By the President of the United States of America
In pursuance of the twenty-sixth section of the act of Congress entitled "An act for enrolling and calling out the national forces, and for other purposes," approved on the 3d day of March, 1863, I, Abraham Lincoln, President and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, do hereby order and command that all soldiers enlisted or drafted in the service of the United States now absent from their regiments without leave shall forthwith return to their respective regiments.
And I do hereby declare and proclaim that all soldiers now absent from their respective regiments without leave who shall, on or before the 1st day of April, 1863, report themselves at any rendezvous designated by the general orders of the War Department No. 58, hereto annexed, may be restored to their respective regiments without punishment, except the forfeiture of pay and allowances during their absence; and all who do not return within the time above specified shall be arrested as deserters and punished as the law provides: and
Whereas evil-disposed and disloyal persons at sundry places have enticed and procured soldiers to desert and absent themselves from their regiments, thereby weakening the strength of the armies and prolonging the war, giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and cruelly exposing the gallant and faithful soldiers remaining in the ranks to increased hardships and danger:
I do therefore call upon all patriotic and faithful citizens to oppose and resist the aforementioned dangerous and treasonable crimes, and to aid in restoring to their regiments all soldiers absent without leave, and to assist in the execution of the act of Congress "for enrolling and calling out the national forces, and for other purposes," and to support the proper authorities in the prosecution and punishment of offenders against said act and in suppressing the insurrection and rebellion.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand.
Done at the city of Washington, this 10th day of March, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
By the President:
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
GENERAL, ORDERS, No. 58.
WASHINGTON, March 10, 1863.
I. The following is the twenty-sixth section of the act "for enrolling and calling out the national forces, and for other purposes," approved March 3, 1863:
"SEC. 26. And be it further enacted, That immediately after the passage of this act the President shall issue his proclamation declaring that all soldiers now absent from their regiments without leave may return, within a time specified, to such place or places as he may indicate in his proclamation, and be restored to their respective regiments without punishment, except the forfeiture of their pay and allowances during their absence; and all deserters who shall not return within the time so specified by the President shall, upon being arrested, be punished as the law provides."
II. The following places* are designated as rendezvous to which soldiers absent without leave may report themselves to the officers named on or before the 1st day of April next under the proclamation of the President of this date.
III. Commanding officers at the above-named places of rendezvous, or, in the absence of commanding officers, superintendents of recruiting service, recruiting officers, and mustering and disbursing officers, will take charge of all soldiers presenting themselves as above directed and cause their names to be enrolled, and copy of said will, on or before the 10th day of April, be sent to the Adjutant-General of the Army. The soldiers so reporting themselves will be sent without delay to their several regiments, a list of those sent being furnished to the commanding officer of the regiment and a duplicate to the Adjutant-General of the Army. The commanding officer of the regiment will immediately report to the Adjutant-General of the Army the receipt of any soldiers so sent to him.
By order of the Secretary of War: