Civil War | Emancipation | 3

Civil War | Emancipation | 3

The Civil War began as an effort to hold the country together. Few Northern soldiers marched into battle to end slavery. But tens of thousands of enslaved men, women, and children took matters into their own hands, using the chaos of the war to free themselves from bondage. Their action forced a gradual shift in Union war policy.

After a bloody, hard-fought victory over Confederate forces at Antietam, Abraham Lincoln decided the time had come for what was once unthinkable: a proclamation that would end slavery for good.

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