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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: August 27, 1862

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Includes a speech by a Democratic Congressman from Indiana to his state convention.

Correspondence from the "Army of Virginia"
(Column 1)
Summary: Two letters from the same correspondent, one dated August 22 and the other dated August 23, detailing the movements of the 126th Reg't Penn. Volunteers as they marched to Alexandria, then to Cloud's Mills south of there, and then for their preparation to move to Manassas. Conditions are reported to be good, though they have been marching a good deal, and all the men are excited to put their courage to the test. The author hopes, though, that the generals will be wise enough not to throw green troops straight into the fighting, but will instead detail them to ditching or trenching work.
Full Text of Article:

Camp Stanton, Near Alexandria, Va.,

Friday, August 22d, 1862

Correspondence of the Spirit and Times

Messrs Editors: Yesterday morning early we were ordered to strike our tents and prepare for a still farther march into Virginia. We had not proceeded far, however, before we came to a halt in a beautiful little valley, skirted by woods, about a mile from our former camping ground. Here we again took up our temporary abode, and commenced at once to decorate our "streets"' with trees and arbors, making the whole camp look like some tastefully arranged grove. Some of the more aesthetically inclined of our youths suggested that we should procure some tame canaries and squirrels to render the illusion complete. But all these visions of comfort were soon dissipated by the news that to-day we were to move to Alexandria, there at once to be brigaded and put into active service; and it is now certain that we will move sometime today, everything being now in readiness, except a sufficient number of wagons, which will be here this morning. We may be left, for a short time on provost duty at Alexandria, there being a well drilled Pennsylvania three years regiment now stationed there, which will likely be at once sent into the field. But if we join Gen. Sturgis' command as is now generally expected, the probability is we will be marched farther South, or go by water to Acquia Creek, within a very few days. Gen. Sturgis, it will be remembered, is from Cumberland County and achieved quite an enviable reputation for himself in Missouri; he is personally acquainted with many of our officers and men, and we feel highly honored to learn that he personally requested that our regiment be attached to his brigade. If he should be our commander, he will find himself at once very popular with at least this portion of his command.

This is the first rainy day we have had in camp, and it is much more pleasant than you would at first imagine, especially to those who can remain "within doors." Some one of our poets has enlarged upon the pattering of the rain upon the house-roof, but he certainly never slept under a well stretched tent-cloth during a refreshing shower. There is something very attractive about it; and in fact there is something very attractive in all the features of the soldier's life. A meal never tastes so sweetly as after a day's fasting. One never sleeps so soundly as after an eight miles march. Water never proves more grateful than when drank out of some gurgling little stream, by the roadside, during one of the "rests" that come so acceptably.

Cloud's Mills, Va.
Saturday Morning, August 23d.

Just where I stopped above, the order came to strike our tents again; and we took up our line of march for Alexandria, a distance of three miles, and thence South to this place (Cloud's Mills), a still further distance of five miles. We made this long march with only two "rests," and many of the men were almost given out. We encamped here over night, and already the order has come for our division (Sturgis') to prepare at once to take the cars for Manassas. Pope is falling back to that place. Burnside has landed at Acquia Creek. McClellan's army has been passing by us yesterday and to-day, in almost one continuous train of cars, also bound for Manassas. Jackson has already been reinforced by almost the entire rebel army from Richmond, and has crossed the Rapidan; and the indications are that the severest battle of the war will be fought in this vicinity, in a very few days. There seems to be great need of men, and in all probability we will take an active part in the approaching engagement. This seems the more probable, as each man is to be furnished with one hundred and forty rounds of cartridge, to be carried in his knapsack and cartridge box. The men are all in the highest spirits and anxious to have their courage put to the test; though there seems to be a general regret that they are not better drilled. Yet all have confidence in their officers and each other. If the worst must come, you may rest assured Franklin County will never be disgraced by the "One Hundred and Twenty Sixth." We are all determined to do our duty, under whatever circumstances we may be placed; and no more can be asked from us.

