All unusual military duty was suspended on Friday, Aug. 21, 1863, as the army observed a proclamation by President Jefferson Davis and an order by Gen. Lee. The weather was clear and warm.
“Today has generally been observed throughout the Army,” Spartan Band diarist William H. Hill recorded, “as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer in accordance with the proclamation of the President and the order of General Lee.
“The Chaplains have had religious services in the Brigade three times today. All military duty is suspended for the day except such that is necessary for the safety of the command.”
There was also some preparation for an anticipated march the next day.