Thursday, February 17, 2011

Civil War Loyalty Oath 1864

Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky was under control of the Federal army throughout almost all of the Civil War. In late 1861 and early 1862, several rules were instituted that were meant to suppress support for the Confederacy. It was unwise to openly show support for the South in any way.  Even flying a Confederate flag could result in a heavy fine.

Teachers, ministers, jurors and public officials were required to take a loyalty oath. Below is the oath signed by C.W. Threlkeld, who was authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony in 1864. This is from Livingston County Loose County Clerk's Papers 1863-1867, Box 16, filed October Term 1864.

I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Laws and government thereof so long as I continue a citizen thereof and I do further solemnly swear that I will not aid assist abet or comfort directly or indirectly the so called Confederate States or those now in Rebellion against the United States or the State of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen of this state. So help me God.   [signed] C.W. Threlkeld
Subscribed and sworn to in open Court Oct 4th 1864.  Att: J.W. Cade, C.L.C.C. [Clerk of Livingston County Court]

Copyright on text and photographs
by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

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