War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0011 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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ment. In so doing it has offended, and stands a convicted culprit. Mercy must be largely extended. Some of the great leaders and offenders only must be made to feel the extreme rigor of the law--not in a spirit of revenge, but to put the seal of infamy upon their conduct. But the mercy extended to the great mass of the misguided people can and should be so used as to reorganize society upon a loyal and freedom-loving basis. It is manifestly for their good, and the good of mankind, that this should be done. The power of pardon and mercy is adequate to this end. Such conditions, precedent and subsequent, can legally and properly be appendd as will root out the spirit of rebelion and bring society in this States into perfect accord with the wise and thoroughly tried principle of our Government.

If this power of pardon is wisely used, peace will be established upon a sure and permanent basis.

On these grounds, in addition to what has before been said, I am of the opinion that another and a new offer of amnesty, adapted to the existing condition of things, should be proclaimed.

I do not conceive that it is in place just now, even if I were prepared to do so, which I am not--because not sufficiently advised of the temper of those in rebellion--for me to say what should be the terms of the suggested proclamation.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES SPEED,

Attorney-General.

GENERAL ORDERS,

WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 83.

Washington, May 8, 1865.

FOR REDUCING THE VOLUNTEER CAVALRY FORCES OF THE ARMY.

I. Immediately upon receipt of this order by commanding generals of armies and departments all volunteer soldiers of the cavalry arm whose terms of service will expire prior to October 1, 1865, will be mustered out and discharged the service of the United Stats. In discharging the said troops the following will be observed:

1. The musters out will be made, in accordance with existing regulations, by the commissaries of musters of divisions, under the directions of commissaries of musters of corps or departments.

2. Army and department commanders will forthwith ascertain the number of men within their respective commands to be discharged, and report the same direct to the Paymaster-General of the Army, forwarding a duplicate of the report to the Adjutant-General. Said report must specify the number for each regiment, or company, if an independent one.

3. The Paymaster-General will arrange to make immediate payment to the men discharged; said payments to be made in the armies or departments in which the men may be serving at date of muster out.

II. All cavalry remaining in service after the aforesaid discharges have been made will be immediately consolidated into complete maximum regimental organizations, and as follows:

1. Army and department commanders will select and designate the organizations to be consolidated.