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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: April 9, 1862

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Description of Page: Also includes an essay on abolitionist fanaticism and miscellaneous war news.

The Battle of Winchester
(Column 1)
Summary: A report by an aide-de-camp of Brigadier General James Sheilds on the battle near Winchester, Virginia, on March 23.
Trailer: R. C. Shriler
Rye Coffee
(Column 1)
Summary: Lyrics of a song lamenting the wartime tax on coffee.
(Column 3)
Summary: Argues that with the end of the war seemingly imminent, a policy for readmittance to the Union for seceding states needs to be designed. That policy should not be determined by "ultra" abolitionists, the article argues, but should allow the states to re-enter with the status of slavery intact.
Origin of Article: Baltimore American
Full Text of Article:

In the rapid advance now making by the National troops in every quarter a policy will soon have to be carefully matured, undisfigured by the millennial day-dreams of ultraism, and such as will be calculated most speedily to bring back the disaffected States to a full appreciation of the blessings of the Union. It ought to be equally removed from temporizing and trivial conciliation on the one hand, and from undue severity on the other; carefully distinguishing between the guilt of politicians and people; and, above all, the mad abolitionists--the men whom all know as prominent in precipitating public evils by their conduct in the loyal States--ought to be compelled to stand as unfitted for the great and solemn responsibility. That we are assured under certain contingencies of wise and firm counsels, of unflinching conservatism, amongst the higher officers of the Government, the past would seem to warrant; and were it not that we see them pressed to the uttermost by the mad zealots who have been privileged of late to make the seat of Government the theatre of their exploits, we should have little or no uneasiness as to ultimate results. The fact that these extremists have somehow obtained possession of the lecture-rooms of a National establishment--the Smithsonian Institute--where the most mischievous of them have had the opportunity afforded to ventilate the one mad idea that possesses them--as intensely treasonable in its way as Secession in any of its phases--is a bad omen; and a worse still may be found, perhaps, in the fact that the wildest fanatic of the herd--Cheever--is permitted to occupy the Capitol itself for the purpose of abusing the man relied upon by the nation to carry the country safe through the manifold perils which beset it. The "Territorial" proposition for the government of the rescued States is of bad significance also, whilst the abuse levelled at General Halleck--an officer whose policy in the West has been pre-eminently wise and fair, a model Governor, indeed--and the correspondent elevation, of late, of his incompetent predecessor, probably accomplished under a pressure hard to withstand, all point to a condition of things not especially reassuring when we look at the greatness and delicacy of the task soon to be imposed upon the rulers of the nation. Treason is as offensive under one form as another, and with the fact patent to all men that for years past the two extremes have played into each other's hands, both doing their best to subvert or destroy the Constitution--the only recognized citadel in the troubles that nearly overwhelm us--and that both do this yet, what alternative is left for the great mass of loyal and conservative citizens but to band together against both? and why should not the Government recognize treason and guilt in one case as well as in the other? is treason less offensive in Boston or New York than in Charleston or Savannah? Is the Charleston Mercury half as formidable, at present, in its power for mischief, circumscribed as is its field of action, as the New York Tribune, with its strength unimpaired?

If there was any difficulty in detecting sham patriotism or incipient treason in these times, the case would be different; but we need no special pleader to define it. Here, in Maryland, for instance, every policeman is for the time made the judge in the case of what threatens the public peace, the cause of the Union, and finally the Constitution. A flag emblematic of enmity to the Government, a shout, even, involves the necessity of arrest and imprisonment under certain circumstances--and rightly too, because in times so critical whatever tends to impair the respect due the power of the Government is a direct assault upon it and the Constitution upon which it is based. All that is easily understood here, or at St. Louis or Nashville; because a peculiar condition of things--revolt and bloodshed--or impending danger of these, have sharpened the senses of officials, and all are on the alert. And yet, this being so, why should men be arrested at the points named, for obnoxious shouts, when Wendell Phillips may shout treason until he is hoarse in the Smithsonian Institute within eight miles of the camps of the Potomac, and Cheever pollute the very Capitol with his ravings, because both are from places that have the odor of loyalty about them?

