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

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United States Civil War Confederate Applications for Pardons, 1865-1867
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
Flag of the United State (1863-1865).png
US Flag 1863-1865 (35 stars)
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Pardons and Amnesty Oaths
Record Group RG 94: Records of the Adjutant General's Office
Collection years 1865-1867
Microfilm Publication M1003. Case Files of Applications from former Confederates for Presidential Pardons ("Amnesty Papers"), 1865-1867. 73 rolls.
Arrangement Alphabetically by state then by name.
National Archives Identifier 656621
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

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.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Pardon application

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

How Do I Search This Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person, including nicknames or alias names
  • The approximate date of service
  • The residence where the soldier lived

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • 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
  • Continue to search the index and records to identify other relatives
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination
  • Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor

Record Finder

Consult the United States Record Finder to search other records.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"United States Civil War Confederate Applications for Pardons, 1865-1867." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. From "Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons ('Amnesty Papers'), 1865-1867." Database. Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1003. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1977.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.

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