Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 7, 1863

March 7, 1863

---In Richmond, President Jefferson Davis issues a proclamation calling for March 27 as a national day of fasting and prayer in the South:

Proclamation by the President.

It is most that at a people who acknowledge the supremacy of the living God, we should be even mindful of our dependence on Him; should remember that to Him alone can we trust for our deliverance; that to Him is due devout thankfulness for the signal bestowed on us; and that by prayer alone can we hope to secure the continued manifestation of that protecting care which has hitherto shielded us in the midst of trials and dangers.

In obedience to His precepts we have from time to time been gathered together with prayers and thanksgiving and He has been graciously pleased to hear our supplications, and to grant abundant exhibition of favor to our armies and our people. . . . the Lord of Hosts has again taught the lesson of His inspired word; That the battle is not to the strong, but to whomsoever He willeth to exalt.

Again our enemy, with loud boasting of the power of their armed and mailed ships threaten us with subjugation, and, with evil machinations, seek even in our own homes and at our own firesides, to pervert our men-servants and our maid-servants into accomplices of their wicked designs.

Under these circumstances it is my privilege to invite you once more to meet together and to prostrate yourselves in humble supplication to Him who has been our constant and never failing support in the past and to whose protection and guidance we trust for the future.
To this end I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this my proclamation, setting apart Friday, the 27th day of March, as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, and I do invite the people of the said States to repair on that day to their usual places of public worship, and to join in prayer to Almighty God that he will continue His merciful protection over our cause, that He will scatter our enemies, and set at naught their evil designs and that He will graciously restore to our beloved country the blessings of peace and security.

In faith whereof I have hereunto set my hand at the city of Richmond on the twenty-seventh day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three.

Jefferson Davis.
By the President,
J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.

---Captain Charles Wright Will, a young Federal officer serving in the 103rd Illlinois Infantry Regiment, writes in his journal about his duties as an officer and as commander of one of the regiment’s companies, especially picket duty:

Camp 103d Illinois Infantry, Jackson, Tenn.,
March 7, 1863.

The rumors from Vicksburg in the Tribune of the 5th are enough to make one’s flesh creep, and more than sufficient to account for my little touch of the blues I do feel to-night as though some awful calamity had befallen our army somewhere. God grant it may not be so! . . . I wouldn’t feel half as badly over it all if our people at home would quit their wicked copperheadism and give us the support and encouragement they should, as I do now when we are worsted in even a cavalry skirmish. For every little defeat we suffer only seems to make them so much bolder, as is shown in every new set of resolutions which reaches us through the Times and the Enquirer. . . . I am glad to hear that my men speak well of me in their letters. I think I have had less trouble in my company than most of the officers. . . . The 50th Indiana went out yesterday morning to reinforce Lawler, so we will again be on picket every other day. When it is here, once in three days is the rule. I was out on the worst post last night and it rained nearly all night. It thundered and lightened most splendidly. I like to get pretty wet once and a while for a change. It’s raining hard now. I go on picket again to-morrow. I’m sleepy, tired, and the rain is coming through my tent so much that I believe I’ll get into bed.

---Gen. Robert Schenk issues orders that prohibit the sale of secession-oriented sheet music in his department, headquartered in Baltimore.

---Union troops under Col. Phelps conduct a sea-borne raid throughout Northumberland County, Virginia, on the peninsula between the Potomac and the Rappahannock rivers.  This raid finds very few Rebels there, and they capture a great haul of foodstuffs and livestock forage, as well as livestock.

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