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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: June 18, 1862

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Includes a speech defending Stephen Douglas and one criticizing Charles Sumner.

Letter from Major Jack Downing
(Column 1)
Summary: Letter in dialect purporting to be a conversation between Lincoln and an advisor about emancipation and the predicted consequences in the South.
How It Looks Now
(Column 4)
Summary: Comments on a Chicago paper's criticism of General Halleck, based on Halleck's prohibition of fugitive slaves within his lines, shortly before Halleck's victory in Corinth. The authors note that Halleck's military prowess proves his worth beyond what abolitionist detractors might suggest.
Origin of Article: Journal of Commerce

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Literature

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Five columns classified advertisements

The 'Poor White Trash' in Virginia
(Column 1)
Summary: An article purporting to relate an interview (while poking fun at) a poor white woman in Virginia.
Full Text of Article:

A correspondent with Shields' division of the army, from Warrenton to Fredericksburg, gives the following account of the poor whites in Virginia:

They live in the poorest kind of log huts, are uneducated, know nothing, rent farms for little or nothing, and can scarcely pay the rent. They are gaunt, half-starved, dilapidated human beings, without religion, without knowledge, without morals, and without any comforts whatever. While the first brigade stopped to lunch at noon time, General Kimball and myself strolled up to one of these log cabins and entered into conversation with its inhabitants. The matron of the hut was rather a shrewd woman, of about forty-five years of age, and with her six children and one grandchild, and an elderly woman whom she had taken home in charity. She lived in that little cabin, with one room, not more than ten by twelve feet in size.

The furniture consisted of two tottering bedsteads, an old table, and three or four aged chairs. Her kitchen utensils could all have been put in a handbox. The hut was filled with smoke, a condition it is in always when a fire glows in the mud and stick fire-place. The woman's husband and the husband of her boarder are in the rebel army. How they got there these wives do not know. The only information they possess is that that [sic] their husbands disappeared about Christmas, and they heard they 'jined' the army, and have not heard from them since.

'A great many of the men have gone from this section?' I asked.

'Laws, yes,' was the reply. 'As near as I mought know, thar aint more'n twelve in this here neighborhood, and the're old men that can't work nor do nothin. The wimmen folks is left to take kar of ourselves.'

'How do you manage to support yourselves?'

'Well, we rents an' works, an' its hard scratchin' to keep soul an' body together. I aint had no salt, no coffee, 'cept what them thar sogers gave me, since this ere war commenced.'

'You rent this farm, then?'


'What rent do you pay?'

'Fifteen dollars a year.'

'How much land do you have?'

'Jist what I can work aroun', an' God knows that aint much. If I hires a horse to plow, it costs a dollar, an wher am I to git a dollar to pay?'

'Wat do you raise?'

'Just a little corn.'

'How do you raise it without plowing?'

'Hoes it, sir.'

'You must have to work very hard?'

'Guess I does. No niggers work as hard as us poor folks.'

'You do not say that you are worse off than the negro slaves?'

'Worse! Guess we is. I'm hard at work every night after the nigger is gone to roost, an that's the way with all poor people 'round here. We're wus than the niggers. We gits no edication, dont know nothin', an has to work all our life for them that owns the sile. That's it. We has children, an they grows up an they aint no better 'an us. I guess we are wus 'an the niggers.'

And so she talked on for half an hour. She said the 'wimin folks' did not know anything about the war until their husbands 'jined the sogers,' and she was anxious to know what the 'fitin' was all about. She knew there was a Northern and a Southern army, but appeared to be puzzled as to what Northern and Southern meant.

As an illustration of the morality of these people, I will state, the eldest daughter, a woman of about twenty, was trotting a baby on her knee.

'Is that your child?' I asked.

'Yass,' she replied.

'And has your husband gone to the war, too?'

'Laws, I never done got one yet!'

She had to ask her mother before she could tell the age of her baby, which was eight months.

Time did not permit me to look further into the condition of these unfortunate people, but some of our cavalry, who scouted off from the roadside, informed me that their condition was invariably the same. They found some in log cabins without furniture. Some of these families have lived there on this ridge through three or four generations.

They seldom go beyond their own neighborhood and know nothing beyond that except what travellers tell them. The woman with whom I conversed told me that she generally got about twenty bushels of corn out of an acre of ground. She was cultivating six acres, which would produce a crop of 120 bushels of corn, out of which she must get fifteen dollars to pay her land rent.

