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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: August 6, 1862

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The President's Appeal to the Border States
(Column 1)
Summary: Lincoln's address to the congressional delegations of the border states, in which he emphasizes that while the abolition of slavery might interfere with states' rights, the continuation of the war would destroy the institution of the states altogether. In Lincoln's view, abolition and colonization would be enough to end the war. The congressmen replied that the federal government had neither the right nor the money to carry out Lincoln's plan.

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Description of Page: Literature

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements

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Democratic Convention
(Column 1)
Summary: The Democrats of Franklin County are requested to meet at the court house in Chambersburg next Monday to determine a time to hold a county convention.
(Names in announcement: B. Y. Hamsher)
To the Public
(Column 1)
Summary: P. S. Dechert announces the sale of his share of the Valley Spirit to Hiram C. Keyser, Esq., and his withdrawal from the firm of B. Y. Hamsher. Hamsher and Keyser have made an arrangement with William Kennedy, Esq. whereby the Valley Spirit and the Chambersburg Times will be united under joint management and proprietorship, and the firm will salute the public next week through the united papers. All debts from January of 1862 have been purchased by the new firm; all debts before that time should be settled promptly, as no person concerned with the publication of the Spirit before that time is now associated with the paper. Dechert thanks all the people who have patronized the paper during his tenure.
(Names in announcement: P. S. Dechert, B. Y. Hamsher, Hiram C. KeyserEsq., William KennedyEsq.)
Full Text of Article:

I have sold my interest in the Valley Spirit to Hiram C. Keyser, Esq., and have withdrawn from the firm of B.Y. Hamsher & Co., of which I have been a member since its formation.

Messrs. Hamsher and Keyser have made an arrangement with William Kennedy, Esq., whereby the Valley Spirit and the Times will be united under their joint management and proprietorship.

It is hoped and believed that this union will give satisfaction to the friends of both papers, and harmonise any diversity of interests that may heretofore have existed among the conservative elements of the county.

The arrangements are so far completed that the new firm may be expected to salute the public through the columns of the united papers next week. I ask for them the cordial support of all the friends of this office.

All the unpaid accounts of the Valley Spirit, that have accrued since the first day of January last, have been purchased by the new firm of Hamsher, Keyser and Kennedy, who have also engaged to pay the debts of the firm of B.Y. Hamsher & Co.

As no person who was concerned in the publication of the Valley Spirit that have accrued since the first day of January last, have been purchased by the new firm of Hamsher, Keyser and Kennedy, who have also engaged to pay the debts of the firm of B.Y. Hamsher & Co.

As no person who was concerned in the publication of the Valley Spirit at any time previous to the first of January, 1862, will have any connection with the united papers, it is hoped that all accounts due to any of the publishers of the Spirit up to the above date, will be promptly settled.

My withdrawal from the establishment is complete and final, and all the old books are in my hands for settlement.

I sincerely thank the people of Franklin county, and all others whose patronage has been extended to this establishment, for the substantial benefits conferred upon me and my associates during a long series of years.

P.S. Dechert.

August 5, 1862.

Who is Responsible?
(Column 2)
Summary: Attacks Senator Zachariah Chandler, and the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, for their criticism of General McClellan. If this committee, argues the editors, had not been fixed on retaking Manassass and if they had not prodded McClellan to move before he was ready, Richmond might have fallen easier. But meddling politicians got in the way of military prowess.
Full Text of Article:

Zachariah Chandler, a lumber merchant of Michigan, who made enough money out of the western squatters to enable him to get to the United States Senate on the strength of his purse, made an assault on General McClellan on the 16th inst. Zachariah is a member of the famous Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War." We take the following from his remarks in the Senate:

In December the nation began to clamor for a movement, and the Committee on the Conduct of the War urged the necessity for such a movement. The President and Cabinet were in favor of some forward movement, and they were assured by Gen. McClellan that a move would be made very soon; that he never intended to go into winter quarters. And he did not. Our brave men spent the winter in canvas tents.

At last, in January, the President gave the order "forward!" and those glorious events took place at Fort Donelson and Henry, Newburn, &c. The "do nothing strategy" seemed to give way, and the weeks and days of spades and pick-axes to be over.

On the 22d of February, the Army of the Potomac was ordered to move, but it was not ready. At last, on the 10th of March, it did move, under the protest of its commander. On the 10th of March that army numbered 230,000 men by the muster roll. They marched to Manassas and the wooden guns of Centreville, and the enemy, less than 40,000 quietly moved away.

The Generals had voted not to advance on Manassas, but to leave the enemy there and to sneak around to Annapolis. Seven out of eight of these Generals were appointed by the advice of Gen. McClellan.

But the President and Secretary of War overruled this, and made the army move on Manassas.

From this it appears that the "Committee on the Conduct of the War," composed of men who knew nothing whatever of military affairs, poked their noses into what did not belong to them and urged a movement of the army. It was no doubt their officious intermeddling that induced the President to order the army of the Potomac to move on the 22d of February, when it was not ready to move. To the same cause may also, we presume, be attributed the President's foolish order to McClellan to move on the 10th of March, which the General obeyed under protest, as well he might, considering that the whole country was a sea of mud, rendering active operations an utter impossibility.

If Chandler speaks the truth, McClellan and the Generals under his command wished to move on Virginia from Annapolis. But those profound military geniuses, the President and Secretary of War, aided by the wise counsels of the modern Solomons composing the immortal "Committee on the Conduct of the War," ordered it otherwise. In spite of McClellan and all his Generals, the army was ordered on Manassas. We had failed to take that point in July 1861, although some of the members of this great "Committee on the Conduct of the War" were near the field and lent their legs to our army when the time came for it to run. The wounded pride of these gallant committee-men demanded that Manassas should be taken, and in compliance with their demand, the President and his Secretary overruled eight or ten of the best military men in the service of the Union and ordered the army through the mud to Manassas. It went--and so did the enemy, who had a good railroad to carry his troops away; and then McClellan was abused because his army on foot, marching through the mud in obedience to the President's order, did not overtake the enemy in the cars.

McClellan and his Generals wanted to go one way. The President, taking the valuable advice of the "Committee on the Conduct of the War," sent them another. The movement failed and a sudden change under disadvantageous circumstances had to be made; and what has it all resulted in? Instead of besieging Richmond, our army, in spite of its own gallantry and the skill of its commander, is itself besieged at the distance of twenty or thirty miles from the rebel capital. Who is responsible? Chandler says McClellan--we say Lincoln.

Splitting rails is healthful exercise, but if ever it made a great military genius out of the raw material of a backwoods politician, history has failed to record the fact.

Shall the Last Link be Broken
(Column 3)
Summary: Praises the unity of the Northern Democrats and border state "Union" men in standing against the abolitionists in Congress. This link of conservative unionists, they argue, is the last tie that binds the two sections of the country together, and it is threatened by the pulls both of secessionists and abolitionists.
Republican State Convention
(Column 4)
Summary: A reprint from a Republican paper that argues that the recent Union convention should not been seen as a pure Republican meeting. By supporting David Wilmot and ignoring Senator Cowan, but yet by also professing their support for Lincoln's confiscation bill, they ignore the fact that Lincoln and Wilmot were in opposition over certain sections of that bill, and that in fact Lincoln took some of his positions from Cowan. The writer warns the convention to take closer note of events and positions before it passes judgement on people.
Origin of Article: Somerset Gazette
The Abolition War upon McClellan
(Column 6)
Summary: Argues that McClellan was intentionally not reinforced at Richmond by the secretary of war, because of a plot to defeat McClellan. The article reports that abolitionists were celebrating McClellan's defeat, as they care more about opposing him than they do winning the war.
Origin of Article: Providence Post

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Description of Page: Includes miscellaneous war news, market information, and three columns of classified advertising.

Chambers Infantry
(Column 1)
Summary: A list of names in the Chambers Infantry, Capt. Doebler's company which left Chambersburg on Monday morning for Camp Curtain.
(Names in announcement: C. Allison, G. B. Andrews, Jos. Armstrong, H. P. Bittinger, W. M. Bradley, D. W. Brandt, J. C. Brown, J. P. Brown, Jas. Buhaup, W. Buhaup, C. L. Bard, L. S. Baker, G. F. Cole, Jere. Cook, Robert Cline, W. M. Clugston, W. S. Davison, B. F. Deal, G. o. F. Dietrich, Thomas Durboraw, George Duncan, D. S. Early, H. C. Edmiston, W. F. Eyster, D. B. Fahnestock, R. B. Fisher, D. B. Fisher, Alex Flack, Christian Fuller, E. Forney, William Gaff, Jas. Gilmore, George Geotman, J. S. Glass, D. B. Greenawalt, Gill, J. M. Hays, G. S. Heck, W. H. Hockenberry, Hiram Houser, D. L. Hoffman, J. H. Hutton, A. Huber, Augustus Houser, Henry Jorm, W. B. Keefer, William Kennedy, H. Lantz, Thomas Lee, Stewart Lightcap, Thomas H. McDowell, S. H. McElroy, Samuel McElroy, William McLenegan, D. F. McLaughlin, D. C. McGaughy, Jacob Martin, Thad McC. Martin, E. D. Mower, D. B. Nace, David Newman, John S. Oaks, J. C. Patton, John N. Paxton, William Piper, Thomas Pilkington, John J. Pfoutz, George Pilkington, E. Randall, Dennis Reilly, Jos. Renneberger, John H. Rhodes, H. M. Rhodes, Franklin Rhodes, S. D. C. Reid, B. H. Reiber, J. G. Ritter, Henry Rial, D. H. Seibert, J. H. Seiders, Jacob B. Shaffer, S. S. Shryock, Jacob B. Sharp, Jacob A. Sixers, Frederick Shenefield, S. Stratton, G. B. Wampler, G. W. Watson, D. M. Washabaugh, Adam W. Wilt, Philip Welsh, Capt. John Doebler, First Lieut. John Stewart, Second Lieut. George W. Welsh)
Full Text of Article:

This fine company, commanded by Capt. John Doebler, numbering over 100 men, took its departure from this place, on Monday morning last, for Harrisburg. Almost the entire population of the town had collected around the depot to witness the departure of the company, and take leave of the gallant young men who have volunteered so promptly at their country's call. The company is composed of the very elite of the young men of this community, and are as respectable, intelligent and fine looking a body of men as can be found anywhere. They left in fine spirits and seem to have entered upon the life of a soldier with a hearty good will. We understand they arrived at Harrisburg safe, and after partaking of dinner in town were marched to their quarters in Camp Curtin. They were the first company to arrive in Harrisburg under the late call for additional troops. Well done for Chambersburg.

Chambers Infantry
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports the departure for Harrisburg of the Chambers Infantry, a company drawn up under the command of Capt. John Doebler to meet the call for new troops. The company was seen off by nearly the entire community, and was the first company to reach Harrisburg under the call for new troops.
(Names in announcement: Capt. John Doebler)
Attended Church
(Column 1)
Summary: The Chambers Infantry attended church twice on Sunday before leaving, first at the German Reformed Church in the morning, and then at the Lutheran church in the evening. Rev. Samuel Phillips preached at the former church, and Rev. Jacob Steck at the latter. The editors attended Steck's sermon and pronounced it "able, eloquent, and practical."
(Names in announcement: Rev. Samuel Phillips, Rev. Jacob Steck)
Military Matters
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Franklin County is well on its way to forming the five companies required of it under the call for new troops. A second company is being formed in Chambersburg and is close to full; a company at Greencastle under D. W. Rowe, Esq., is full and ready to march, and two companies in Waynesboro are almost ready and will push to be in before August 11. There is talk of enough men interested in enlisting to be able to form a sixth company. The editors praise the willingness of the young men to volunteer.
(Names in announcement: D. W. RoweEsq.)
Narrow Escape
(Column 1)
Summary: The young son of Prof. Henry Reeves, principal of the Chambersburg Female Seminary, wandered away and fell into the "race." He floated in the water for some distance until he was noticed by Peter Helfrich, who pulled him from the water. The child was "quite gone" when pulled from the water but was resuscitated.
(Names in announcement: Prof. Henry Reeves, Peter Helfrich)
"White Trash"
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that freed blacks who have been arriving in Wolfstown have become "saucy" and have been heard talking about "white trash." The editors warn that they had better learn some manners or they will meet with a "serious backset."
Full Text of Article:

The contrabands that Gen. Bank's army is sending into this place, almost daily, are becoming quite saucy since they consider themselves free. They talk about the "poor white trash" here with as much disdain as if they really belonged to the F. F. V's. Their abolition friends will have to teach them better manners or they will meet with a serious backset one of these days. If Mr. Lincoln could have visited Wolfstown, on Sunday last, it would have cured him of his "emancipation policy" or he is more of a "woolly-head" than we take him to be.

