01 Jan – crowds gather at churches all over the north including Tremont Temple & Boston Music Hall in Boston in anticipation of President Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation; a “Preliminary” version having been written 100 days prior–on 22 Sept ‘62–Lincoln signed the final version with a new provision allowing former slaves to “be received into the armed service of the United States”



01 Jan – the Glorious Fifty-fourth, the 2nd South Carolina (Colored) and the 3rd USCT celebrate the 1yr anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a “Solemn Convention” on Morris Island: the regimental band and a drum corps lead a procession to the parade grounds; Chaplain Harrison offered an invocation followed by a choir singing “Year of Jubilee”. Sgt. Wm. HW Gray of Company C was the first of several speakers that day, including Sgt Frank M. Welch of Comp F (who would later become one of the handful of Black officers of the regiment by the end of the war) and a Sgt Jones of the 2nd South Carolina. The Chaplain closed with a powerful speech about slavery and the US Constitution. The ceremony ended with the singing of the John Brown song and three cheers for Colonel Robert Gould Shaw!

and separately, maybe…

New Year’s Day – celebrated on 01 January since 1752 in England and its colonies (it was 25 March, previously)




National Museum of African American History and Culture

Bishop Henry MacNeal Turner’s Reminiscences of the Proclamation of Emancipation, From: AME Review. Volume 29, Number 3, January 1913.

Gooding, Corporal James Henry, On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier’s Civil War Letters from the Front, edited by Virginia Adams, The University of Massachusetts Press, 1991.

Emilio, Luis F., A Brave Black Regiment: The History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment…, Da Capo Press, 1995

Calbreath, Dean, The Sergeant: The Incredible Life of Nicholas Said…, Pegasus Books (February 7, 2023)