Confederate Thanksgiving

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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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3 Comments

  1. Dear Mr McClarey: As a frequent reader of your blog, I would like to thank you for the many informative and interesting articles which you publish, particularly in what I perceive as a defense of our Catholic faith in these trying times. Although you and I would most probably have been on different sides had we met on a battlefield in 1862, I wish to extend my appreciation to the respect that you seem to show to the sincere men who fought on that loosing side so long ago. The respect is reciprocated. It amazes me that so many moderns are so quick to condemn those who lived in a different culture in past centuries when we moderns live in a society that sanctions the murder of preborn children and celebrates sodomy.

  2. Thank you JRP. The Past is a different country. If we are to understand it we have to put ourselves into the mindset of those who lived in frequently turbulent times. We don’t have to agree with them but we do have to understand why they believed and acted as they did. To present history as an eternal condemnation of the past for not being the present, is to betray history and to render completely futile any attempt to learn anything from its study.

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