From the Archives - Collingwood's General Order to the Fleet After Trafalgar
When Lord Nelson was mortally wounded at Trafalgar (October 21,
1805), command of the British fleet devolved upon his good friend Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood.
the fleet in the final phases of the battle, and during the terrible storm that
followed it almost immediately. The
following day he penned a general order to the fleet, which was subsequently published
in the London Gazette on November 6, 1805.
The Almighty God, whose arm is strength, having of his great mercy been
pleased to crown the exertion of His Majesty's fleet with success, in giving
them a complete victory over their enemies, on 21st of this month: and
that all praise and thanksgiving may be offered up to the Throne of Grace for
the great benefits to our country and to mankind:
I have through proper that a day should be appointed of general
humiliation before God, and thanksgiving for this his merciful goodness,
imploring forgiveness of sins, a continuation of his divine mercy, and his
constant aid to us, in the defence of our country's liberties and laws, without
which the utmost efforts of men are nought; and direct therefore that a day be
appointed for this holy purpose.
Given on board the Euyalus, off
Cape Trafalgar, 22d Oct. 1805
To the respective captains and commanders