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Posted By: on: 09/26/2000 08:36:31 EDT
Subject: Emancipation Proclamation

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Camp Herndon, Va.
September 26, 2000

All Civil War Buffs:

              On September 22, 1862, just five days after the battle of Antietam, Lincoln issued his "Emancipation Proclamation" to take effect January 1, 1863. While this document, in and of itself, did not free one slave, it did have an immediate impact in two areas. (1) It stopped any thought England and France might have had of coming into the war on the side of the Confederacy. There was no way they could fight against a country whose avowed purpose now was to abolish slavery, and (2) it changed the focus of the war from the "preservation of the Union" to that of "abolishing slavery." One other impact that was not quite so immediate was that it allowed the formation of the "Colored" regiments in large numbers in the Union armies. This was to have a major impact on the outcome of the war. By the close of the war the "colored troops" would have 145 regiments of infantry, 7 of cavalry, 12 of heavy artillery, 1 of light artillery, and 1 of engineers; for a total of 166. Of these, 60 were brought onto the field of battle. Even those that were not used in combat served a very valuable purpose in that they freed other units up for combat that would have normally had to pull post or garrison duty.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient Servant,
Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
http://www.civilwarhome.com

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