United States, Civil War Confederate Applications for Pardons (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of applications for pardons, 1865-1867, submitted to President Andrew Johnson by former Confederates excluded from the proclamation of May 29, 1865. The case files include affidavits, oaths of allegiance, recommendation for clemency, and other papers. This collection is part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office,1780 - 1917, National Archives Microfilm Publication M1003. The index is courtesy of Fold3 (formerly Footnote).

During the Civil War, Federal officials recognized a need for new laws to deal with the rebellious acts of large parts of the Southern population. Congress passed acts on July 31, 1861 (12 Stat. 284), and July 17, 1862 (12 Stat. 589), that fixed penalties for the lesser crimes of "conspiracy" and "rebellion." The second act also provided for future pardon and amnesty "to any persons who may have participated in the existing rebellion . . . with such exceptions and at such time and on such conditions as he may deem expedient for the public welfare."

The first amnesty proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on December 8, 1863. It extended pardon to person taking an oath to support the Constitution and the Union and to abide by all Federal laws and proclamations in reference to slavery made during the period of the rebellion.

The records were created to track those who applied for amnesty. The records are generally reliable.

Record Content

The index includes the following information:

  • Petitioner Name
  • Date
  • Place or Residence
  • Fold3 (footnote) ID
  • NARA Roll Number

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of the person, including nicknames or alias names
  • The approximate date
  • The residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

Keep in mind:

  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the name, date, and place or residence, to find the ancestor or family in census records.
  • Use the place or residence to locate church and land records.

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Contributions to This Article

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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.


Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"United States, Civil War Confederate Applications for Pardons, 1865-1867" Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing "Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons ('Amnesty Papers'), 1865-1867." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 3 July 2014, at 10:54.
  • This page has been accessed 2,649 times.