On this day, Dec. 8, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan to pardon those who had been in the Confederacy. He wrote: "Whereas it is ... desired by some persons heretofore engaged in said rebellion to resume their allegiance to the United States ... I, Abraham Lincoln ... proclaim ... a full pardon ... upon the condition that every such person ... take ... an oath ... to wit: 'I ... do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution ... and that I will ... faithfully support all proclamations of the president made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves. ... So help me God.'"