Since it took place around Christmas time, I felt it would be a proper post for today.
1868: President Andrew Johnson issues a final pardon to Confederate soldiers.
At the tail end of his term as president, Andrew Johnson gave a handful of former Confederate rebels a famous Christmas present. By way of Proclamation 179, on December 25, 1868, Johnson issued amnesty to “all and every person” who had fought against the United States during the Civil War.
Johnson’s blanket pardon was actually the fourth in a series of postwar amnesty orders dating back to May 1865. Earlier agreements had restored legal and political rights to Confederate soldiers in exchange for signed oaths of allegiance to the United States, but these pardons exempted 14 classes of people including certain officers, government officials and those with property valued over $20,000. The Christmas pardon stood as a final and unconditional act of forgiveness for unreconstructed Southerners, including many former Confederate generals.
While we may or may not consider this a big deal, I feel it is important to recognize this as an important step to the future of our great country. Helped to ease a lot of hard feelings, I would imagine!
Coffee in the kitchen once again. Too cool out on the patio with a cold front moving in!