BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES,
To the people of the Confederate States:
The termination of the Provisional Government offers a fitting occasion again to present ourselves in humiliation, prayer, and thanksgiving before that God who has safely conducted us through our first year of national existence. We have been enabled to lay anew the foundations of free government and to repel the efforts of our enemies to destroy us. Law has everywhere reigned supreme, and throughout our widespread limits personal liberty and private right have been duly honored. A tone of earnest piety has pervaded our people, and the victories which we have obtained over our enemies have been justly ascribed to Him who ruleth the universe.
We have hoped that the year would close upon a scene of continued prosperity, but it has pleased the Supreme Disposer of events to order it otherwise. We are not permitted to furnish an exception to the rule of Divine government, which has prescribed affliction as the discipline of nations as well as of individuals. Our faith and perseverance must be tested, and the chastening which seemeth grievous will, if rightly received, bring forth its appropriate fruit.
It is meet and right, therefore, that we should repair to the only Giver of all victory, and, humbling ourselves before him, should pray that he may strengthen our confidence in his mighty power and righteous judgment. Then may we surely trust in him that he will perform his promise and encompass us as with a shield.
In this trust, and to this end. I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, do hereby set apart Friday, the 28th day of February, instant, as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer; and I do hereby invite the reverend clergy and people of the Confederate States to repair to their respective places of public worship to humble themselves before Almighty God, and pray for his protection and favor to our beloved country, and that we may be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.
Given under my hand and seal of the Confederate States, at Richmond, this 20th day of February, A. D. 1862.
By the President:
WILLIAM M. BROWNE,
Secretary of State, ad in.
SOURCE: Official Records Of The Union And Confederate Navies In The War Of The Rebellion, Series II, Volume 3, p. 120