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[58]

Continue to emulate in the future, as you have in the past, their valor in arms, their patient endurance of hardships, their high resolve to be free, which no trial could shake, no bribe seduce, no danger appall: and be assured that the just God, who crowned their efforts with success, will, in His own good time, send down His blessing upon yours.

(Signed) R. E. Lee, General.

The following was his order for the observance of the fast-day appointed for April, 1864:

General order no. 23.

Headquarters, A. N. Va., March 30, 1864.
In compliance with the recommendation of the Senate and House of Representatives, His Excellency the President has issued his proclamation calling upon the people to set apart Friday, the 8th of April, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. The commanding general invites the army to join in the observance of the day. He directs due preparation to be made in all departments to anticipate the wants of the several commands, so that it may be strictly observed. All military duties, except such as are absolutely necessary, will be suspended. The chaplains are desired to hold services in their regiments and brigades. The officers and men are requested to attend.

Soldiers! let us humble ourselves before the Lord our God, asking through Christ the forgiveness of our sins, beseeching the aid of the God of our forefathers in the defence of our homes and our liberties, thanking Him for His past blessings, and imploring their continuance upon our cause and our people.

R. E. Lee, General.

In his dispatch announcing the result of the first day's battle in the Wilderness he says: . . . . ‘By the blessing of God we maintained our position against every effort until night, when the contest closed.’ . . . . And in his dispatch concerning the advance of the enemy on the next day he says: . . . . ‘Every advance on his part, thanks to a merciful God, has been repulsed.’ . . . .

He closed his dispatch concerning the first day at Spottsylvania by saying: ‘I am most thankful to the Giver of all victory that our loss is small.’ And that concerning the action of June

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