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The Confederates won the Second Battle of Bull Run, crossed the Potomac River into Maryland and captured Harper’s Ferry.
But the Confederate drive was halted at the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of fighting in American history. In total, over a half million lost their lives in the Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln decided to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
In his Second Annual Message, DECEMBER 1, 1862, President Lincoln wrote:
“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free…We shall nobly save-or meanly lose-the last, best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail.
“The way is plain…a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.”
At Independence Hall, Philadelphia, February 22, 1861, Lincoln said:
“The Declaration of Independence gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world for all future time.
“It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance…”
“This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence…I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.”
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