As Krypton was about to be destroyed, scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van saved their unborn son Kal-El by sending him to Earth during the 19th century. Kal-El's spaceship landed near the property of Kansas couple Josephus and Sarah Kent. The Kents had recently lost two babies from complication in which Josephus was recently burying the third from stillborn and the first to discover Kal-El. He adopted the baby as his son and presented to Sarah, who was delirious from giving birth to her third child, in which they named the Kryptonian foundling Atticus Kent. As Atticus grew up, he was taught by his adopted parents of the values of equality among people during the tenuous issues of American slavery. Because of their virtue the Kent family befriended and hid a runaway African slave family, the Johnson family, from pro-slavers.
When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Johnson joined the Union Army in which Atticus followed his way for what he believed is right. From 1861 to 1863, Atticus bore witness to the horrors of war despite having no real desire to kill, and as well witnessing the racial hypocrisy in the Union when hearing bigoted Unionist soldiers complaining towards blacks. Atticus also made a friend with a fellow soldier named Jeremiah. It was then at the Battle of Vicksburg that Atticus manifested his Kryptonian powers when he was hit by a cannonball and single-handedly won the battle by literally beating his way into Vicksburg and capturing Confederate General John C. Pemberton. As a result, Atticus's actions gained the attention of Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Sherman, whom they realized his potential as a "secret weapon" against the Confederacy. Promoted from Private to Sergeant Atticus aided Union forces under General Sherman in taking Atlanta without a shot being fire and visiting Washington, D.C. where he demonstrated his powers to President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Atticus later decisively participated in the Battle of Gettysburg where he tried to end the battle with minimum casualties for both sides by capturing J.E.B. Stuart and Robert E. Lee, whom the latter was told by Atticus to order his men to surrender. Afterward, Atticus spent two days burying the dead at Gettysburg and was present at Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Despite General Lee's surrender, Atticus continued to put down continuing Confederate resistance and eventually capturing the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, thus ending the war. During the Union's celebrations, Atticus was invited by President Lincoln to attend a performance at Ford's Theatre, where he prevented John Wilkes Booth's assassination attempt on the President. In September 7th, 1863, Atticus organized a secret service to guard the President in response to the attempted assassination; by May 23rd, 1864, Atticus was requested by Lincoln to continue to help oversee the Reconstruction Program; and a year later in March 4th, 1865, Atticus was present at Lincoln's inauguration to his second term in office under the completed Capitol Dome.
On May 22nd, Atticus received a letter to learn that Sarah Kent was dying from a terminal illness and he immediately returned to Kansas where he was able to see his adoptive mother one last time on her deathbed. After Sarah's funeral, Josephus known it was the time to reveal the truth to Atticus in which he told him of where he had come from. Upon learning of the spaceship, Atticus unearthed it from where it was hidden and experienced a holographic message from his Kryptonian birth parents. But it was then learn that he was meant to live among the Native Americans in the western American plains as they are a good people in contrast to the more advanced whites who sought to threatened the aborigines' existence. This revelation shocked and upset Atticus until he was calmed down when lightning struck on his chest emblem which made him to resolve to find his destiny in the unmarked American west while still upholding the ideals of freedom and liberty. He forged his spaceship into a living horse and rode out before giving a message to President Lincoln through Jeremiah of his reasons to live among the true original inhabitants of America.
- 2 Appearances of Kal-El (Earth-1863)
- 7 Images featuring Kal-El (Earth-1863)
- Quotations by or about Kal-El (Earth-1863)
- Character Gallery: Kal-El (Earth-1863)