January 1, 1863 was an historic day in United States history. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect, freeing most slaves in the United States. But for enslaved men living in Kentucky and other border states, it was a bittersweet occasion. Lincoln desperately wanted to keep Kentucky loyal to the Union. It was not until 1864, when Kentucky became the last state allowing their enlistment that slaves could join the Union Army. Like many Kentucky-owned slaves, Newton Bush risked his life to escape from his owner and travel to Camp Nelson and enlist in Company E of the 5th Regiment United States Colored Cavalry.