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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

December 08, 1863

Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction Offered

United States President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, offering to Georgia citizens (and those of the other seceded states) a full pardon and restoration to the Union if they would take an oath of loyalty and accept the end of slavery. Some high ranking Confederate officials and military leaders were excluded from the offer. It also stated that if 10% of a state’s population would take the oath and hold elections, the results of those elections would be recognized by the U.S. government. This proclamation is evidence of the relatively simple and generous terms of reconstruction Lincoln intended whenever the Civil War would end.