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From Memorial Day to Juneteenth ~ Honoring US Colored Troops in the Civil War
by Khubaka, Michael Harris
Sunday May 28th, 2017 7:18 AM
President Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in the dark days of the Civil War, announcing on September 22, 1862, that if the rebels did not end the fighting and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, he would issue a “war measure” to free all slaves in the rebellious states.
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Memorial Day is observed every year on the last Monday of May as a federal holiday throughout the United States and a time to remember and reflect on the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

May 1865, formerly enslaved Africans in Charleston, South Carolina reburied slain US Colored Troops who were held captive as prisoners of war. Thousands of people, mainly freed Africans and members of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, (known from the movie Glory) led a parade around the site as the graves were decorated, speeches were offered, and celebrants honored the sacrifice of the slain soldiers in a memorial celebration for the “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

Later, those same buried US Colored Troops were reinterred at the National Cemetery in Beaufort South Carolina and the site is today’s, City of Charleston, Hampton Park named for Confederate General Wade Hampton who before the US Civil War was one of the largest owners of enslaved Africans in the South. Today, the race course is used by the public and the Corps of Cadets of Citadel, Military College of South Carolina to train.

Few recall earlier, August, 1862 Lincoln wrote a letter to an editor of the New York Tribune, who published an open letter insisting President Lincoln free the slaves immediately. In Lincoln's reply he wrote "If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also so that." Lincoln objective was to save the Union.

President Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in the dark days of the Civil War, announcing on September 22, 1862, that if the rebels did not end the fighting and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, he would issue a “war measure” to free all slaves in the rebellious states.

The decision to use US Colored Troops in the Union war effort was not originally endorsed by President Abraham Lincoln until January 1, 1863, as an added part of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.”

The US War Department issued General Order Number 143 on May 22, 1863, establishing the Bureau of Colored Troops to facilitate the recruitment of African-American soldiers to fight for the Union Army.

On the morning of April 9, 1865, during the battle surrounding Appomattox Court House, one of the last major battles of the American Civil War, US Colored Troops were part of the final engagement of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union Army General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, the next week President Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot and the path to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was clear.

On June 19, 1865, at Galveston Island, Texas, General Granger announced his General Order Number 3 and began a 7 week military campaign, with the support of US Colored Troops, throughout Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and seal the border with Mexico at the close of the US Civil War.

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Marx AND Engels in Communication with Lincoln Supported Emancipation of slavesUnion Jack for Mother EarthSunday May 28th, 2017 8:05 PM