On September 17, 1862, Union and Confederate troops squared off at Antietam Creek in the first major battle of the Civil War on Northern soil. By sunset, almost 23,000 men lay dead or wounded but the Union had won a desperately needed strategic victory. Five days later, President Abraham Lincoln, bolstered by the Union Army’s performance, issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, publicly declaring his intention to make abolition a goal of the war.
One hundred and fifty years later, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) sponsored Emancipation Nation: Celebrating Freedom on Constitution Day, to mark the momentous occasion.
Two programs were held on September 17, 2012 to focus attention on the dramatic period leading up to the issuance of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
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