President Lincoln drafted an emancipation proclamation in July 1862. He delayed issuing it till the Union had a military victory. On Sept 22, 1862, after the victory at the Battle of Antietam, he signed the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. It warned rebel forces that if they did not surrender and rejoin the Union in 100 days, then all slaves in the rebellious states would be freed. Once it was clear that the South would not surrender, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation Jan 1, 1863.