A PROCLAMATION by the President of the United States of America:
It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to the supplications and prayers
of an afflicted people and to vouchsafe to the Army and the Navy of the
United States victories on land and on the sea so signal and so
effective as to furnish reasonable grounds for augmented confidence that
the Union of these States will be maintained, their Constitution
preserved, and their peace and prosperity permanently restored. But
these victories have been accorded not without sacrifices of life, limb,
health, and liberty, incurred by brave, loyal, and patriotic citizens.
Domestic affliction in every part of the country follows in the train of
these fearful bereavements. It is meet and right to recognize and
confess the presence of the Almighty Father and the power of His hand
equally in these triumphs and in these sorrows:
Now, therefore, be it known that I do set apart Thursday, the 6th day
of August next, to be observed as a day for national thanksgiving,
praise, and prayer, and I invite the people of the United States to
assemble on that occasion in their customary places of worship and in
the forms approved by their own consciences render the homage due to the
Divine Majesty for the wonderful things He has done in the nation's
behalf and invoke the influence of His Holy Spirit to subdue the anger
which has produced and so long sustained a needless and cruel rebellion,
to change the hearts of the insurgents, to guide the counsels of the
Government with wisdom adequate to so great a national emergency, and to
visit with tender care and consolation throughout the length and breadth
of our land all those who, through the vicissitudes of marches, voyages,
battles, and sieges, have been brought to suffer in mind, body, or
estate, and finally to lead the whole nation through the paths of
repentance and submission to the divine will back to the perfect
enjoyment of union and fraternal peace.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 15th day of July A.D. 1863, and of
the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.