"... 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 own beloved country, once, by the blessings 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 terrible 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... That the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing by the labours and sufferings of our fathers
may be restored."


Abraham Lincoln, July, 1861