Saturday, September 21, 2019

September 22 marks the anniversary of the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation

Tomorrow, September 22, marks the anniversary of the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on January 1, 1863.  Following the Battle of Antietam, Abraham Lincoln called his cabinet into session on September 22, 1862 and issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

A few footnotes.  

The Battle of Antietam was fought on September 17, 1862.  In between that battle and issuance of the Proclamation was the Battle of Shepherdstown.  On September 19, 1862, two Union regiments, the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters and the 4th Michigan, went across the Potomac River at Boteler's Ford. On September 20, 1862, Union General Porter  of V Corps sent two brigades across the Potomac and encountered troops of A.P. Hill.  The 118th Pennsylvania Regiment was attacked by four Confederate brigades and suffered 36% losses.  The Union forces retreated back to Maryland, and by September 22 it was clear that the Antietam campaign was over.  [General Porter was arrested and court-martialed on November 25, 1862 for his actions at Second Bull Run; in 1878, Porter was exonerated and in 1886 his sentence was commuted.]

At the time of Antietam and the Proclamation, the Congressional elections of 1862 were yet to occur.  An event, not given much attention in Civil War writings, was The Loyal War Governors' Conference which took place in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on September 24 and 25, 1862.  Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania sent out the invitation on September 6, 1862 [before the Battle of Antietam].  The governors prepared an address, supporting the war effort, which was delivered at the White House on September 26, 1862.  Non-attending governors  of VermontConnecticutKansasMinnesota, and Oregon all gave their approval of the document. but it was conspicuously declined by those (non-attending) of New YorkNew JerseyDelawareKentucky, and Missouri (and the attending governor of Maryland)


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