Taking the Oath and Drawing Rations by John Rogers from the New York Historical Society (link below)
During the Civil War, Confederate political prisoners and prisoners of war could be released on taking an "Oath of Allegiance." After the war, President Andrew Johnson's plan, published May 29, 1865, granted amnesty and restoration of property rights to Southern insurgents who pledged loyalty to the Union and support for emancipation (High ranking Confederate Officers and civilians owning more than $20,000 personal property were excepted and had to apply for individual pardons.)
Civilians acting in official government positions like attorney, court clerk, judge, etc. were required to pledge the oath of allegiance in order to serve. Since women could not serve in these positions, did not participate in the rebellion as combatants, and were not yet allowed to vote, there was no requirement for them to pledge the oath. However, some women did take the oath of allegiance in order to draw rations from the Union Army or to file a claim for confiscated property. But what about those other Southern women who did not draw rations or file a claim? Why were they required to swear the Oath of Allegiance?
The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies General Orders No. 4, dated April 28, 1865, from the Military Department of the James, provides a possible answer. It includes among other content, the following: “No marriage license will be issued until the parties desiring to be married take the oath of allegiance to the United Sates.”
Cornelia Elizabeth Cabell Rives may have pledged the oath in order to marry Charles Carter Harrison. Her Oath of Allegiance was signed on December 13, 1865 (see below). While serving as a 1st Lieut in the 46th Virginia, Charles had been captured in March 1865 and imprisoned at Fort Delaware. At the time of his release, he would have signed the oath. Cornelia, however, had not. The couple was married December 25, 1865 in Albemarle County Va.
Document from https://acwm.org/blog/january-2016-artifact-month-oath-allegiance
Sculpture Taking the Oath and Drawing Rations by John Rogers from the New York Historical Society http://emuseum.nyhistory.org/view/o...ate:flow=46f4e269-7c9a-420b-86b1-eb41d72e0347