GENERAL ORDERS, No. 53.
HDQRS. MID. DEPT., 8TH ARMY CORPS,
Baltimore, Md., October 27, 1863.
It is known that there are many evil-disposed persons, now at large in the State of Maryland, who have been engaged in rebellion against the lawful Government, or have given aid and comfort or encouragement to others so engaged, or who do not recognize their allegiance to the United States, and who may avail themselves of the indulgence of the authority which tolerates their presence to embarrass the approaching election, or, through it, to foist enemies of the United States into power. It is therefore ordered:
I. That all provost-marshals and other military officers do arrest all such persons found at or hanging about, or approaching any poll or place of election on the 4th of November, 1863, and report such arrest to these headquarters.*
II. That all provost-marshals and other military officers commanding in Maryland shall support the judges of election on the 4th of November, 1863, in requiring an oath of allegiance to the United States, as the test of citizenship, of any one whose vote may be challenged on the ground that he is not loyal or does not admit his allegiance to the United States, which oath shall be in the following form and terms:
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 hereby pledge my allegiance, faith, and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution, or law of any State convention or State Legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; that I will at all times yield a hearty and willing obedience to the said Constitution and Government, and will not, either directly or indirectly, do any act in hostility to the same, either by taking up arms against them or aiding, abetting, or countenancing those in arms against them; that, without permission from the lawful authority, I will have no communication, direct or indirect, with the States in insurrection against the United States, or with either of them, or with any person or persons within said insurrectionary States; and that I will in all things deport myself as a good and loyal citizen of the United States. This I do in good faith, with full determination, pledge, and purpose to keep this my sworn obligation, and without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever.
III. Provost-marshals and other military officers are directed to report to these headquarters any judge of an election who shall refuse his aid in carrying out this order, or who, on challenge of a vote being made on the ground of disloyalty or hostility to the Government, shall refuse to require the oath of allegiance from such voter.
By order of Major-General Schenck:
WM. H. CHESEBROUGH,
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
*See General Orders, No. 55, November 2.
SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 29, Part 2 (Serial No. 49), p. 394-5