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Emancipation Proclamation

Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in areas of rebellion.

Lincoln Proposes Reconstruction Plan

Lincoln puts forth a reconstruction plan offering amnesty to white Southerners who take loyalty oaths and accept the abolition of slavery. State government can be formed in those states where at least 10 percent of voters comply with these terms.

54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry

The 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry is organized at Camp Meigs, Readville, Massachusetts. Between 178,000 and 200,000 black enlisted men and white officers serve under the Bureau of Colored Troops.

Bureau of Colored Troops Established

In Washington, D.C., the Federal War Department establishes the Bureau of Colored Troops.

Draft Riots Staged

In New York City and other Northern cities, whites’ stage draft riots.

Maryland Abolishes Slavery

Maryland state law abolishes slavery.

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