On Jan. 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. He had drafted the Emancipation Proclamation after the Battle of Antietam. It marked a turning point of Abraham Lincoln's view on freeing African American Slaves. While it did not immediately free the slaves it expressly made the point of the Civil War about freeing the slaves. It also allowed African Americans to join the Union Army and Navy. As a result, 180,000 African Americans joined the Army and the Navy. It was also an important moment for local DC history.