-Page 04-

A Snake-Bit Editor
(Column 1)
Summary: Attacks the Waynesboro Village Record for its description of Democrats as "snakes" and Southern sympathizers.
Full Text of Article:

We have for some time past been wondering what could have infused so much venom into the Village Record at Waynesboro'. It now appears that its Editor has been bitten by a snake. Visions of snakes by day and dreams of snakes by night afflict and affright the poor fellow. Hear how he raves about them:

Snakes--Perhaps there is no term more appropriate to Northern sympathisers with the Slaveholders' rebellion than that of "snakes."

Therefore, when you hear a man grumble about the "taxes," and attempting to alarm the public mind about the cost of the war, set him down for a "snake."

The people of Pennsylvania have done a little grumbling about "the taxes" ever since Ritner and Stevens squandered millions of money on such useless "public improvements" as the Gettysburg "Tapeworm;" therefore, according to the Village Record, the people are "snakes." Nearly the whole Republican party abused Buchanan about the cost of the expedition he sent out to quell the rebellion of the Mormons in Utah; therefore, according to the Village Record, the Republican party is the biggest "snake" in the world.

When you hear a man bellowing about "abolitionism," set him down for a "snake."

The Editor of the Republican Dispatch has bellowed about abolitionism in several recent numbers of his paper; therefore, according to the Village Record, he is a "snake." (We admit the fact.)

When you hear a man talk about compromise with the rebels, set him down for a "snake."

The venerable statesman and patriot, John J. Crittenden, proposed to compromise with the rebels; therefore, according to the Village Record, Mr. Crittenden is a "snake." It was an evil flag for the country when the abolition vipers in congress rejected that compromise.

When you hear a man talk about the Administration violating the Constitution, set him down for a "snake."

President Lincoln admitted that he had exceeded his constitutional authority, and his friends in Congress passed an act to legalize his illegal transactions; therefore, according to the Village Record, President Lincoln is a "snake" and his supporters in Congress are "snakes be jabers," as the Irishman said.

When you hear a man howl and lament against arresting Northern traitors, set him down for a "snake."

When a Democratic United States Marshal, armed with a warrant issued in pursuance of the Constitution and Laws of the United States, arrested that notorious Northern traitor and Abolition rebel, Sherman M. Booth, the Black Republicans of the Northwest filled the air with howls and lamentations; therefore, according to the Village Record, the Black Republicans of the Northwest, who supported Mr. Lincoln for the Presidency, are "snakes."

When you hear a man blurt about negroes swarming into the North and supplanting Northern laborers, set him down for a "snake."

As quite a number of persons of both parties in this place are blurting about that very thing, it might be well to warn them, of the exact punishment that awaits them; therefore, with the sanction of the Village Record, we would state that the man who blurts out against real Guinea niggers must be set down for a blacksnake, whilst he who blurts out against mulattoes must be set down for a copperhead.

The Pet of Abolitionists
(Column 2)
Summary: The editors attack the claim of abolition newspapers that General Hunter, who issued the emancipation order for slaves in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida (later revoked by Lincoln), was a Democrat. Abolitionists, the editors argue, would be willing to support anyone regardless of party label, even at the risk of treason to their party, but in fact Hunter is not a Democrat.
"What are We Coming to"
(Column 3)
Summary: Relates the story of an unnamed farmer who released his white laborers and hired former slaves at twelve-and-a-half cents per day. No further evidence is needed, say the editors, of the damage that abolition will have on white northern working men.
Origin of Article: London Democrat (Pennsylvania)
Full Text of Article:

Under this caption, the London (Madison county, O) Democrat of the 5th inst., has an article from which we clip the following:

"Our own county is already beginning to enjoy she [sic] first fruits of the "good time coming." We are informed that a few d[a]ys since a certain farmer, not many miles distant, had discharged all his white farm hands and had employed eighteen of the negroes sent hitherward by Colonel Moody, at twelve and a half cents per day! Laboring men of Madison! this is only a foretaste of the blessings in store for you.'

Sure enough! What are the white laboring classes of Pennsylvania coming to?

