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From Antietam to Emancipation
Transcript of From Antietam to Emancipation
Consider the impact of the Battle of Antietam (Sept 17, 1862) beyond the battlefield
Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan at Antietam
Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Sept 22, 1862
". . . on the first day of January . . . all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." President Abraham Lincoln, preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862
Letter to George McClellan (October 25, 1862)
Majr. Genl. McClellan
I have just read your dispatch about sore tongued and fatigued horses. Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigue anything?
Reply to Emancipation Memorial (September 13, 1862)
“What good would a proclamation of emancipation from me do, especially as we are now situated? I do not want to issue a document that the whole world will see must necessarily be inoperative, like the Pope’s bull against the comet! Would my word free the slaves, when I cannot even enforce the Constitution in the rebel States? Is there a single court, or magistrate, or individual that would be influenced by it there? And what reason is there to think it would have any greater effect upon the slaves than the late law of Congress, which I approved, and which offers protection and freedom to the slaves of rebel masters who come within our lines? A. Lincoln
Consider Reactions to the Emancipation Proclamation
Executive Mansion, Washington, Oct. 13, 1862.
Major General McClellan
My dear Sir
You remember my speaking to you of what I called your over-cautiousness.
Are you not over-cautious when you assume that you can not do what the enemy is constantly doing? Should you not claim to be at least his equal in prowess, and act upon the claim?
We've come full circle then. Some questions to consider:
- Why did Lincoln's hesitancy to address Emancipation change after Antietam?
- Why did Lincoln remove McClellan after the "victory of Antietam?"
- What were the reactions to the Emancipation in the North? The South? Internationally?
- What is the lasting impact of Antietam and the Emancipation Proclamation?
Photograph's like this, which appeared in Matthew Brady's New York Studio, made Antietam real for ordinary Americans.