There has been continued and heavy skirmishing between the advanced lines of the two armies, for several days. And even while I am writing, we can hear the steady and unremitting war of heavy artillery, which evidently is not more than twenty miles distant. On our road to this place we passed long lines of ambulances, conveying sick and wounded soldiers to the hospitals in and around Alexandria, and we nearly all came to the conclusion that it begins to look very much like war in this vicinity.

From this point we will be compelled to leave our tents behind, but our guin blankets are so constructed that four of them, laced together, form a very good and commodious shelter. The men are already throwing away many of the little conveniences they brought with them from home. It is utterly impossible to carry them with us on our long marches. Our knapsacks have to be lightened as much as possible of everything not absolutely necessary, especially when they have to contain one hundred rounds of cartridges in addition to their ordinary contents.

Although we go to the field of action, my individual opinion is that, unless it is absolutely necessary to throw us into battle, by reason of the inferiority of our forces in point of numbers, we will be detailed for ditching and trenching or some such work for which we would be better qualified than for maneuvering on the battle field: Yet it is very significant, that we are the farthest advanced of any of the new regiments and nearly all the men in Gen. Sturgis command are veterans compared with us. Of course all this is conjecture, but it is reasonable to suppose that no wise General would throw green troops into battle, if he had a sufficient force of disciplined men at his disposal.

If anything of interest or importance occurs I will let you hear of it at the first opportunity.

Our post office address remains unchanged--"Company--126th Regiment P.V., Washington, D.C."

The general health of our Regiment is most excellent, much better, indeed, than it was the first week of our service, and it is no exageration [sic] to say that, despite all their long marches and hardships, the men are all in higher spirits than they were wont to be at home.


Trailer: K.

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Description of Page: Includes reprints of an exchange of letters between Robert E. Lee and Henry Halleck over the treatment of Confederate citizens by Union troops, particularly in New Orleans. Also includes four columns of classified advertisements.

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Description of Page: Literature and classifieds

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Party vs. Patriotism
(Column 1)
Summary: Argues that partisans have often used patriotism to achieve their political goals. When John Brown's raid and the anti-fugitive slave law agitation began in the North, the editors argue, Southerners were the most patriotic people one could find. Similarly, now, Northern abolitionists are super-patriots, as they try to transform the war into one that will accomplish their partisan goal of destroying slavery. The preservation of the Union is not the ultimate goal for either party, and Democrats and conservatives need to condemn the abolitionists as the election season draws near.
The President's Reply to Greeley
(Column 2)
Summary: Praises President Lincoln's reply to a critical letter written by Horace Greeley, in which Lincoln seems to reject entreaties to make abolition the goal of the war. The editors warmly thank Lincoln for the letter and urge him to make similar pronouncements, predicting it will win him ten friends for every enemy he makes.
Maintaining the Constitution
(Column 3)
Summary: The editors praise what seems to be Lincoln's determination to "adhere to a strictly constitutional policy" in carrying out the war and his implicit condemnation of abolitionist goals.
Indiana and Negro Soldiers
(Column 3)
Summary: The editors publish a denial by the military secretary of Indiana of the rumor that officials of that state had offered two black regiments to the service of the Union. Indiana would not tolerate arming blacks, claims the official.
Speech of Hon. John B. Haskin
(Column 4)
Summary: Haskin, a former Congressman from New York, gave a speech regarding the willingness and ability of blacks to fight. The thrust of the speech is that most blacks are actually happy in the South. The contrabands he saw when in the South, he said, had only run away because their masters had left to fight the Union, abandoning their slaves. If blacks had really wanted to help themselves, he asks, why did they not form themselves into Union companies in the South? Because most are contented in their position, he argues. Why bother agitating on the "nigger question" when it just alienates the Southern unionists and doesn't even give the blacks what they want?
Vagaries of the Brain
(Column 5)
Summary: Argues that Americans often get caught up in believing that we have a higher destiny for our country and that we hold our own destiny in our hands. At times, the editors claim, this leads people to unrealistic hopes of reformation that go against the grain of history. This is the case with abolitionists, say the editors, who seem to believe that all the evils that face the country will be erased with the abolition of slavery. This is not the case, conclude the editors--the country would do the slaves more harm then good by freeing them, as in their present condition they are better off than the white workers who starve within sight of plenty.

