By the trickle had become a flood. Official White House photo by Pete Souza. In a letter dated September 11 that was published in Union newspapers, Lincoln ordered Fremont to change his order to conform to the First Confiscation Act, afraid that linking abolition with the war would cause the slave-holding border states to rebel.
On September 22,Lincoln signed the preliminary Emancipation Proclamationwhich informed both the Confederacy and the Union of his intention to free all persons held as slaves in the rebellious states.
A second unauthorized emancipation proclamation was issued on May 9,by Maj. Lincoln, and surely African Americans as well, knew that for all its good intentions, the Emancipation Proclamation would free slaves only if Union armies won victories in Rebel states. Was it a thunderbolt aimed at correcting generations of inhumanity?
Up until Septemberthe main focus of the war had been to preserve the Union. Emancipation Proclamation had little immediate effect on the plight of slaves.
It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically.