December 16,1863-Union General John Buford dies of tuberculosis at Washington, D.C. at the age of 37.
December 16,1863-General Averell's cavalry column enters Salem, Virginia, occupies the town, destroys the depot and railroad bridges in the area.
December 17,1863-President Lincoln releases plans for a Federal Bureau of Emancipation to assist freed slaves. Congress fails to enact legislation forming this bureau until March, 1865.
December 17,1863-The steamer 'Chesapeake', commandeered by Confederate sympathizers, is apprehended in Sambro Harbor, Nova Scotia and released back to its original owners.
December 18,1863-General John M. Schofield is removed from duty in Missouri due to his poor handling of civilian affairs. President Lincoln simultaneously sacks the General and promotes him to major general to avoid and ugly conflict in Army leadership.
December 19,1863-The USS Restless, Bloomer, and Caroline patrol off Florida near St. Andrews Bay. In 10 days of raids, they eliminate 290 Southern owned saltworks and 268 buildings.
December 20,1863-The USS Sunflower, USS Fox, and USS Governor Buckingham capture Confederate blockade runners near Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina, Tampa Bay and Suwannee River, Florida.
December 21,1863-General Jacob D. Cox is appointed commander of the Department of Mississippi and Louisiana, replacing General Schofield.