Then, Sir, we will give them the bayonet!!!!!! Stonewall Jackson
Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1861
The Confederate States of America came into being February 4, 1861, one month before Lincoln’s inauguration. The text of the first Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by the president of the Confederacy, is reproduced here. To see this text as it appears on the Web site of the Albert Sidney Johnston Camp #67 (Houston, Texas) of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, click here. Following the text, the site notes: “By the way, that was a full two years before Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation October 3, 1863.”
A THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION, 1861
WHEREAS, it hath pleased Almighty God, the Sovereign Disposer of events, to protect and defend us hitherto in our conflicts with our enemies as to be unto them a shield.
And whereas, with grateful thanks we recognize His hand and acknowledge that not unto us, but unto Him, belongeth the victory, and in humble dependence upon His almighty strength, and trusting in the justness of our purpose, we appeal to Him that He may set at naught the efforts of our enemies, and humble them to confusion and shame.
Now therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, in view of impending conflict, do hereby set apart Friday, the 15th day of November, as a day of national humiliation and prayer, and do hereby invite the reverend clergy and the people of these Confederate States to repair on that day to their homes and usual places of public worship, and to implore blessing of Almighty God upon our people, that he may give us victory over our enemies, preserve our homes and altars from pollution, and secure to us the restoration of peace and prosperity.
Given under hand and seal of the Confederate States at Richmond, this the 31st day of October, year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty one.
By the President, JEFFERSON DAVIS
No. 6. Munfordville, Ky., September 17, 1862.
I. The general commanding congratulates his army on the crowning success of their extraordinary campaign which this day has witnessed. He is most happy and proud to acknowledge his indebtedness to his gallant troops for their patient submission under the privations of an arduous march and the fortitude with which they have endured its hardships. They have overcome all obstacles without a murmur, even when in the prosecution of seemingly unnecessary labor, and have well sustained by their conduct the unsullied reputation of the Army of the Mississippi. With such confidence and report as has been so far exhibited nearly all things become possible. The capture of this position, with its garrison of 4,000 men, with all their artillery, arms, munitions, and stores, without the loss of a man, crowns and completes the separate campaign of this army. We have in conjunction with the Army of Kentucky, redeemed Tennessee and Kentucky, but our labors are not over. A powerful foe is assembling on our front and we must prepare to strike him a sudden and decisive blow. A short time only can there fore be given for repose, when we must resume our march to still more brilliant victories. The general commanding asks of his army only a continuance of the same confidence and regard for discipline in order to insure the most complete success.
II. To-morrow, September 18, having been specially set aside by our President to be observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God for the manifold blessings recently vouchsafed to us and to our cause, the general commanding earnestly recommends to the army to devote the day of rest allotted to them to the observance od this sacred duty. Acknowledging our dependence at all times upon a merciful Providence, it is meet that we should not only render thanks for the general success of our cause and of this campaign, but should particularly manifest our gratitude for a bloodless victory instead of a success purchased with the destruction of life and property.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. LEFT WING, ARMY OF THE MISS.,
No.-. Near Munfordville, Ky., September 17, 1862.
(Source: OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 16, Part 2 page(s) 841-842)