3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 29, 2020 8:14 PM by Rebecca Collier

    What was minimum age to sign an amnesty oath?


      Was there a minimum age to sign an amnesty oath during the Civil War?

      A rectangular slip of paper upon which is written "Office Provost Marshal Fayetteville NC June 27 1863 This is to certify that James Ray of Cumberland County has this day taken the amnesty oath as prescribed by the President of the United States. Edward O'Shea Capt & Provost Marshal

        • Re: What was minimum age to sign an amnesty oath?
          Alice Lane Ranger

          Hi David,

          Welcome to History Hub,


          After reading the following I would say that age was not an issue, it was for anyone who participated in the Rebellion. You can read the entire Proclamation at....http://www.freedmen.umd.edu/procamn.htm


          I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do proclaim, declare, and make known to all persons who have, directly or by implication, participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, that a full pardon is hereby granted to them and each of them, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and in property cases where rights of third parties shall have intervened, and upon the condition that every such person shall take and subscribe an oath, and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:–




          Alice Lane

          Research Volunteer

            • Re: What was minimum age to sign an amnesty oath?

              Alice Lane -


              Thank you. I couched the question in terms of age in an attempt to determine which James Ray was linked to this Amnesty Oath, as I have several among my ancestors from that time period. I think that the date I read as 27 June 1863 is more likely 27 Jan 1865; Sherman occupied Fayetteville in March of 1865 and by then only one James Ray was alive, so my question is answered.


              I appreciate your help and am excited to learn of this resource.


              David Boutwell,

              Pandemic era genealogical hobbyist

              1 person found this helpful
            • Re: What was minimum age to sign an amnesty oath?
              Rebecca Collier Guide

              Dear Mr. Boutwell,


              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


              We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Pardons Under Amnesty Proclamations, compiled 1865–1869 in the General Records of the Department of State (Record Group 59) that includes digitized copies of Presidential pardons for Confederate soldiers and citizens who have, directly or by implication, participated in the rebellions against the United States. We also located the series titled Amnesty Papers, 1865 - 1867 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762-1917 (Record Group 94) that contains digitized  individual letters of application of Confederates for pardon and amnesty in response to President Andrew Johnson's proclamation of May 29, 1865, together with a few applications submitted to President Abraham Lincoln by persons excepted under his earlier proclamations. These digitized records are available using the Catalog. Please use these to determine if there were any age limits.


              We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!