After a string of disappointing generals, President Lincoln named Ulysses S. Grant general in chief of the US Army.
President Lincoln issued his official Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State . . . in rebellion against the United States . . . thenceforward and forever free.” Slaves in loyal areas (including the Border States) were not freed by the proclamation, as Lincoln believed that he only had the power to issue the proclamation “as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion” (though he would soon press for the emancipation of all slaves with the Thirteenth...
The last federal troops were withdrawn from the southern states, bringing Reconstruction to an end.
Red Cloud, an Oglala Sioux chief, led resistance against the US Army’s effort to built forts along the Bozeman Trail in Lakota territory. Red Cloud’s series of successful assaults ended with the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868.
Senator Joseph McCarthy began a series of televised Congressional investigations into Communists in the US Army. The broadcasts exposed McCarthy as an unscrupulous bully, and the Senate eventually voted to censure McCarthy for his conduct during the hearings.
In the South Vietnam village of My Lai, American infantrymen murdered more than five hundred men, women, and children. The atrocities at My Lai came to light in the American media in early 1969, stunning the public and helping to turn national opinion against the war.
The last American combat troops left Vietnam.
Members of the militant American Indian Movement staged an armed occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the site of a massacre of Lakota Indians at the hands of the US Army in 1890. The occupiers were led by Russell Means and Dennis Banks. They declared an independent Sioux nation and held the area for seventy-one days, surrendering after an AIM member was shot and killed by federal authorities.