Standing before the congregation of Tallahassee's St. John's Episcopal Church in May 1865, Bishop Francis Huger Rutledge personified the collapse of the Confederacy. Visibly weak "with trembling hands and unsteady voice," the prelate opened the Eucharist with prayer. Temporarily forgetting orders handed down from the Union forces occupying Florida's capital, Rutledge included a blessing for the President of the Confederate States of America in his benediction. Realizing his error, he bowed his head and repeated the last lines of his invocation, this time uttering "United States of America" instead. Having been at the forefront of Florida's secession movement four years earlier, he could not hide his despondence.1
Willis, III, Lee L.
"Secession Sanctified: Bishop Francis Huger Rutledge and the Coming of the Civil War in Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 82:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol82/iss4/3