Less than two months after Lincoln was inaugurated President, the Civil War began APRIL 12, 1861, with Confederate troops in Charleston, South Carolina, firing upon Fort Sumter. The Confederate Army was unstoppable, twice winning battles at Bull Run, Virginia, just twenty miles from Washington, D.C., forcing the Union troops to retreat to the fortifications of the Capitol.
It was not until the Battle of Gettysburg, over two years into the war, that the tide began to turn. President Lincoln confided to Noah Brooks:
I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.
In his General Order, November 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln wrote:
The President, Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, desires and enjoins the orderly observance of the Sabbath by the officers and men in the military and naval service. The importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors, a becoming deference to the best sentiment of a Christian people, and a due regard for the Divine Will demand that Sunday labor in the Army and Navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.