New York Times and President Turn to God, Urge Observance of National Fast; Nation Responds

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The President and The 'New York Times' urge Americans to a day of fasting and humiliation for relief from difficult times.

Responding to the call of the President of the United States and the urging of voices such as the New York Times, citizens throughout the land flocked to churches, pushed aside the dinner plate and prayed to God for relief from the difficult times confronting the Nation.

The day was Thursday, Sept. 26th, the year was 1861. The New York Times had urged the citizenry to participate in general fasting, humiliation and prayer. The citizens responded with Sabbath- like solemnity..

Such was the tenor of the times when God had a place in the New York Times and the public forum. That time is captured in Times of the Civil War (ISBN 1420806945) by Don Bracken.

Often contrasting the reportage of the New York Times with its arch-opposite in the Confederacy, the Charleston Mercury, Bracken places in juxtaposition the opposing reportage of the newspapers with the analysis of the modern historian giving the reader a threefold perspective of the battles and times of the war.

“God played a big part in the Civil War,” said Don Bracken.” Both sides were convinced their cause was just and that God was on their side. Abraham Lincoln was convinced of it in the North as was Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in the South. And so too, the New York Times and the Charleston Mercury. They all wielded the sword of righteousness.

Don Bracken is Senior Editor of History Publishing Company, a firm dedicated to the study of history through modern technology. In addition to Times of the Civil War, he also co-edited the highly acclaimed Civil War Historyscope Series used in classrooms across the nation.


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