South Carolina Civil War Oath of Allegiance
Original Oath of Allegiance signed by Henry Johnson on August. 2nd, 1865 at Chesterfield court house in South Carolina. The original would have been retained by the Federal Provost Marshall and Johnson would have retained the copy. Henry Johnson served as a Private in Butler's 1st South Carolina Confederate Infantry in Company's D and G. His oath, issued by the Provost Marshall, is pre-printed with the location and date filled in and signed. It reads:
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES.
PROVOST MARSHALL'S OFFICE.
No. 8, Chesterfield Court House, S.C. Aug. 2 1865
I, Henry Johnson, do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and Union of the states thereunder, and that I will in a like manner, abide by and faithfully support all Laws and Proclamations that have been made during the existing Rebellion with reference to the Emancipation of Slaves - "So HELP ME God."
Sworn and subscribed before me, at Chesterfield, C.H., S.C. , this 2nd day of Aug. 1865.
More info follows pics.
Long before the close of the American Civil War, President Lincoln had introduced the idea of members of the rebellion returning to the Union through an oath of allegiance. Also known as a Loyalty Oaths or the Ironclad Oaths, the concept was already accepted in the U.S. And oaths were in use for political office, immigrants, and civil service posts. In 1863, Lincoln issued a proclamation offering to pardon soldiers, politicians and civil servants of the Confederate States who would swear to uphold the US Constitution and would reinstate any state into the Union once ten percent of its 1860 voting population took the oath and a state government loyal to the Union was in power. Congress attempted to amend this in 1864 with the Wade-Davis bill, which raised this to one-half of a states white male population being required to sign. President Lincoln insisted on his more lenient ten percent in keeping with his desire for a non-punitive Reconstruction policy, and subsequently vetoed the bill. President Andrew Johnson offered the amnesty, with the exception of those with post-war holdings of over $20,000 who were required to apply for presidential pardon.
The 3rd Heavy Artillery / Butler's 1st Infantry, was organized in December, 1860 from the cities of Charleston, Columbia, and Cheraw, and from the counties of Greenville, Lancaster, Chesterfield, and Anderson. They trained as both infantry and artillery, serving in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Engaged in and around Charleston they participated at Fort Sumter in April 1861, at Battery Wagner in July 1863, and in the engagements at Charleston Harbor August through September 1863. In January 1865, it was assigned to Colonel Rhett's Brigade as infantry and was active in the Carolina's including Averasboro and Bentonville and surrendered on April 26, 1865.