Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.


JANUARY 1, 1863.

—Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, issued his confirmatory Emancipation Proclamation, declaring the slaves in certain States and parts of States in rebellion to be henceforth and forever free.—An enthusiastic meeting was held in Tremont Temple, Boston, throughout the whole of this day—morning, afternoon, and evening—in honor of the Proclamation. The day was also celebrated in Norfolk, Va., by the entire negro population. They marched through the town in procession, numbering over four thousand persons, headed by a band of music, carrying the Union flag, cheering for the downfall of slavery, etc. At Beaufort, S. C, the day was celebrated by the freedmen, by an excursion up the Beaufort River to the encampment of the First South-Carolina colored volunteers, where they were addressed by Brigadier-General Saxton, Colonel Higginson, Rev. Mr. French, and others. After singing an “Ode for Emancipation Day,” the multitude partook of refreshments. The tables were loaded with roast beef, bread, coffee, etc. Five oxen were roasted whole for the occasion.

—Galveston, Texas, was captured by a rebel force under General Magruder. The town was garrisoned by only three hundred troops, protected by six small gunboats: namely, the Westfield, Clifton, Harriet Lane, Owasco, Sachem, and Corypheus. Of these, the Harriet Lane was captured, after fighting until her captain and most of his officers and crew were killed; the Westfield got aground and was prematurely blown up, together with the commander of the fleet, Commodore Renshaw, and most of her officers and crew; the others escaped.—(Doc. 95.)

—Richard Yeadon, of Charleston, S. C, issued the following notice: “President Davis having proclaimed Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts, to be a felon, deserving of capital punishment, for the deliberate murder of William B. Mumford, a citizen of the Confederate States, at New-Orleans, and having ordered that the said Benjamin F. Butler be considered or treated as an outlaw and common enemy of mankind, and that in the event of his capture, the officer in command of the capturing force do cause him to be immediately executed by hanging, the undersigned hereby offers a reward of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the capture and delivery of the said Benjamin F. Butler, dead or alive, to any proper confederate authority.”

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