Today in History:

Thanksgiving Day during the Civil War

On October 3, 1863, expressing gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln announced that the nation would celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, 1863.  In 1864, on the second national celebration of Thanksgiving, a mix of sorrow, celebration, and giving of thanks marked the season. For some, the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln seemed to reason to give thanks. For others, 1864 had been the bloodiest year in the Civil War and many spent the day in mourning.  Many gave thanks as the United States Army had begun a string of remarkable victories and the Confederacy seemed on the brink of defeat. Some though the Civil War was entering its final stage.  Stores and businesses were closed and places of public worship were open for divine service and well attended. Read more about Thanksgiving during the Civil War at and