John Payne's Parole from the Confederate Army
John Payne was sent home on sick furlough after the Kentucky Campaign. He was surrendered with the Georgia Militia on May 12th,1865
Kingston Georgia, May the 12, 1865
The bearer, John Paine [sic] a Private of the Ledford’s *1 gidy *2
a paroled prisoner of the Army of North Georgia [U.S.A.] has permission to go to his home and there remain undisturbed.
By order of
Brig Genl H. M Judah Commanding
W.W. Byers [?]
Luit Col and Inspector General
*1 Ledford - Ledford’s Cavalry Regiment commanded by Union County’s Colonel
Benjamin M. Ledford formerly of the 6th Cavalry Regiment as was John Payne
*2 gidy - “giddy”, defined as a joyous group, used here sarcastically
When paroles were given, only the soldier would receive the paper parole. A copy was not kept by the Issuing Force so any surviving parole must have been returned home by the soldier and kept by his family. John Payne’s Parole is still in the possession of his descendants. A list of parolees would be kept. To save time, the parole would normally be printed beforehand and and pertinent information written in.
A parole was not a discharge, a pardon nor an Oath of Allegiance. Instead it was pledge under the rules of war not to fight again once one surrendered. Once a parole was issued, the soldier was released to their respective army. Normally this would be until one was exchanged. The exchange would be only on paper. In most cases men/regiments would be sent to Parole Camps. This would keep them readily available to fight again once exchanged.
Also men could be paroled and ordered to stay in certain areas/cities under enemy control until exchanged. Occasionally parolees were sent home until exchanged. Length of paroles in enemy territory or their own territory could be indefinite.
Additionally men could be held in P.O.W. Camps until exchanged or not exchanged. In the case of paroles issued at the end of the war, it would be up to the Federal government to determine the men’s eventual fate.