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Description of Page: Also includes war news from the west, market information from Chambersburg, and two columns of classified advertisements.

Capt. John H. Breed's Company
(Column 1)
Summary: A "correct and complete" list of the officers and men of Captain John H. Reed's company.
(Names in announcement: Capt. John H. Reed, 1st Lieut. Jer. Cook, 2nd Lieut. J. C. Hullinger, 1st Sgt. George S. Platt, 2nd Sgt. John McCurdy, 3rd Sgt. Clay McCurdy, 4th Sgt. J. M. P. Snyder, 5th Sgt. A. L. C. Dingwalt, 1st Cpl. W. A. Mountz, 2nd Cpl. Lewis Monath, 3rd Cpl. Allen C. McGrath, 4th Cpl. Ferdinand W. Pike, 5th Cpl. W. B. Cook, 6th Cpl. Henry B. Kindig, 7th Cpl. Joseph W. Seibert, 8th Cpl. William Fentiman, Musician Samuel Shoemaker, Musician James McLaughlin, Private James T. Buchanan, Private Henry Bowman, Private George W. Burnes, Private Joseph S. Bittinger, Private Jacob Bushey, Private Daniel Bear, Private W. A. Barnett, Private Melville C. Brittain, Private Henry Carr, Private Henry Cook, Private John R. Clippinger, Private Henry L. Cover, Private W. C. Evans, Private Frances R. Eley, Private George B. Falter, Private Edward Fenenburg, Private John S. Funk, Private John Gebbs, Private D. R. Gordon, Private Nicholas B. Houser, Private George E. Harmon, Private N. Humelsine, Private Andrew Holby, Private Jacob Hallman, Private John B. Heart, Private George W. Johnston, Private Lewis Keyser, Private Daniel E. Kindig, Private George G. Keefer, Private John H. Lesher, Private Peter Lininger, Private Reuben M. Lewis, Private Charles Lerch, Private John B. Lindsay, Private Samuel S. Ledy, Private Upton H. Moore, Private John Mellinger, Private James McKessen, Private George Miller, Private James B. McDowell, Private Alex McCurdey, Private Austin McHale, Private Andrew McKane, Private Samuel Mobler, Private Fred B. Mobler, Private Amos R. McNair, Private Adam Mellman, Private William Marknard, Private James McLaughlin, Private Robert McElwain, Private Adam Nicklas, Private Samuel S. O'Malley, Private David L. Palsgrove, Private Jackson Palsgrove, Private George Pensinger, Private Jacob Pensinger, Private David L. Peisel, Private David Powders, Private John Parker, Private Samuel Rusher, Private Frances Reilly, Private John W. Shinefield, Private George S. Shinefield, Private Elias Shearer, Private Andrew J. Shultz, Private Simon C. Shetter, Private David Simmers, Private Samuel C. Stickle, Private William Stahl, Private John A. J. Snyder, Private Walker Shearer, Private David Spencer, Private William Trogler, Private D. H. Washabaugh, Private Henry S. Weaver, Private Leonard Yeager, Private Charles Yeakle, B. B. Henshey(Hospital Stewart), Charles Kinsler(Assistant Quartermaster))
Enrollment of Militia
(Column 1)
Summary: William G. Reed, recently appointed Deputy Marshall, has begun his work of enrolling the militia of Franklin County. He has appointed his deputies, and they have begun enrolling the names of all men between 18 and 45. The deputies have served notice on each man tell them to appear before a Commissioner to hear all claims of exemption. Notice of the time the Commissioner will sit will be given by posters or handbills.
(Names in announcement: William G. Reed)
(Column 1)
Summary: Last Friday, several rain showers fell on town, breaking what had been several weeks of exceedingly dry and hot weather.
Sword Presented
(Column 1)
Summary: James Reed displayed to the editors the other day the inscribed sword presented to his father, Capt. John H. Reed, by the members of his company.
