(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
Every year prior to the permanent establishment of a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863, the Governor of Massachusetts set a date for the holiday in an annual message along with a statement. This one, from 1861, was issued near the end of the first half-year of the Civil War which by then had already seen serious casualties among Massachusetts troops. The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment lost four men in Baltimore in April, 1861, the first of the Civil War. Just ten days before this proclamation was made, Massachusetts troops had suffered major losses in an attempt to capture Ball's Bluff, Virginia. Several days after this proclamation, Governor, John Andrew was re-elected.