Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

September 14, 2012

Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by Judith White McGuire

Sunday.—Just returned from church. Mr. K. gave us a delightful sermon on our dependence on God as a people. “When Moses held up his hand, then Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, then Amalek prevailed.” Oh, that our hands may always be “held up” for our cause and armies! Next Thursday (18th) is the day appointed by our President as a day of thanksgiving for our successes. His proclamation is so beautiful that I will copy it:

“To the People of the Confederate States:

“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 hands. A few months since 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 defence have extinguished their vain hopes, and under the guidance of the same Almighty hand, have scattered our enemies and driven them back in dismay. Uniting those 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 their 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 our enemies 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 defence, 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 a special manner ascribe the honour 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, as a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God, for the great mercies vouchsafed to our people, and more especially for the triumph of our arms at Richmond and Manassas, in Virginia, and at Richmond in Kentucky; 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.

“JEFF. DAVIS, Pres. of the C.S.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Sec. of State.”

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