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December 3, 1826 George McClellan born, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
  George McClellan
December 3, 1844 The U. S. House overturns the gag rule (variously House Rule 21, House Rule 23 and House Rule 25) on abolitionist petitions.
  Robert Barnwell Rhett
  gag rule
December 3, 1847 First edition of the North Star rolls off the press. This Abolitionist newspaper was published by former slave Frederick Douglass
  Frederick Douglass
  Civil War Firsts
December 3, 1863 James Longstreet begins a two-day withdrawal from Knoxville to Greeneville following the Siege of Knoxville. Tennessee
  James Longstreet
  Siege of Knoxville
December 3, 1868 The treason trial of Jefferson Davis began in Richmond. Virginia
  Richmond, Virginia

Ongoing on this day:
June 15, 1864
April 2, 1865
Siege of Petersburg Virginia
  Robert E. Lee
  P. G. T. Beauregard
  Army of Northern Virginia
  Ulysses S. Grant
  Siege of Petersburg
April 12, 1861
May 10, 1865
The American Civil War
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