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This week in the Civil War

Slavery banned in US territories; issue weighs on Lincoln

In June 1862, President Abraham Lincoln is still months away from issuing his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. But 150 years ago this week in the Civil War, Lincoln signed a bill passed by Congress that would ban slavery in the U.S. territories without compensating former slaveowners.

It signals Lincoln is giving deep thought to the issue of slavery as the war drags on. On Sept. 22, 1862, following the Union victory at Antietam, Lincoln would issue his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, ordering that in 100 days the federal government would deem all slaves free in those states still rebelling against the Union.

Meanwhile, the week opens with a vast Union army bristling in eastern Virginia for several major battles that would erupt in coming days and weeks.

Those engagements would claim thousands of lives as Confederate forces under Gen. Robert E. Lee would seek to defend their capital of Richmond from Union foes.

– Associated Press

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