I beg leave to return the copies of the proclamation and your order. I have the honor to renew to you the assurance of great respect.
Your most obedient servant,
[Inclosure Numbers 4.]
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Numbers 4.
Knoxville, Tenn., January 6, 1864.
I. To secure uniformity in the treatment of deserters from the Confederate armies, the following orders will be observed:
Hereafter when such deserters come within our lines they will at once be conducted to the nearest division or post commander, who on being satisfied that they honestly desire to quit the Confederate service, will forward them to the provost-marshal- general at Knoxville, who, upon being satisfied of the honesty of their intentions, will allow them to proceed to their homes, if within our lines, upon taking the following oath:
I, ---- ----, do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by decision of the Supreme Court; and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the Supreme Court: So help me God.
II. Such deserters will be disarmed on surrender, and their arms turned over to the nearest ordnance officer, who will account for the same.
III. The quartermaster's, engineer, subsistence, and medical departments will give such deserters employment when practicable, upon the same terms as to other employes in the U. S. service.
IV. Such deserters will be exempt from the military service of the United States.
By command of Major-General Foster:
HENRY CURTIS, JR.,
[Inclosure Numbers 5.]
OFFICE PROV. March General FOR EAST TENNESSEE, Numbers 9.
Knoxville, Tenn., December 22, 1863.
The following proclamation by the President of the United States, together with explanatory remarks contained in the message accompanying said proclamation, is published for the information of all concerned:*
NOTE 1. - With regard to that part of the oath referring to other proclamations of the President, the following remark occurs in the message:
It should be observed also that this part of the oath is subject to the modifying and abrogating power of legislation and supreme judicial decision.
NOTE 2. - In reference to the plan of reconstruction suggested in the proclamation, the following observations are also made:
Why shall A adopt the plan of B rather than B of A? If A and B should agree, how can they know that the General Government here will respect their
* For proclamation (here omitted) see December 8, 1863, Series II, Vol. VI, p. 680.