Confederate Thanksgiving: 1862

Abraham Lincoln was not the only president to issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation in the Civil War:

Once more upon  the plains of Manassas have our armies been blessed by the Lord of Hosts with a  triumph over our enemies.  It is my privilege to invite you once more to His  footstool, not now in the garb of fasting and sorrow, but with joy and gladness,  to render thanks for the great mercies received at His hand.  A few months  since, and our enemies poured forth their invading legions upon our soil.  They  laid waste our fields, polluted our altars and violated the sanctity of our  homes.  Around our capital they gathered their forces, and with boastful  threats, claimed it as already their prize.  The brave troops which rallied to  its defense have extinguished these vain hopes, and, under the guidance of the  same almighty hand, have scattered our enemies and driven them back in dismay.   Uniting these defeated forces and the various armies which had been ravaging our  coasts with the army of invasion in Northern Virginia, our enemies have renewed  their attempt to subjugate us at the very place where their first effort was  defeated, and the vengeance of retributive justice has overtaken the entire host  in a second and complete overthrow.

To this signal success  accorded to our arms in the East has been graciously added another equally  brilliant in the West.  On the very day on which our forces were led to victory  on the Plains of Manassas, in Virginia, the same Almighty arm assisted us to  overcome our enemies at Richmond, in Kentucky.  Thus, at one and the same time,  have two great hostile armies been stricken down, and the wicked designs of  their armies been set at naught.

In such circumstances, it is meet and right  that, as a people, we should bow down in adoring thankfulness to that gracious  God who has been our bulwark and defense, and to offer unto him the tribute of  thanksgiving and praise.  In his hand is the issue of all events, and to him  should we, in an especial manner, ascribe the honor of this great  deliverance.
Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate  States, do issue this, my proclamation, setting apart Thursday, the 18th day of  September inst., as a day of prayer and thanksgiving to Almighty God for the  great mercies vouchsafed to our people, and more especially for the triumph of  our arms at Richmond and Manassas; and I do hereby invite the people of the  Confederate States to meet on that day at their respective places of public  worship, and to unite in rendering thanks and praise to God for these great  mercies, and to implore Him to conduct our country safely through the perils  which surround us, to the final attainment of the blessings of peace and  security.

Given under my hand and the seal of the Confederate States, at  Richmond, this fourth day of September, A.D.1862. 
JEFFERSON DAVIS

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Published in: on November 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 Comments

  1. Bad style and overconfidence.

  2. I am so glad that the issue of slavery was dealt with, but also believe that we will sish the issue of states rights and local rule would have been wrestled from the federalists hands.

    • I think Lincoln Dennis would have been horrified if the could have foreseen just how much control the Federal government exercises today. His goal was to preserve the Union, not to reduce the Union into a mere appendage of the Federal government.

      • In reading over the years I believe you are correct. I come from WV where the effects of the War Between the States are still evident and still divisive. Some consider Lincoln on the same level as Satan, but I am amazed and believe he was the man called to the position by God Himself. I believe the years following the war would have need much easier on the south and restoration would have been much quicker if Lincoln has lived to lead those post war years. We may be the first generation to pass on a nation worse for our being here to our children. May a great reclamation occur in my last 20 yrs or so on this earth…
        In Christ, Dennis

      • Amen! When Confederate General Joseph Johnston was told by Sherman of Lincoln’s assassination he said that it was a disgrace to the age, a great tragedy and that Southerners were beginning to understand that Lincoln was the best friend they had in the Union government.


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