While our division was in camp at Jonesboro, Ga., the 16th of September 1864, having been set apart by the President as a day of fasting and prayer, on that day I preached to a large congregation of soldiers from this text: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me" (Psalm 50:15).
Two days later, Gen. Hood led his beleaguered army to its new camp at Palmetto, 20 miles west of Jonesboro. From there, they soon will set out on a forlorn campaign to take back Tennessee.
* A few days before on September 3rd, Union President Abraham Lincoln, exuberant over victories in the Eastern and Western theaters of the war, issued a special Thanksgiving Proclamation. It stands in sharp contrast to the contrition evident in the South's observance of a day of prayer and fasting.
The signal success that divine Providence has recently vouchsafed to the operations of the United States fleet and army in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort 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 acknowledgement to the Supreme Being in whose hands are the destines 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.