In this city and vicinity hundreds of runaway slaves have taken up their quarters and have successfully entered into competition with our white laborers, by offering to work for low wages. We hear of numerous cases in our immediate neighborhood where white men have been turned away by their employers to make room for "contrabands," whose services are obtained at half-price. This may suit capital, but does it suit white labor? Is this incipient revolution in the labor of the North in accordance with the glowing pictures of future prosperity; the warm professions of sympathy held out by the Republicans as a lure to the white laborers of the North when they unfortunately enveighled [sic] them from their allegiance to the Democratic party, which, alone, has ever represented and defended the interests of labor against the oppressive and usurping tendencies of capital!

Does "the dignity of labor," a cant phrase of the Republicans, consist in the degradation of white men doomed to compete for a day's work with hords [sic] of half-starved negroes, forced upon us by the destructive policy of the Abolitionists? That policy is depopulating the fields of the South and leaving them to sterility and waste, while it is depriving the Northern laborer of his wages and quadrupling his taxes! How long will the people of the North blindly believe in the false pretences of these politics! mountebanks?

Words of Soberness
(Column 3)
Summary: Extracts of a speech given by Neil S. Brown, former governor of Tennessee, in Columbia, Tennessee on June 2, in which he urges his fellow citizens to stop participating in the war against the government. Brown had originally opposed secession, but then joined the Confederate Military Committee. Brown now argues that the South does not have the resources to continue the war.
Conditional Unionists
(Column 5)
Summary: Reprints part of a speech given by Jim Lane of Kansas, an outspoken abolitionist. Lane argues that if abolition had been the goal from the outset, the war would have been over already, and he believes that blacks are capable of much more than whites give them credit for. The Valley Spirit sees in Lane's speech more evidence that abolitionist want the Union restored only on their terms, and would rather see it stay apart than to readmit states with slavery intact.
More Testimony
(Column 6)
Summary: An extract from a letter written by a soldier near Corinth, who claims that the emancipation projects being discussed in Congress have solidified the South against the North.
Origin of Article: Holmes County Farmer
Editorial Comment: "The above expresses the sentiments of the whole army, and every other discreet, sensible man in the Union."

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Description of Page: Several columns of war news from near Richmond.

Arrival From Dixie
(Column 1)
Summary: About four hundred Confederate prisoners passed through Chambersburg last Sunday on a special train, headed for Camp Curtain near Harrisburg. The editors note that they were ill-clad and looked "unsoldierly," and take this as evidence that the Confederate cause was nearly "played out." Many people from the community talked with the prisoners, and generally found them polite but deluded about the chances the South had in the war.
Full Text of Article:

On Sunday last about four hundred rebel prisoners passed through this place, on a special train, their destination being Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg. They were guarded by three companies of Wisconsin and Indiana troops. The prisoners were very poorly clad and presented a very unsoldierly appearance. To judge by the appearance of these men one would say that "Secesh was pretty well played out." How it is possible to hold an army together in such a degraded state is more than a northern mind can understand. Our three month's men made a great ado about their equipment but had they seen these rebel soldiers they would have been forever content with "Curtin's Commissariat." During the short time the train stopped here our citizens talked freely with the prisoners and as a general thing received respectful answers to all questions. They are certainly the most deluded set of men we ever heard talk. They profess to believe that they have gained all the battles, captured more arms and prisoners, and have had the best of the war in every respect. Their own looks was a poor corroboration of their assertions, for a more completely used up lot of men could not be found in any army in the world. If the balance of the Southern army are like these they are hardly "foemen worthy of our steel." No one could look upon these wretched creatures with any other feeling than that of pity, and in the very large crowd assembled around the cars we noticed but few attempts to taunt or insult them, and these exceptions were by persons of no account in the community, and who never possessed much reputation for sense or decency. The prisoners themselves seemed to feel that they were receiving better treatment than they deserved and it may, perhaps, convince them that "Northern barbarism" is still a more refined article than "Southern chivalry." These prisoners were taken by Gen. Fremont who, report says, has about a thousand more of the same sort to send this way as soon as transportation can be obtained.

