General Benjamin Butler at Fort Monroe, Virginia, declared escaped slaves “contraband” of war and refused to return them to their owners.
Congress abolished slavery in Washington, DC, with a provision for compensation to loyal owners.
General David Hunter issued his General Orders No. 11, which declared slaves in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina free. Concerned with border states’ loyalty, Lincoln revoked the order ten days later.
Abraham Lincoln signed legislation barring slavery in the US territories, which extend from New Mexico to Washington and Dakota.
Harriet Tubman helped Union troops free 700 slaves at Combahee River, South Carolina.
Confederates captured Fort Pillow, Tennessee. Witnesses later reported that Confederates shot down surrending Union soldiers, women, and children, including 300 African Americans.
Louisiana voters approved a new state constitution abolishing slavery.
By a narrow margin, Maryland voters adopted a new state constitution that provided for the abolition of slavery.
President Lincoln issued a proclamation admitting Nevada into the Union as a free state.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified upon Georgia’s ratification.