Washington, D.C., was in a panic as 70,000 Confederate troops were marching toward it just sixty miles away. The furious fighting lasted three days. As General Lee found his ammunition running low, he ordered General Pickett to make a direct attack. After an hour of murderous fire and bloody hand-to-hand combat, the Confederates were pushed back and the Battle of Gettysburg was finally over JULY 3, 1863, with over 50,000 casualties. President Abraham Lincoln confided to a general wounded in the battle: "When everyone seemed panic-stricken...I went to my room...and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed." Days later, July 15, 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving, Praise and Prayer: "It is meet and right to recognize and confess the presence of the Almighty Father and the power of His hand equally in these triumphs and in these sorrows....I invite the people of the United States to...render the homage due to the Divine Majesty for the wonderful things He has done in the nation's behalf and invoke the influence of His Holy Spirit to subdue the anger which has produced and so long sustained a needless and cruel rebellion."