Under this general order, prisoners were released on condition that they take the oath of allegiance to the United States. Obviously this required that prisoners forgo any further military activity hostile to the Federal government. A parole differed from an oath of allegiance in that it didn't require a change of political allegiance as a condition for release. It simply required that a prisoner give his personal oath not to engage in actions hostile to the United States until properly exchanged. Confederate armies in the field were paroled, and not required to take the oath of allegiance. There were reasons for this that are not readily apparent to us today. We can explore those if you wish.