Struck by Lightning
(Column 1)
Summary: Lighting struck the former Franklin Railway House (now used by Mr. Deitz to pack "Government hay") last Saturday, setting hay on fire and threatening the entire building. The efforts of early arrivals on the scene prevented the building from burning, however. Mrs. Lindsay's house on Queen Street was also hit, and part of the firewall knocked down, but the house did not catch fire.
(Names in announcement: Deitz, Mrs. Lindsay)
Good Painting
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors praise the painting job done by B. T. Fellows in the office of J. G. Wolff, Esq., who shares a building with the Valley Spirit.
(Names in announcement: B. T. Fellows, J. G. WolffEsq.)
Useful Invention
(Column 1)
Summary: Jacob Wistar of Greencastle, well-known as a millwright, had invented a "useful improvement" for flour bolts, called a Universal Knocker. It keeps the bolting cloth clean, and a miller who tried it said he gets from four to six more pounds per barrel by using it.
(Names in announcement: Jacob Wistar)
Near Home
(Column 1)
Summary: General Buell's army will arrive in Virginia shortly, and Colonel Stumbaugh's regiment is attached to this division. Since it is supposed that they will be positioned along the Potomac, it may present a chance to visit them.
Col. Campbell
(Column 1)
Summary: Col. C. T. Campbell is reported to be recovering from his wounds at a hospital in Philadelphia and is anxious to get back to the army. He was wounded in the wrist and the thigh by a musket ball.
(Names in announcement: Col. C. T. Campbell)
(Column 1)
Summary: A couple of "scamps" who had been boarding in Chambersburg for some time are suspected of having passed off a large number of counterfeit notes in the area. They escaped before warrants for their arrest could be obtained.
Important from the Shenandoah Valley
(Column 4)
Summary: Details of the battle near Port Republic, Virginia, where Union General Fremont repulsed an attack by Stonewall Jackson. Includes official dispatches and news of the pursuit of Jackson after the battle.
Full Text of Article:

A Great Battle Between General Fremont's Army and the Rebels under General Jackson--A Fierce Fight--Jackson is Driven from his Position with Heavy Loss--One Federal Regiment Badly Cut Up

Fremont's Headquarters,

Battle Field 8 Miles Beyond Harrisonburg, June 8th.

Gen. Fremont has overtaken the enemy of whom he has been in pursuit for a week, and has forced him to fight and driven him with heavy loss, from his chosen position. Gen. Fremont left Harrisonburg this morning at 6 o'clock, and advanced in pursuit of Jackson by the road leading to Port Republic to the left of the turnpike to Staunton. Seven miles b[e]yond Harrisonburg, the advanced guard discovered the enemy posted in the woods to the left and front, apparently in force. Artillery was sent to the front and commenced shelling the enemy without eliciting any reply.

Jackson having at last been forced to make a stand with his whole army, had completely masked his position in the woods and ravines. Skirmishers and cavalry were sent forward, and the whole column came rapidly up, and the line of battle, extending nearly two miles, was promptly formed under direction of Colonel Albert, Chief of General Fremont's staff. Before it was completeded [sic], General Stahl, with the Garibaldi Guards, became engaged with the enemy on the extreme right, and forced him to fall back.

At half-past twelve o'clock, a general advance was ordered, and the whole line moved forward. General Milroy had the centre, General Schenck the right, and General Stahl, with all his Brigade except the Garibaldi Guards, the front. General Blenker's, General Bohten's, and Col. Steinweiskler's Brigades composed the reserves.

The line moved down the slopes of three hills into the valley, and up the opposite ascents, which at the summits were covered with woods. In these woods, and in belts of heavy timber beyond, the enemy were posted. General Stahl, on the left, was first engaged; General Milroy and Schenck found the enemy soon after, and the battle almost immediately became general.

Gen Stahl, after Schrivner's battery had shelled the Rebel position, advanced the 8th New York and 45th New York regiments through the woods, into an open field, on the other side of which the enemy's right wing was concealed in the woods. The 8th regiment advanced gallantly under heavy fire, but being so long unsupported by the 45th, and largely outnumbered, were finally forced to retire. Col. Wirtcher was severely wounded and his whole regiment badly cut up--losing, in killed and wounded, not less than 300 men; more than half its strength. The enemy's pursuit was checked by our artillery; and Gen. Stahl finally withdrew his brigade to a stronger position, repulsing a flank movement and holding his wing firmly.

General Milroy advanced his centre rapidly, the artillery fire compelling the enemy to give ground.

General S[c]henck on the right twice drove back the Rebels who attempted to turn his position. Along the whole line our artillery under Colonel Pilsen's direction was served with great vigor and precision, and the final success was largely due to its effect.

