Hdqrs. Army of Northern Virginia,
March 23, 1863
General Orders, No. 46
In obedience to the proclamation of the President of the Confederate States, setting apart Friday, the 27th of March, as a day of fasting and prayer for the nation, all duties will be suspended on that day in the Army of Northern Virginia, except such as are necessary for its safety and subsistence. Religious services appropriate to the occasion will be performed by the chaplains in their respective regiments.
Soldiers! No portion of our people have greater cause to be thankful to Almighty God than yourselves. He has preserved your lives amidst countless dangers; He has been with you in all your trials; He has given you fortitude under hardships, and courage in the shock of battle; He has cheered you by the example and by the deeds of your martyred comrades; He has enabled you to defend your country successfully against the assaults of a powerful oppressor. Devoutly thankful for His signal mercies, let us bow before the Lord of Hosts, and join our hearts with millions in our land in prayer “that He will continue His merciful protection over our cause; that He will scatter our enemies and set at naught their evil designs; and that He will graciously restore to our beloved country the blessings of peace and security.”
R E Lee
Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 25, Part 2, p. 683
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 September 27