A Fracas
(Column 2)
Summary: Report of a black man arrested for assault in Chambersburg.
(Column 2)
Summary: A squad of about twenty men arrived in Chambersburg on Monday with the intent of attaching themselves to one of the companies being formed here. If they don't find the right kind of officers, they are going to move on to Harrisburg, which the editors believe would be a shame.
A Row
(Column 2)
Summary: Some "belligerent individuals" tried to start a fight on Market Street on Monday, but were either too drunk or not drunk enough to really get one going. After the noise persisted for a while, Mr. Daniel Trostle walked into the fray, and removed the noisiest to his "new base of operations."
(Names in announcement: Daniel Trostle)
Buell's Body Guard
(Column 2)
Summary: Sgt. McDowell, of Gen. Buell's body guard in Tennessee, was in Chambersburg to recruit "a few picked men" to increase the guard to battalion strength. The editors predict it will not take long for McDowell to find the men he needs for this "excellent branch of the service."
(Names in announcement: Sgt. McDowell)
Relief for the Sick and Wounded
(Column 2)
Summary: Most of the churches in the area have taken up collections to aid sick and wounded soldiers. Last week at the Lutheran church, following a sermon by the pastor on the "blessedness of giving," a collection of $300 was received. Most of this was due to the activity of B. F. Nead, Esq., in soliciting contributions from the congregation during the week.
(Names in announcement: B. F. NeadEsq.)
(Column 3)
Summary: A notice from the Washington Pennsylvania Soldier's Relief Association, which recently opened in Washington, D.C. The Association has a register of all Pennsylvania soldiers in hospitals around the city, and invites the friends of soldiers to come by to locate their loved ones.
Forney Now and Then
(Column 3)
Summary: Quotes an address by John W. Forney in 1856, when he was Chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee, in which Forney condemned the Republicans for their sectional platform and warned of dire consequences should they be elected. Now, the editors, note, Forney leads the Republican party in Pennsylvania, and he is "one of the very worst of the class of men he execrated in 1856."

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements

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Description of Page: Miscellaneous war information, including news from the West and an order by Secretary of War Stanton canceling all leave not granted directly by the War Department

Gen. Pope's Army--The Right Wing
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports the activities of General Pope's army in Virginia, from near Madison Court House, in pursuit of Stonewall Jackson. Includes observations on the local population and contraband slaves.
Full Text of Article:

The Country, the People, the Army and the Contrabands.

Camp Near Madison C. H., Va.,
June 29th, 1862.

Thus far have we chased the Rebel hordes; truly did General Pope say he had come from the West, where they were accustomed to see the backs of the enemy.

We hear of rebel cavalry; we see remnants of rebel camps; but every forced march only brings us at daylight, as far from the enemy as we were the previous day. They must keep on their retreat beyond the Virginia Central Railroad, or stand and meet us again. We are now as far South as any of our troops have been. We are about ten miles east of Port Republic, and have an eye on the Shenandoah Valley. We have complete possession of the country north of the Rapidan river. Here it is easily forded in a large number of places.

The country is fertile, and nearly the whole section, from Front Royal down, has been planted with grain and potatoes, in profusion. The wheat and hay has been mostly harvested, and the oats are being gathered. There is a great scarcity of laborers, so many have gone to the rebel army, but whites enough are left to act as overseers over the slaves, who are worked day and night. In most instances all the women are set to work in the field. Further back we inquired and found that nearly all the best of the slaves who were not sent South have run off towards our army.

