James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
500,000 volunteers, by virtue of the Act of Congress of July 4, 1864,1 the passage of which had been largely influenced by the great losses in the Wilderness, at Spottsylvania and at Cold Harbor; he further ordered a draft to take place immediately after September 5 for any unfilled quotas.
During July the North was plunged in gloom. Everybody was asking, Who shall revive the withered hopes that bloomed on the opening of Grants campaign? And the most despondent were those who possessed the fullest information.
A resolution of Congress adopted July 2 was worthy of the Hebrews of the Old Testament or of the Puritans of the English Civil War. It requested the President to appoint a day for humiliation and prayer and to ask the people to convene at their usual places of worship in order that they may confess and repent of their manifold sins, implore the compassion and forgiveness of the Almighty, that, if consistent with his will the existing rebellion may be speedily suppressed and implore him as the supreme ruler of the world not to destroy us as a people. The President, cordially concurring in the penitential and pious sentiments expressed in that resolution, appointed the first Thursday of August to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of national humiliation and prayer.
Thomas A. Scott, who was always ready with efficient help for the Government in its times of trouble and who now offered the services of himself and the Pennsylvania railroad, telegraphed to Stanton from Philadelphia, The
Note 1. This act repealed the $300 exemption clause which had been a large factor in the incitement of the New York draft riots; if a man were drafted now, he must go into the service or furnish a substitute. [back]