I hereby appoint and set apart THURSDAY, THE TWENTY-SEVENTH DAY OF NOVEMBER, as a day of Public Thanksgiving and Praise; and I earnestly recommend to the Superintendents of Plantations, Teachers and Freedmen in this Department, to abstain on that day from their ordinary business, and assemble in their respective places of worship, and render praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for the manifold blessings and mercies he has bestowed upon us during the past year, and more especially for the signal success which has attended the great experiment for freedom and the rights of oppressed humanity, inaugurated in the Department of the South. Our work has been crowned with a glorious success. The hand of God has been in it, and we have faith to believe the recording angel has placed the record of it in the Book of Life.
You freed men and women have never before had such cause for thankfulness. Your simple faith been vindicated. "The Lord has come" to you and has answered your prayers. Your chains are broken. Your days of bondage and mourning are ended, and you are forever free. If you cannot yet see your way clearly in the future; fear not, put your trust in the Lord, and He will vouchsafe, as he did to the Israelites of old, the "cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night," to guide your footsteps "through the wilderness" to the promised land.
I therefore advise you all to meet and offer up fitting songs of thanksgiving for all these great mercies which you have received; and, with them, forget not to breathe an earnest prayer for your brethren who are still in bondage.
Given at Beaufort, S.C., this Ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.
Brig. Gen. and Military Governor