In searching old newspaper articles for possible references to my Kentucky ancestors who served in the Civil War, I ran across this interesting insert on the first page of the Sandy Valley Advocate. Click here to see the digital image.
Catlettsburg, Boyd County, KY
Wednesday, August 28, 1861
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas, a Joint Committee of both Houses of Congress have waited on the President of the United States and requested him to recommend a day of Public Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnities and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States. His blessings upon their arms, and a speedy restoration to peace:
And whereas, It is fit and becoming in all people at all times to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God, to bow in humble submission to His chastisements, to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their past offences, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action:
And whereas, When our beloved country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy—to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though justly deserved; that our army may be blessed and made effectual for the re-establishment of law, order, and peace throughout our country, and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned, under His guidance and blessings by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence. Therefore, I ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting for all the people of the Nation, and I do earnestly recommend to all the people, and especially to all Ministers and teachers of religions of all denominations, and to all heads of families—to observe and keep that day according to their several creeds and modes of worship in all humility, and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the Nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace, and bring down plentiful blessings upon our own country.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of the United States to be affixed, this 12th day of August, A.D. 1861, and of the Independence of the United States of America, eighty sixth.
By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State