The truth is, if the nation is in earnest about the maintenance of the Constitution, if it goes for "reconstruction" on the basis of that instrument, it has got to change its course materially on some of the points considered.

Let it be understood right here, that we are not in any sense complaining of the treatment experienced by our own city, or of that tendered to St. Louis or Nashville. We believe that in each case it has been eminently wise, and forbearing, and proper. We believe that it is utter folly to make terms with treason anywhere; that weak conciliation is in most cases taken for fear, and produces its natural fruit in this case--insolence and a persistence in wrong doing. But we would have the policy that bears good fruits here and in other of the Border States, made by evil fortune the battle-ground of this rebellion, extended to Secession tendencies in States reputed more loyal; nay, we would have a more impartial and stringent policy obtain in the Capital of the nation itself, and even have it penetrate the halls of Congress, if thereby treason in all its ugly forms might be eradicated, that so the nation from the lakes to the gulf might come to have undoubted faith in the impartiality and justice of the Government. In this regard the patriotic citizens of the Gulf States--for if late accounts are true, Louisiana even has yet a fair representation of such--merely desire the guarantees of the Constitution, and are not under the necessity of desiring special favors. If all are treated alike, none anywhere will have cause for just complaint.

It is such a policy as this--such and none other--as will not only restore the Union, but will make it stronger than ever. The people of the South cannot control the ultraism of the North, but the Government and the loyal people of that section themselves can do it, and upon them devolves the task. In performing it they must act with strict justice or be declared infamous and ungenerous in all time to come. Demonstrating their power in a most righteous cause, so far, they have done nothing that reflects seriously upon the honesty for their reverence for the Constutian [sic], even upon their generosity; but the unpleasant task devolves upon them now to protect themselves and the beaten localities against their own fanatics, and the world will hold them to the obligation.

We have said this much on a delicate subject, not as giving a Border State view of the matter, but because true patriotism knows no special locality. If it is true patriotism, it will not be found making treason a convertible form--a term having one significance here, another North or South. We wish to see the Union restored in all its pristine magnificence and glory and upon such terms as will forever close the mouths of demagogues, whether in Massachusetts or South Carolina. As of old--before these troubles began--the negro still monopolizes the attention of Congress, even whilst the nation is almost in the agonies of dissolution, and if in the future he is not severely let alone, the curse upon the model Republic has only half expended itself, even so far as seen in this civil war. The greater curse impends right over our heads--in the possible destruction, finally, of the Union element of the South. As yet it maintains its confidence in the Government; it clings to the old flag with a grasp which only mad fanaticism has the power to tear away. As yet it has everything to appeal to in the stand taken by Congress in the outset: that it was a war to "restore the Constitution." Fanaticism, at that time beholding its wild work, shrank back from the evils it has inaugurated, and became humble and retiring; but it has become emboldened of late once more--as we have shown--and the patriotic of the nation are bound to take cognizance of and rebuke it if they would indeed save the country by giving us in the end a permanent peace.

Finally, we must not look to the politicians for a remedy. It is for the people to rebuke the politicians. They must see that it is madness and folly for them to go out to battle to rectify public grievances when they leave behind them plagues more destructive to the public peace than the Rebels in arms they go out to confront. They must see that the blood and treasure so prodigally bestowed must have other objects than to abet slavery or to set the negro free; that, in short, the negro must be left where our fathers placed him--to the provisions of the Constitution. Left to that, Ohio and Illinois need not pass laws to exclude him from their bounds, and South Carolina need not continue in arms under any false pretext that the safety of the negro is endangered.

