September 22 - 1862 - The Emancipation Proclamation is Preliminarily Issued
When Abraham Lincoln announced an Emancipation Proclamation in September of 1862, no slaves were immediately freed. First, Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which was due to come into effect in 100 days, on January 1, 1863. Second, the Emancipation Proclamation actually only officially freed slaves in territory then in open rebellion against the United States of America. Slaves in the four border slave states that did not secede, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, were not freed, and slaves in territory taken by the Union previously were not immediately freed. Yet the Emancipation Proclamation shifted the very meaning of the Civil War. Now, the Union was not merely fighting to reunite the country as it had been in 1860, but was fighting to end slavery throughout the nation. After the official issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, no European nations showed any willingness to support the South. More importantly, many newly freed slaves would join the Union war effort as soldiers, taking the fight to their former masters. Once the Emancipation Proclamation was in place, the Civil War became a War of Emancipation.