One plantation, an old lady told us, had a hundred and seventy women and children, and but eleven men fit to work in the field; most of them had run away. In another case was 85 women and children and seven men. Here, however, the proportion is not so great, and several thousand able bodied men can yet be gathered up in Madison, Culpepper, Rappahanock, Fauquier, Rockingham, and Page counties. One of our trains which has just come in from Warrenton, has nearly all the drivers contrabands from Prince William county. One of them says he, in company with others, had come into Warrenton "to see the sojers," and the Provost gathered them up and put them into the service; all seemed pleased at the change.

As we were marching down here one of the mules gave out; on the side of a hill was discerned a darkey ploughing, over goes a cavalry man, and soon the "dark" was on his mule, coming across to the road; his "mule now has his tail and mane cropped, the badge "U.S." upon his shoulder, and the dark was set to carrying the knapsacks of some weary and footsore soldiers.

Last night when we encamped here, our wagons went out to get some forage, and about a mile out found some thirty men cutting and binding oats. The teams commenced to load it and in about a half an hour had it all on. The overseer rode over and demanded pay. He was asked if he would take the oath of allegiance, but refused. He commenced to utter a tirade against the theiving [sic] Yankees, but on one of the drivers making toward him with a good sized sapling, he suddenly recollected that he had buisiness [sic] in another direction.

To-day we have a large force out making hay.

The men are in the best of spirits, and the issuing of the recent orders by General Pope have cheered up the drooping heart of many a weary and foot sore patriot, who has been tramping around the country for months, and when worn out, been compelled to mount guard over Rebel commissary stores, while Jackson's crew were refreshing themselves by sleep, ready to spring upon them at some unexpected moment.

Among the luxuries for the sick and faint now taken from rebel garners and fields are flour, ice, potatoes, sheep, poultry, &c. Along Hedgeman's creek, Carter's run, and other streams, ice houses were found well filled.

The country is flooded with bogus Secesh money; it is impossible, in many cases to tell the good from the bad. We went into a small store at "Orlear's" one day, where they were selling "fip calico" at 35 cents per yard, and the whole contents of the store you could carry in a bushel basket, and found the proprietor was taking all the paper offered. On looking over his "pile," we found four different kinds of Richmond ones, and two of fives. Many were the most worthless imitations. He was very indignant at "Banks' men," whom he alleges passed it upon him.

Meeting an aged contraband, this morning, he had been into camp selling eggs, butter, &c., we found he had "pay for massa," in Secesh paper nearly all bogus. He said he did not care what kind it was, he took whatever was offered.

Among the contrabands who have found their way into our camps is one "Ned," now with Gen. Rickett's Division, who used to wait upon the General while he was in the tobacco warehouses of Richmond. He seemed highly elated to find the General escaped, and in a position where he can go soon again to Richmond.

Near Hedgeman's river is a tract of land several miles square, known as the "Marshall Place." It belongs to the Widow Marshall who has three sons in the rebel army and one at home. There are over three thousand bushels of wheat in the garners and fifty cattle, besides hundreds of acres of hay, corn and oats.

The son at home says he was a Union man while there was any Union men, but now there was none. He admits that Virginia is ruined, and that she cannot recover from the losses she has sustained in 25 years. He says that slavery in Virginia is practically abolished; that the few they now hold will never be of any value, no matter if the war were ended today.

He is a "religious rebel;" "believes in foreordination," and says it seems to be the will of God that slavery shall be wiped out; but for all his hatred of the Yankees is bitter in the extreme; he thinks that Virginia, or the South, will never submit to the North, and he will leave all--home, property, and all--before taking the oath.

Stopping to get a drink of an old slave woman, we asked her if she ever heard of "old John Brown." "Yes, indeed massa, long while ago; de Lord sent him out to free de slaves, but de Virginians hanged him and now de Lord send down hosts of men." She was firm in the belief that it was "de contention of de Lord" to make all free. Although near a hundred years old, she seemed as highly delighted at the prospect of freedom as would a youth with the world before him. We find that it is a prevalent idea that John Brown was merely out on a kind of reconnoissance, and that he was the originator of the present war.

We have occasional arrivals from Richmond. The Rebels it appears, are moving a large force across the James river to operate against Suffolk, and prevent McClellan from crossing the James river.