Notes #5: The Emancipation Proclamation, The 54 th and Women in the War
Lincoln met with his Cabinet for the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation draft on July 22, 1862. The Constitution does not give the President the power to abolish slavery in the Union. He does however make a bold move when it came down to the issue. What he does decide to do with slavery will change the course of the war.
On Jan 1 st, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This granted freedom to all slaves in areas of the Confederacy still in rebellion. Lincoln used his powers as commander-in-chief to issue the Emancipation Proclamation as a military tactic aimed at crippling the enemy’s labor force. The proclamation did not pertain to slaves in the border states, but it did allow African-Americans to join the Union Army and Navy.
Lincolns proclamation has now made slavery an issue. England and France, both morally opposed to slavery, could not in good conscience ally themselves with the Confederacy. The South ignored the Emancipation Proclamation. PLEASE REMEMBER: The Emancipation Proclamation did not free all slaves-The only real way to end slavery was to make a constitutional amendment that made slavery illegal in the U.S.
In the early part of the war, blacks were not allowed to join the Army, but by after the proclamation, Congress allowed African Americans to enlist. The response was great (180,000 free blacks and escaped slaves). To serve the Union. Black troops received less pay and had to be led by white officers.
The 54th Massachusetts Infantry was one of the first all black units. Like in the Revolutionary War, officers of all black units had to be white. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw served as the commanding officer of the 54 th Massachusetts.Colonel Robert Gould Shaw 11 Their most famous battle was the assault on Fort Wagner in 1863 in which almost half of the regiment was killed, including Colonel Robert Gould Shaw http://www.history.com/videos/gilder-lehrman- massachussetts-54th#gilder-lehrman- massachussetts-54th
Women in the Civil War Women on both sides worked during the war. The most famous nurse from the Union was Clara Barton. She was known as the "Angel of the Battlefield” Founder of the American Red Cross in 1881. After the war, she opened the Missing Soldier Office. She was able to find information on more than 22,000 soldiers.
The armies weren’t all-male Hundreds of women on both sides pulled a Mulan, assuming male identities and appearances so that they might fight for their respective nations. Some of them did it for adventure, but many did it for monetary reasons: the pay for a male soldier was about $13 month, which was close to double what a woman could make in any profession at the time.