stanford (11) is performed for the first time, in Dublin.  This is the earliest reference to a performance of music composed by Stanford.

    17 November 1863 French forces occupy Querétaro, Mexico.

    18 November 1863 Yielding to popular opinion, King Christian IX signs a new constitution for Denmark and Schleswig.

    19 November 1863 The military cemetery at Gettysburg is dedicated in a ceremony before 15,000 people.  After a two-hour oration by Edward Everett, President Lincoln gives a “little speech.”

    20 November 1863 British troops attack Maori positions at Rangiriri.  After initially defeating numerous attacks, the Maori will surrender tomorrow.

    20 November 1863 James Bruce, Earl of Elgin, Viceroy of India, dies of a heart attack in Dharamsala.

    21 November 1863 Sir Robert Cornelis Napier is named acting Viceroy of India.

    22 November 1863 Fantasia Sonata in d minor for organ by John Knowles Paine (24) is performed for the first time, by the composer in the Music Hall, Boston.

    24 November 1863 In the “Battle Above the Clouds”, Federal forces drive the Confederates from Lookout Mountain south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    25 November 1863 Federal attacks break the Confederate defenders of Missionary Ridge, west of Chattanooga, and force them to retreat south into Georgia.  The fighting sees 12,400 total casualties.

    26 November 1863 Spartacus, an overture by Camille Saint-Saëns (28) is performed for the first time, in Notre Dame de Bordeaux.

    28 November 1863 While traveling from Mainz to Löwenberg, Richard Wagner (50) stops at the home of Hans von Bülow in Berlin.  In the afternoon, as von Bülow is rehearsing, Wagner and Cosima von Bülow go for a ride.  They both will regard this as the beginning of their serious relationship.

    29 November 1863 Franz Schubert’s (†35) String Quartet D.173 is performed publicly for the first time, by the Vienna Musikverein, 48 years after it was composed.

    30 November 1863 King Kamehameha IV of Hawaii dies in Honolulu and is succeeded by his brother, Kamehameha V.

    1 December 1863 The first railroad in New Zealand opens between Christchurch and Ferrymead.

    Samuel Goodale of Cincinnati receives a patent for a “stereoscopic device to show scenes in motion.”

    2 December 1863 Sir William Thomas Denison replaces Sir Robert Cornelis Napier as acting Viceroy of India.

    4 December 1863 German chemist Adolf von Baeyer mixes animal urine with acid from apples.  Since it is St. Barbara’s Day, he calls this new substance Barbituric Acid.

    5 December 1863 Der Jäger op.22/4 for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (30) to traditional German words is performed for the first time, in Hannover.

    6 December 1863 Federal forces break the Confederate siege of Knoxville, Tennessee.

    7 December 1863 Morning.  Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni is born in Livorno, the second of five children born to Domenico Mascagni, a baker, and Emilia Rebua.

    8 December 1863 British forces occupy Ngaruawahia, 100 km southeast of Auckland, the center of Maori resistance.

    The Church of La Compañia, in Santiago de Chile, burns down, killing 2,500 people

    13 December 1863 Modest Musorgsky (24) is appointed collegiate secretary at the chief engineering department of the Russian Ministry of Communications.

    Der Geistertanz D.494 for male chorus by Franz Schubert (†35) to words of Matthisson is performed for the first time, in the Redoutensaal, Vienna, 47 years after it was composed.

    16 December 1863 Gerard Adriaan Heineken buys the De Hooiberg Brewery in Amsterdam.

    18 December 1863 Three works of vocal chamber music by Johannes Brahms (30) are performed for the first time, in Vienna:  Wechsellied zum Tanz op.31/1 for vocal quartet to words of Goethe, Die Nonne und der Ritter op.28/1 for alto, baritone and piano to words of Eichendorff, and Vor der Tür op.28/2 for alto, baritone and piano to words of an old German poet translated by Wenzig.

    19 December 1863 Frederick Walton receives a British patent for linoleum.

    20 December 1863 Mexican President Juárez leaves San Luis Potosí and retreats to Saltillo.

    24 December 1863 Troops from Saxony and Hannover enter Holstein.

    William Makepeace Thackeray dies in London at the age of 52.

    31 December 1863 Ditlev Gothard Monrad replaces Carl Christian Hall as Prime Minister of Denmark.

    ©2004-2014 Paul Scharfenberger

    12 April 2014

    Last Updated (Saturday, 12 April 2014 17:46)