Thanksgiving 2017 in the United States will be November 23.
|United States Civil War country - looks so peaceful now|
This is Abraham Lincoln's October, 1864 Presidential Proclamation of Thanksgiving, 1864.
Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America, made a declaration of Thanksgiving in 1865. He had issued earlier ones, mentioning specific battles. This was a more general Thanksgiving proclaimation. Ironically, the date he set turned out to be less than a month before the fall of Richmond, Virginia (the Confederate capital) to Federal troops.
Back in 2011, I wondered how the first Civil War Thanksgiving (1861, our first year at war with each other) was celebrated by the troops on both sides.
In1861 there was no national Thanksgiving. Every state set its own date.
Thanks to another blogger, we have a good description of how Thanksgiving was celebrated by the troops in 1861. Some of the foods are those we would gobble (pun intended) down today.
The troops had a lot to be thankful about. Similar to the Thanksgiving dinner our troops get today (if at all possible, according to location) the troops on the designated Thanksgiving Day for their locality got special rations, and the chance to eat "real food": turkey, potatoes, and even oysters.
And, for those of us from New York, a description of the Soldier's and Sailor's Thanksgiving. The military still continues this tradition with troops serving away from home today. (And, on Tuesday, I will blog about our first Thanksgiving with my spouse serving in the military).
So, if you celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday - give thanks, and ponder the history of this holiday.