From 1861 to 1864 President Jefferson Davis issued four Proclamations asking the people of the Confederate States to give thanks to Almighty God for His many blessings. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul tells us to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." In James 1:17, James writes " Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." - CiC Kelly Barrow
And from SCV Robert E. Lee Camp 1640:
THE REAL FIRST THANKSGIVING:
You may have heard that Abraham Lincoln was responsible for the original Thanksgiving holiday. That’s partially true, as 13 of 34 states at that time were not a part of the United States but as far as he was concerned they were. George Washington was actually the first president to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, issuing his request on October 3, 1789, exactly 74 years before Lincoln's. However, in true Confederate fashion, each state scheduled its own date. The first official proclamation to set aside a specific day of Thanksgiving by a sitting president on the North American continent was actually delivered by President Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America in October of 1861 as "a day of humiliation and prayer” in 1861 – a full two years before our 16th President announced the “first Thanksgiving Day”. Below is a copy of the text of the original Thanksgiving proclamation.
Proclamation of Thanksgiving, 1861
by President Jefferson Davis
WHEREAS, it hath pleased Almighty God, the Sovereign Disposer of events, to protect and defend us hitherto in our conflicts with our enemies as to be unto them a shield.
And whereas, with grateful thanks we recognize His hand and acknowledge that not unto us, but unto Him, belongeth the victory, and in humble dependence upon His almighty strength, and trusting in the justness of our purpose, we appeal to Him that He may set at naught the efforts of our enemies, and humble them to confusion and shame.
Now therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, in view of impending conflict, do hereby set apart Friday, the 15th day of November, as a day of national humiliation and prayer, and do hereby invite the reverend clergy and the people of these Confederate States to repair on that day to their homes and usual places of public worship, and to implore blessing of Almighty God upon our people, that he may give us victory over our enemies, preserve our homes and altars from pollution, and secure to us the restoration of peace and prosperity.
Given under hand and seal of the Confederate States at Richmond, this the 31st day of October, year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty one.
By the President,
JEFFERSON DAVISPresident Davis had had much good news in the months preceding, and having so far repelled an invasion by an army that was better equipped, better fed, better trained, and that outnumbered his significantly, he should have been elated. However, he also had the experience and foresight to know that the South’s struggle to exist as a nation was just beginning. Hence a day of Thanksgiving, humility, and prayer for continued good fortune in the South’s struggle for self-government, independence, and recognition among the nations of the world came into being. Much like Memorial Day, another Southern tradition that was copied and claimed by Northerners, a similar proclamation was issued by our 16th President. , one of many Southern practices and traditions that were later implemented and taken credit for by Northerners. We pray that all will take into account the original meaning of the day.