|True Confederate History
| The Three Emancipation Proclamations
In July 1861 President Lincoln appointed General John C. Fremont, the explorer of the western frontier, as commanded of the Western Department in hopes of gaining more support in the Trans-Mississippi territories. Missouri was especially troublesome so in August 1861 General Fremont declared martial law in Missouri and on August 30, 1861 he issued an Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the state. When President Lincoln found out what General Fremont had done, he asked him to modify his proclamation and Fremont refused. President Lincoln then relieved General Fremont from command of the Western Department in September and nullified the proclamation.
Colonel David H. Hunter was wounded while acting as a Division Commander at the battle of First Manassas. Following his recovery he was promoted to the rank of Major General and assigned to command the Department of the South with headquarters at Hilton Head Island South Carolina. General Hunter established the 1st South Carolina Regiment, US Colored Troops in April, 1862 but due to lack of support from the War Department it was disbanded. On May 9, 1862 General David Hunter issued an Emancipation Proclamation in his General Order 11 which freed the slaves in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, which comprised the Department of the South. The proclamation was immediately annulled by President Lincoln
On September 22, 1862 President Lincoln issued a Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation declaring that slaves in states, or portions of states still in rebellion would be freed on January 1, 1863. The proclamation therefore made provisions for seceded states to return to the Union with slavery in tact. However, when the Emancipation Proclamation took effect on January 1, 1863 it actually freed few slaves. As former Governor Wilder noted in his article in the Richmond Times Dispatch of March 5, 2006 entitled, “Slavery was Much More Than a Southern Problem” many slaves in Virginia were not set free. In fact, slaves in the border states of Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri were not impacted as well as the states of Tennessee, Louisiana, and those portions of Virginia under Union control. The Emancipation Proclamation only offered freedom to those slaves held in Confederate controlled territory where the Union had no way to enforce the provisions of the proclamation. It certainly did not free the slaves held by Union General U.S. Grant’s family. In reality, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was not much more effective at freeing the slaves than the proclamations of General Fremont or General Hunter. The problem of slavery was eventually resolved by the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Any male descendant of a Confederate Veteran who wishes to join the Powhatan Troop, or anyone with questions or comments please respond to SCV, P.O. Box 441, Powhatan, Virginia 23139.
|Articles I, II, & III|