My good friend Patty Millich turned up an 1861 version of the army oath of enlistment in the July 11, 1861 edition of The Alleghenian of Ebensburg, PA. I thought it might be interesting to list the oath as it was then and compare it to the same oath administered to enlistees today.
The following is the oath which all volunteers and regulars mustered into the service of the United States are required to take before their final enrollment into service: “I do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America; that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all enemies or opposers whatsoever; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and of the other officers appointed over me, according to the rules of the armies of the United States, so help me God.”
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
The 1861 oath depicts the wording first adopted in 1789. The oath was modified under Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960, with amendment effective 5 October 1962