The emails were sent and received in the aftermath of the September 2012 attacks on an American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including an ambassador.
"The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks," the department tweeted after the emails publishing announcement, Xinhua reported.
It is reported that the Web address for the first batch of emails was: http://foia.state.gov/search/results.aspx?collectionclinton_email.
The 296 emails are part of the 30,000 that Clinton turned over to the State Department from her private email server. Clinton was reported to have used this email server to conduct both private and public businesses during her time at the State Department.
At the same time, the department is reviewing other Clinton emails for later release.
State Department initially set to release the emails in January 2016
The State Department initially set to release the emails in January 2016. However, a federal judge instead ordered the department to release the emails on a rolling basis and they should be made publicly in batches before then.
Earlier this week in Iowa, Clinton asked the department to speed up the release, saying "nobody has a bigger interest in getting (the emails) released than I do".
On a second bid for the presidency, the emails have threatened to become a major distraction for Clinton.
A congressional committee is investigating why Clinton used her private email server rather than the government's offer. Whether the archive she turned over to the State Department is complete is also being probed.