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[527]

A recommendation so congenial to the feelings of the people will receive their hearty concurrence; and it is a grateful duty to the Executive to unite with their representatives in inviting them to meet in the courts of the Most High. Recent events awaken fresh gratitude to the Supreme Ruler of nations. Our enemies have suffered repeated defeats, and a nefarious scheme to burn and plunder our capital, and to destroy our civil government by putting to death the chosen servants of the people, has been baffled and set at naught. Our armies have been strengthened; our finances promise rapid progress to a satisfactory condition; and our whole country is animated with a hopeful spirit and a fixed determination to achieve independence.

In these circumstances it becomes us, with thankful hearts, to bow ourselves before the throne of the Most High, and, while gratefully acknowledging so many mercies, confess that our sins as a people have justly exposed us to His chastisement. Let us recognize the sufferings which we have been called upon to endure, as administered by a fatherly hand for our improvement, and with resolute courage and patient endurance let us wait on Him for our deliverance.

In furtherance of these objects, now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this, my proclamation, calling upon the people of the said States, in conformity with the desire expressed by their representatives, to set apart Friday, the 8th day of April, as a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer, and I do hereby invite them on that day to repair to their several places of public worship and beseech Almighty God “to preside over our public councils and so inspire our armies and leaders with wisdom, courage and perseverance; and so to manifest Himself in the greatness of His goodness and in the majesty of His power, that we may secure the blessings of an honorable peace and of free government; and that we, as a people, may ascribe all to the honor and glory of His name.”

Given under my hand and the seal of the Confederate States of America, at the city of Richmond, on this 12th day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four.


[L. S.]

‘By the President: J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.’


Proclamation Appointing a day for public worship.

It is meet that the people of the Confederate States should, from time to time, assemble to acknowledge their dependence on Almighty God; to render devout thanks for His manifold blessings; to worship His holy name; to bend in prayer at His footstool; and to accept, with reverent submission, the chastening of His all-wise and all-merciful providence.

Let us, then, in temples and in field, unite our voices in recognizing, with adoring gratitude, the manifestations of His protecting care in the many signal victories with which our arms have been crowned; in the fruitfulness with which our land has been blessed, and in the unimpaired energy and fortitude with which He has inspired our hearts, and strengthened our arms, in resistance to the iniquitous designs of our enemies.

And let us not forget that, while graciously vouchsafing to us His protection, our sins have merited and received grievous chastisement; that many of our best and bravest have fallen in battle; that many others are still held in foreign prisons; that large districts of our country have been devastated with savage ferocity, the peaceful homes destroyed, and helpless women and children driven away in destitution; and that, with fiendish malignity, the passions of a servile race have been


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