United States, Civil War Confederate Applications for Pardons (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: United States, Civil War Confederate Applications for Pardons, 1865-1867 .
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.
The index includes the following information:
- Petitioner Name
- 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. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
- 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.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Remember to search for all known names including nicknames and aliases.
- Compile the entries for all people who have the same surname as your ancestor, as they may be relatives.
- Occupations or businesses may be leads to additional records such as bank or other military records.
- Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons
- Case Files of Applications From Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons Pamphlet Description M1003
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citation for This Collection
- "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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