The next week James White addressed the readers of the Review. After expressing gratitude for "the provision made by the government for the exemption of noncombatants from bearing carnal weapons," he proposed to fellow Adventists:
Prayer and giving of thanks for those in authority constitute a proper portion of their Sabbath and other seasons of public worship, and also of family and private devotions. And besides this, we recommend that the second Sabbath in each month be especially set apart to fasting and prayer in view of the present terrible war (RH, Jan. 31, 1865).
By mid-February 1865 it was clear to the committee that if the war did not come to an early close, and if there was to be a call for more men every five or six months, "we must inevitably lose means, or lose our own numbers, and lose those who would embrace the truth, and lose the attention of the people" (ibid., Feb. 21, 1865).
We are thus brought, as it plainly appears to us, to a place where if the war continues, we must stop. We repeat it, the war must stop, or our work in spreading the truth must stop. Which shall it be? (ibid.).
Then came a most unusual appeal:
We would recommend, nay more, earnestly request, all our churches and scattered brethren to set apart four days commencing Wednesday, March 1, and continuing till the close of the following Sabbath, as days of earnest and importunate prayer over this subject. Let business be suspended, and the churches meet at one o'clock on the afternoon of each of the weekdays, and twice on the Sabbath, to pour out their supplications before God. . . . During these days of prayer we recommend on the part of all a very abstemious and simple diet. . . . Labor will be suspended at the Review office (ibid.).
Seventh-day Adventists responded most heartily.