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[446] soldiers enlisted or drafted into 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 first 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 provide;

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 dangers;

I do, therefore, call upon all patriotic and faithful citizens to oppose and resist the aforementioned dangerous and treasonable crimes, and aid in restoring to their regiments all soldiers absent without leave, and 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 aid in suppressing the insurrection and the rebellion.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand.

Done at the city of Washington, this tenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

By the President,

Abraham Lincoln. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

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