General Gordon Granger was a man who left a lasting impact on American history. Born in 1822 in New York, Granger served in the military during the Mexican-American War and later became a general in the Union Army during the Civil War. However, it was his actions as a military leader in Texas that cemented his place in history.
On June 19, 1865, General Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with orders to enforce President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued two and a half years prior. This Proclamation declared that all slaves in the Confederate states were to be free, but it had not yet been enforced in Texas.
Upon his arrival, General Granger issued General Order Number 3, which stated that “all slaves are free.” This order, known today as Juneteenth, marked the official end of slavery in the United States and is still celebrated annually as a holiday.
The news of General Granger’s order spread quickly throughout Texas and beyond, leading to the freeing of over 250,000 slaves. This was a momentous occasion in American history and marked a major turning point in the fight for civil rights.
Despite the significance of his actions, General Granger’s role in the end of slavery is not as well-known as it should be. This is partly due to the fact that he did not actively seek out the spotlight and was more focused on fulfilling his duties as a military leader. However, his contributions to the abolition of slavery cannot be overlooked and deserve to be recognized.
After his time in Texas, General Granger returned to military service and was eventually promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. He served in various capacities throughout the country and was even appointed as the Military Governor of Louisiana during Reconstruction.
In addition to his military service, General Granger was also involved in politics and served as the governor of the New Mexico Territory from 1875 to 1878. He passed away in 1876, but his legacy lives on through Juneteenth and the impact he had on the abolition of slavery in the United States.
It is important to remember and honor the contributions of individuals like General Gordon Granger who fought for civil rights and equality. Juneteenth is a celebration of the end of slavery and a reminder of the progress that has been made, but it is also a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.
We must continue to fight for justice and equality for all, and remember the sacrifices and efforts of those who came before us. General Gordon Granger may not be a household name, but his impact on American history cannot be denied. So let’s take a moment to appreciate and honor the contributions of this remarkable man on Juneteenth and every day.