For Maryland, let her steadily rebuke ultraism on both sides. A sufferer from both extremes, she is abundantly able to discriminate as to what is safe not only for herself, but for those on both sides of the field of controversy. But whilst treason of the South Carolina school is rebuked in the most wholesome way in Baltimore, let not the city of Washington be permitted to countenance a species of treason in no wise more commendable.--Balt American

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Description of Page: Fiction

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Description of Page: Reprinted article defending McClellan and 5 columns of classified advertising

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Democratic County Committee
(Column 1)
Summary: B. Y. Hamsher, chairman of the Franklin Democratic County Committee, posts notice of a Committee meeting at the business room of the Valley Spirit on Monday to elect delegates to the state convention. The members of the Committee are: B. Y. Hamsher, George W. Brewer, J. McD. Sharp, George Ludwig, John Armstrong, H. C. Keyser (all of Chambersburg), Jacob Weaster (Antrim), William D. McKinstry (Mercersburg), Peter Stenger (Loudon), Gen. R. W. M. Allen (Fannettesburg), David J. Skinner (Dry Run), C. Robinson (Concord), David C. Byers (Lurgan), Samuel Gilmore (Strasburg), Samuel Breckinridge (Fayettville), J. J. Kennedy (Guilford), Sam Hawk (Green), John K. Keyser (Welsh Run), Simon Brewer (Warren), William Kline (Southampton), B. A. Cormony (St. Thomas), William Bossart (Hamilton), H. G. Skiles (Orrstown), Daniel Logan (Quincy), Simon Lechron (Washington).
(Names in announcement: Chairman B. Y. Hamsher, George W. Brewer, J. McD. Sharp, George Ludwig, John Armstrong, H. C. Keyser, Jacob Weaster, William D. McKinstry, Peter Stenger, General R. W. M. Allen, David J. Skinner, C. Robinson, David C. Byers, Samuel Gilmore, Samuel Breckenridge, J. J. Kennedy, Sam Hawk, John H. Keyser, Simon Brewer, William Kine, B. A. Cormony, William Bossart, H. G. Skiles, Daniel Logan, Simon Lechron)
Unfit for the Task
(Column 1)
Summary: An editorial accusing Congress, and specifically Northern abolitionist congressmen, of occupying all their time discussing the issue of emancipation. It goes on to accuse abolitionists of equal disloyalty to the Constitution as secessionists, and hints that the country would be better off with them dead.
Full Text of Article:

We find the following among the late news from Washington:

"Late Richmond papers announce that JEFF. DAVIS has appointed, and the Senate confirmed a full set of territorial officers for Arizona. It thus appears that the Rebels are in advance of the United States Government, as the bill for establishing a Provisional Government for that Territory is not yet acted upon in Congress."

Of course not. Congress has no time to act upon anything but the nigger. The dark-skinned individual occupies the attention of Congress to the exclusion of everything for the benefit of the white man and the honor and peace of the country. These northern fanatics, who have been elected to Congress on account of their Abolition proclivities, not satisfied with bringing this horrid war upon the country by the advocacy of their prenicious [sic] doctrines, are now laboring in and out of Congress to increase the horrors of the fratricidal strife by coercing the Government to proclaim the emancipation of the slaves, to gratify their sectional hate. The grand scheme of these slavery agitators is to destroy negro slavery or the Union--they don't much care which. They care nothing for the Union and disregard the Constitution--and regard still less the guaranteed right of the devoted friends of the Union in the Border States. They must know that their course and the success of the measures they advocate will result in the destruction of the Union beyond any hope of reconstruction. We do contend that the advocates of negro emancipation as a remedy for the war, are as much traitors as are JEFF. DAVIS and his followers in the South. We heartily wish that the whole batch could be disposed of in the manner proposed by PARSON BROWNLOW in a late speech at Cincinnati. The Parson says:

"But, gentlemen of Ohio, I do not and cannot exonerate the North; and I say in brief to you that if, fifty years ago, we had taken one hundred Southern fire-eaters and one hundred Northern Abolitionists, and hanged them up, and buried them in a common ditch, and sent their souls to hell, we should have had none of this war."

