Confederate Amnesty Records
Confederate Amnesty Papers
The "Amnesty Papers" or "Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons, 1865-1867" (NARA M1003) were created at the end of the Civil War. On May 29, 1865, Andrew Johnson pardoned Confederates who participated in the war in an amnesty proclamation. The amnesty proclamation, however, included 14 groups of people that were excluded from amnesty. The individuals not granted amnesty had to apply for a pardon from the president. Following the 1865 proclamation thousands of former Confederates submitted applications for presidential pardons.
Eventually, President Johnson gave three more amnesty proclamations and, on Christmas Day, 1868, his final proclamation gave amnesty to all who had participated in the rebellion unconditionally. The applications for pardon and related documents are contained in the "Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons, 1865-1867", the "Amnesty Papers".
To learn more about the Amnesty Papers and reasons for exclusion, see an explanation of the records at Fold3.
See the official NARA pamphlet explaining these records in detail at M1003.pdf.
Where to Find the Records
The Amnesty Papers are available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. The Amnesty Papers are also available to access at no charge at National Archives research rooms and any library that provides free access to Ancestry or Fold3.com.
- Confederate Amnesty Papers, 1865-1867 (Fold3) ($)
- Confederate Applications for Presidential Pardons, 1865-1867 (Ancestry) ($)
- Locate these records at a library using Worldcat.
- United States. National Archives and Records Service. Pamphlet Describing M1003: Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons ("Amnesty Papers"), 1865-1867. Washington, D.C., National Archives And Record Service, 1977.