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Gaines, and Fort Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the army under Major-General Sherman, in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgment to the Supreme Being in whose hands are the destinies of nations. It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all places of worship in the United States, thanksgiving be offered to him for his mercy in preserving our national existence against the insurgent rebels who have been waging a cruel war against the Government of the United States for its overthrow; and also that prayer be made for divine protection to our brave soldiers and their leaders in the field, who have so often and so gallantly periled their lives in battling with the enemy; and for blessings and comfort from the Father of mercies to the sick, wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of those who have fallen in the service of their country, and that he will continue to uphold the Government of the United States against all the efforts of public enemies and secret foes.

Abraham Lincoln.

Proclamation of Thanksgiving.

OCTOBER 20, 1864. It has pleased almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with his guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in his mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of

own household. It has also pleased our heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens


in their homes as our soldiers in their camps, and our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while he has opened to us new sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of our working-men in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, he has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions.

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday of November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations. In testimony, etc.

Abraham Lincoln. By the President:

William H. Seward, Secretary of State.




Cabinet Conference on Provisioning Fort


(Sent to each member of the Cabinet.)

March 15, 1861. My dear Sir: Assuming it to be possible to now provision Fort Sumter, under all the circumstances is it wise to attempt it? Please give me your opinion in writing on this question. Your obedient servant,

A. Lincoln.

er in

In response to this note William H. Seward, Secretary of State, renders a negative an

long opinion, the substance of which is summed up in the concluding paragraph:

"I may be asked whether I would in no case, and at no time, advise force-whether I propose to give up everything? I reply, no. I would not initiate war to regain a useless and unnecessary position on the soil of the seceding States. I would not provoke war in any way now. I would resort to force to protect the collection of the revenue, because this is a necessary as well as a legitimate minor object. Even then it should be only a naval force that I would employ for that neces

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