In the summer of 1865, W. T. Rowland of Tippah County, Mississippi, contacted his governor with a complaint. “At the Commencement of the late rebelion [sic], a few of us remained true to the Old Government . . . [and] went to the Federal lines where we enlisted in different Regts,” Rowland explained. Despite serving three years in the 11th Illinois Cavalry, Tippah County authorities were requiring this Union Army veteran to take an Amnesty Oath, a promise of loyalty to the U.S. government and a pledge to defend it. It “Seams [sic] Strang [sic] that we Should have to undergo the Same process that a Rebel Soldier does to become a loyal citizen of our native State and country,” he fumed to Gov. William Sharkey. Just what does it take “to constitute a loyal citizen,” Rowland asked?….
To read more, visit Ural’s post hosted by The University of Southern Mississippi’s Dale Center for the Study of War & Society.