Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

June 29, 2015

Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

June 29 — About twenty thousand prisoners have been released here since the 9th of June, and to-day I was released, one of the very last ones of the whole vast throng; when I came out through the gate wagons were driving in to haul out the tents. The releasing operation was conducted in the following manner: When thirty-two names were called and answered to, the men were formed in a double-line squad and marched into the building that we used here for a church.

After I arrived on the inside of the door I was measured, and my height, color of hair and eyes, and my complexion were all recorded on my certificate of release. When the squad of thirty-two had all gone through with the preliminary operation we were marched deeper into the building, where a large United States flag was stretched horizontally overhead. Under this we formed in groups of four, when a Bible was handed to each group, on which we took the following oath, administered to the whole thirty-two at one time:

“I …. do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign; that I will bear true faith, allegiance, and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution, or laws of any State, Convention, or Legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I will faithfully perform all the duties which may be required of me by the laws of the United States; and I take this oath freely and voluntarily without any mental reservation or evasion whatever.


“Subscribed and sworn before me, this twenty-ninth day of June, A. D. 1865.

“A. G. Brady, Major and Provost Marshal.

“The above-named has fair complexion, brown hair, and hazel eyes, and is 5 feet 7 inches high.”

After we were through with the oath-taking we were turned loose on a green grassy sward outside of the prison gate, and the men were so wild with joy that old veterans playfully tumbled and rolled on the grass like young schoolboys. Every man is furnished free transportation as near home as he can go by boat and rail. Now as I have taken a solemn oath to love, adore, honor, and protect Uncle Sam with all my powers, I intend henceforth to stick to him through evil as well as good report, with all the patriotism and allegiance that I saved from the wreck of the Southern Confederacy.

The following is a certificate of release that was given to every prisoner:


Just at nightfall the steam transport that is bearing us away from our winter resort drew up to the wharf, and the gangplank had hardly touched the shore before the newly made citizens of the United States rushed up the gangway like Rebels, crowding and pushing each other like cattle, everyone trying to get aboard first, for fear that the boat would not hold us all. At ten o’clock to-night our boat left Point Lookout, and now at midnight it is plowing through the long heaving swells of Chesapeake Bay, bound for Richmond, Virginia.

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