The Emancipation Proclamation, of course, didn’t officially end slavery throughout the nation as a matter of law; it Love Celebrate It Cool Gay Pride Retro Graphic Shirt – ShirtsMango Office abolished slavery as a war measure in areas that were in rebellion — i.e., across the confederacy. Lincoln understood that complete legal abolition would require a constitutional amendment. As a practical matter, four slave states (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri) had refused to secede and fought for the Union, so Lincoln had to be mindful of a delicate political situation. Everyone understood that the Emancipation Proclamation meant the end of slavery if the North won the war, but with four slave states in the Union, the i’s had to be dotted and the t’s had to be crossed.It was of course very useful for Lincoln that Butler was one of the prominent War Democrats. The northern Democrats were mostly soft-war advocates, if they supported the war at all, and were perfectly content to seek a peace that allowed the South to retain slavery. By 1864, the northern Democrats were heavily Copperhead; the South’s last chance to retain slavery died with Lincoln’s reelection.
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The endgame was a rolling process. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia Love Celebrate It Cool Gay Pride Retro Graphic Shirt – ShirtsMango Office on April 9. Joe Johnston surrendered the Army of Tennessee (what little was left of it) in North Carolina on April 26. Jefferson Davis was captured on May 10. The last confederate general to surrender, on June 23, was Stand Watie, who led the Cherokee confederate contingent. (The Cherokee held slaves and declared for the confederacy.) The CCS Shenandoah was the last confederate combatant unit to surrender; she had been at sea and did not make port and learn the news until November 6, when she surrendered.Gordon Granger was a fine soldier, and by all means let’s put up Juneteenth statues in his honor. But there was nothing especially noteworthy about his reaching Galveston. Somehow folklore has elevated an event that had very little real significance.
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