The radical Republicans in Congress have thus far stood in the way of all legislation calculated to restore the honor and integrity of our flag. They have opposed every proposition for guaranteeing to the loyal citizens of the Southern States their rights under the Constitution, and we are now just where we were at the commencement of our difficulties so far as Congress is concerned. It has shown a lack both of intelligence and courage to aid the war or propose any legislative measure to rescue the Union, lest it be compelled to surrender up the Chicago platform. The Democratic members in Congress are powerless to accomplish anything. The Republican majority in that body is overwhelming, consequently there are little grounds for hope for the good or honor of the country. One would naturally suppose that the present lamentable state of the country would be sufficient to convince even the radical Republican members of Congress that there is serious business to be attended to; but they have proved wholly unfit for the task entrusted to them, and appear more anxious to ride their nigger hobby than to aid the Government in putting down this wicked rebellion.

An April Fool
(Column 3)
Summary: The editors of the Valley Spirit played a trick on William Kennedy, the editor of the Chambersburg Times, by hinting that he was to be called to testify before the legislative committee investigating rumors of corruption in the passage of the Tonnage Tax bill. Kennedy had been hinting that he knew that William Boyle had been paid to advocate the passage of the bill and to influence Col. A. K. McClure to vote in favor, and the Spirit hoped to reveal that his accusations were not based on the common good but in the hope of damaging the reputation of the Valley Spirit.
(Names in announcement: William Kennedy, William Boyle, Col. A. K. McClure)
A Notice
(Column 4)
Summary: The Spirit begs pardon of its readers that it has descended into arguing with the Times, but denies that Democrats have been complaining about the Valley Spirit's behavior.
Union Democrats
(Column 5)
Summary: Quotes an article from the Dispatch, a Republican paper, which argues that Republicans should organize pure parties and stay away from "union" efforts with Democrats--in order to avoid "evil associations." The Valley Spirit calls this to the attention of Democrats who joined Union parties in 1861 and uses it as evidence that the Republicans had tricked them into joining for short-term gain.
Origin of Article: Dispatch (Pennsylvania)

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Boy Wanted
(Column 1)
Summary: Want ad for a printer's apprentice.
Our Soldiers In Tennessee
(Column 1)
Summary: The 77th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers was scheduled to leave their camp near Columbia, Tennessee, on April 1, to march toward Decatur, Alabama. The march is 80 miles with prospects of heavy skirmishing. The men are reported to be in good health. Because they have few opportunities to write home, the next report from the 77th is likely to be from the battlefield.
Arrival of Judge Kimmell
(Column 1)
Summary: F. M. Kimmell, former President Judge of this judicial district, has moved into Chambersburg with his family, into a house on West Market Street formerly occupied by Mrs. Riddle. He has formed a law partnership with William McLellan, Esq.
(Names in announcement: Hon. F. M. Kimmell, Mrs. Riddle, William McLellanEsq.)
Arrived Safe
(Column 1)
Summary: The recruits from this area for the 77th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers who left on March 8 arrived safely at camp on March 25.
Sanford's Minstrels
(Column 1)
Summary: Sanford's Minstrels will be performing several times in the area next week, and the editors recommend attendance at one of the concerts. Admission is 25 cents for adults, 15 cents for children.
Something New
(Column 2)
Summary: Directs attention to the advertisement for the new machine shop opened by John E. West on West Washington Street near the Lutheran church. He is specializing in agricultural implements, and the editors note that he is "of excellent character, industrious and of good business habits."
(Names in announcement: John E. West)
New Grocery
(Column 2)
Summary: Directs attention to an advertisement for a new grocery story, run by Messrs. Shafer and Croft, on Main Street.
(Names in announcement: Shafer, Croft)
(Column 4)
Summary: William Sullenberger and Elizabeth Rudy were married on March 6.
(Names in announcement: Rev. A. H. Long, William H. Sullenberger, Elizabeth Rudy)
(Column 4)
Summary: B. Mullnix Bradly, son of J. B. and E. A. Bradly, died on March 1, age 11 months and 2 days.
(Names in announcement: B. Mullnix Bradly, J. B. Bradly, E. A. Bradly)

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements

The Pet of the Abolitionists
(Column 1)
Summary: Attacks General John C. Fremont and his supporters for their abolitionist tendencies and complains that Fremont is praised while McClellan is attacked.
Origin of Article: Louisville Democrat

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements and reprints of judicial notices