Abraham Lincoln Issues Amnesty Proclamation

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:

After major Union victories at the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln began preparing his plan for Reconstruction to reunify the North and South after the war's end. Because Lincoln believed that the South had never legally seceded from the Union, his plan for Reconstruction was based on forgiveness. He thus issued the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction in 1863 to announce his intention to reunite the once-united states. Lincoln hoped that the proclamation would rally northern support for the war and persuade weary Confederate soldiers to surrender.