The Confederate Army succeeded from the Union Army on February 21st, 1861. President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1882 (which only freed enslaved Africans in Confederate States). Lincoln’s Proclamation became official January 1, 1863, when the Confederate Army refused to rejoin the Union Army. When the war ended April 9th 1865, slaves in Texas were yet to be given their freedom. Granger was given command of the District of Texas.

On June 19, 1865 Major General Gordon Granger of the United States Army marched into Galveston, Texas. Note that this was two years, 5 months and 18 days after Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. One of Granger’s first orders of business was to read President Lincoln’s issued General Order No. 3 to the people of Texas. The 25th Corps, composed of 6 USCT regiments from Camp William Penn surrounded and protected Gen. Granger as he read General Oder # 3 to the enslaved Africans in Galveston Texas.

Major Granger reading of General order # 3 set off joyous demonstrations by freedmen and originating in the annual Juneteenth celebration, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas.

Major General Gordon Granger