It’s high time I did another installment in our series that looks back at what was happening Civil War-wise exactly 150 years ago.
Sept. 22, 1861, President Lincoln wrote a letter to Illinois Sen. Orville Hickman Browning defending his response to an order of John C. Fremont, commander of the Army’s Department of the West.
Fremont had declared martial law on Aug. 30 and freed slaves in Missouri. Lincoln wanted him to rescind that order because it didn’t comply with the Confiscation Act Congress passed on Aug. 6. The Confiscation Act allowed the federal government to confiscate property used to aid the Confederate cause, including slaves. The act didn’t go so far as to free slaves, though; rather, it merely removed their owners’ claim to them.
Sept. 11, Lincoln modified Fremont’s order to conform to the Confiscation Act.
He wrote to Browning that “Fremont’s proclamation, as to confiscation of property, and the liberation of slaves, is purely political, and not within the range of military law, or necessity.”
Civil War resources from Family Tree Shop:
- Life in Civil War America by Michael O. Varhola
- Civil War Research: Find Your Ancestors in the War Between the States Family Tree University course with Diana Crisman Smith
- Warman’s Civil War Collectibles Identification and Price Guide by Russell E. Lewis
- Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album by Maureen A. Taylor