Juneteenth, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, commemorating June 19, 1865 when the abolition of slavery was announced and enforced in the state of Texas, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. Isaac and Rosa, emancipated slave children, from the Free Schools of Louisiana; cabinet card photograph by M.H. Kimball, 1863. NYHS Image #78327d.
Liberated slaves were treated as contraband or captured property at this time. The confiscation act of 1861 allowed seizing Confederate property but did not clarify the fate of captured slaves. One Union general gained notoriety for general order No. 11 which freed all slaves in areas under his control. President Lincoln countermanded this order amid concerns of the political consequences in four slave holding border states that remained in the Union.