President Abraham Lincoln has just announced his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862.
This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, a nation divided is just beginning to absorb the blunt message that Lincolns war will now be a war against slavery in addition to a fight to reunite North and South.
Lincoln declares that if the rebels do not end their fight and rejoin the Union by Jan. 1, 1863, all slaves in the rebellious states would be deemed forever free from that time forward. His move comes a week after the bloody fighting at Antietam.
APs account of the fighting in Maryland reports the Antietam losses for the rebels in dead and wounded will not come far from 18,000 to 20,000 casualties. Modern-day estimates of the battle have put the overall casualty count at 23,100 dead, missing and wounded.
Elsewhere, Confederates who encroached on Kentucky in the summer of 1862 have skirmished with Union forces.