March 27, 1863 — Today The Richmond Enquirer published a proclamation from Confederate President Jefferson Davis calling for March 27 to be a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.
REBEL REPORTS FROM VICKSBURGH. An Attack by Gen. Grant’s Forces Believed to be Imminent. ROSECRANS ADVANCING. PROCLAMATION OF THE PRESIDENT. Published: March 4, 1863
It is meet that, as people who acknowledge the supremacy of the living God, we should be ever mindful of our dependence on Him, and should remember that to Him alone can we trust our deliverance, that to him is due the devout thankfulness for signal mercies bestowed on us, and that by prayer alone can we hope to receive continued manifestation of that protecting care which has hitherto shielded us in the midst of trials and dangers. In obedience to this precept, 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 exhibitions of His favor to our arms and our people.
Through many conflicts we have now attained a place among nations which commands their respect, and let the enemies who encompass us around and seek our destruction see that the Lord of Hosts has again taught them the lesson of His inspired word, “that the battle is not to the strong,” but to whomsoever He willeth to exalt. Again an enemy, with loud boasting of power, of their armed men and mailed ships, threaten us with subjugation, and with evil machinations seek, even in our 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 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.
I do also invite the people of the said States to repair, on that day, to their usual places of public worship, there 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 nought 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 27th day of February, in the year of our Lord, 1863.
(Signed) JEFFERSON DAVIS, By the President.
(Signed) J.P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of State.
Words of Wisdom
An enormous fleet appeared this morning, larger than has been before witnessed from this point. Everything looks as if preparations were almost ready for the enemy to commence a forward movement. The monster force before this city cannot longer remain in idleness. Persons well acquainted with the country bordering Yazoo Pass and the Coldwater say if the enemy succeed in getting their gunboats into the Coldwater they will never get out, and that an army of 1,000 could hold at bay and destroy an invading force of 50,000 in that country.