The enemy suffered most severely. One rebel regiment lost two-third[s] of its number in an attempt to capture Widrinch's battery, which cut them to pieces with canister at fifty paces.

The Rebel batteries were repeatedly silenced and forced to abandon their positions.

Colonel Cheseret, with his weak Brigade, took and held the centre of the enemy's position, and his encampment is there to-night.

Our forces were outnumbered at all points, but have occupied the rebel lines and forced them to retreat.

The loss is heavy on both sides. The enemy suffered especially from our artillery. The Garibaldi Guards lost nearly 200, and the 25th Ohio 60. Our total loss is estimated at from six to eight hundred in killed, wounded and missing.

Col. Wm. Giles, of the De Kath regiment; Capt. Paul, of the 8th New York; Capt. Wiesner, of the 24th New York; Capt. Bischuti, of the 89th New York; Capt. Charles Worth, of the 25th Ohio; and Surgeon Courtwell, of the 82d Ohio, are all wounded. Many other officers are also wounded or killed.

The Rebels fought wholly under cover, while our troops were forced to advance through open fields. The enemy's advantages of position and numbers were counterbalanced and defeated by General Fremont's skillful handling of his troops and the coolness and determination with which he pursued his success. The fight was furious for three hours, and continued till nearly dark. Our army sleeps on the field of battle to-night.

Official Report of Gen. Fremont.

Headquarters Army in the Field,

Camp near Port Republic, June 8, 9 P.M.

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

No. 40--The army left Harrisonburg at 6 o'clock this (Sunday) morning, and at half-past 8 o'clock my advance engaged the Rebels about seven miles from that place, near Union church. The enemy was very advantageously posted with timber, having chosen his own position, forming a smaller circle than our own, and with his troops formed in masses. It consisted undoubtedly of Jackson's entire force.

The battle began with heavy firing at 1 o'clock, and lasted with great obstinacy and violence until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, some skirmishing and artillery firing continuing from that time until dark.

Our troops fought occasionally under the murderous fire of greatly superior numbers, the hottest of the small-arm fire being on the left wing which was held by Gen. Stahl's brigade, consisting of five regiments. The bayonet and canister shot were used freely, and with great effect by our men.

The loss on both sides is very great--ours being very heavy among the officers. A full report of those who distinguished themselves will be made without partiality.

I desire to say that both officers and men behaved with splendid gallantry, and that the service of the artillery was especially admirable.

We are encamped on the field of battle, which may be renewed at any moment.

[Signed] J.C. Fremont,

Major-General commanding.

Capt. McKesson
(Column 1)
Summary: Letters received from Capt. McKesson inform the editors that he is recovering in the "Sisters Hospital" in St. Louis and hopes to be able to come home to Chambersburg next week.
(Names in announcement: Capt. McKesson)
(Column 6)
Summary: Elizabeth J. Piper, daughter of Peter Piper, died in Amberson's Valley on June 2, age 32 years, 9 months and 28 days
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth J. Piper, Peter Piper)
(Column 6)
Summary: Elmira Alice Dehart died on June 11 near Fayetteville, age 13 years, 3 months and 25 days.
(Names in announcement: Elmira Alice Dehart)
(Column 6)
Summary: Wilson McClellan Stewart, son of John and Maria Stewart, died on June 5 in Orrstown, age 7 months, 2 weeks and 5 days.
(Names in announcement: Wilson McClellan Stewart, John Stewart, Maria Stewart)
(Column 6)
Summary: Martha Eliza Stewart, daughter of John and Ann Maria Stewart, died in Orrstown on June 2 at the age of 3 years and 2 weeks.
(Names in announcement: Martha Eliza Frances Stewart, John Stewart, Ann Maria Stewart)

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements

-Page 07-

Description of Page: Classified advertisements

-Page 08-

Description of Page: News report from a flood in Lehigh County, plus classifieds

(Column 3)
Summary: Samuel Brandt announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the office of sheriff.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Brandt)
(Column 3)
Summary: Frederick Zullinger Jr. announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the office of sheriff.
(Names in announcement: Frederick ZullingerJr.)
Candidate For Sheriff
(Column 3)
Summary: William Reder announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the office of sheriff.
(Names in announcement: William Reder)
(Column 3)
Summary: John Stitzell announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the office of sheriff.
(Names in announcement: John Stitzell)