(Names in announcement: James Reed, Capt. John H. Reed)
Mr. Wm. G. Reed
(Column 2)
Summary: William G. Read, Deputy Marshall for Franklin County, has appointed his deputies, who have received their enrollment blanks. Enrollment must be completed by September 3rd, and all persons are required to supply to the officer "all facilities and information, that may be necessary for a thorough discharge of his duty." The deputies for each township are as follows: Antrim--Alex. Schaffert, Augustus Sheiry, Henry Baltzley; Chambersburg--P. W. Seibert; Fannet -- James Ferguson, Peter Shearer; Guilford--Francis Zarman, George H. Cook; Green--John Ditzler; Hamilton--Isaac Miller; Letterkenny--William H. Britton; Lurgan--John M. Saltzman; Metal--William Fleming; Montgomery--Jacob Potter (Mercersburg); J. Watson Craig and Hugh B. Craig (Township); Peters--Jacob Haulman; Quincy--David Wertz, Hiram E. Wertz; St. Thomas--Joseph Strock, J. R. Tankersly; Southhampton--David J. Bard; Washington--John Herr (Waynesboro), Nicholas Bonebrake (Township); Warren--John H. Thomas.
(Names in announcement: William G. Reed, Alex. Schaffert, Augustus Sheiry, Henry Baltzley, P. W. Seibert, James Furguson, Peter Shearer, Francis Zerman, George H. Cook, John Ditzler, Isaac Miller, William H. Britton, John M. Saltzman, William Fleming, Jacob Potter, J. Watson Craig, Hugh B. Craig, Jacob Haulman, David Wertz, Hiram E. Wertz, Joseph Strock, J. R. Tankersly, David J. Bard, John Herr, Nicholas Bonebreak, John H. Thomas)
To The Democrats
(Column 2)
Summary: An address to Pennsylvania Democrats by State Chairman F. W. Hughes, calling for all Democrats to meet and celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution on September 17. This will symbolize, says Hughes, the fact that the people, through the Constitution, are the ultimate source of power. It will also offer a chance to demonstrate to President Lincoln the willingness of Democrats to support his efforts to uphold the Constitution and to oppose abolitionist efforts to violate it.
From Pope's Army
(Column 4)
Summary: A brief report on skirmishes fought near Rappahannock Station, Virginia, on August 20.
(Column 5)
Summary: J. Fulton Lindsay and Emeline Bloomfield, both of the vicinity of Orrstown, were married on August 14.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Baltzel, J. Fulton Lindsay, Emeline Bloomfield)
(Column 5)
Summary: The infant son of John and Mary Christ died in Chambersburg on August 20 at the age of 1 year and 11 days.
(Names in announcement: John Christ, Mary Christ)
(Column 5)
Summary: John Burker, son of John and Catharina Burker, died on August 14 at the age of 10 months.
(Names in announcement: John BurkerJr., John BurkerSr., Catharina Burker)
(Column 5)
Summary: Wilhelm Doernfeld died on August 18 at the age of 43 years, 8 months and 27 days.
(Names in announcement: Wilhelm Doernfeld)

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Description of Page: Literature and classifieds

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Description of Page: Literature and classifieds

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Description of Page: Five columns of classifieds

To the Friends of Our Soldiers
(Column 1)
Summary: A letter from several army chaplains, urging people to write "simple, home-like cheerful Christian letters" to the soldiers away from home and asking writers to admonish the soldiers "to shun the evils incident to camp life." Soldiers will be much more likely to take such advice to heart from people from home then they are if they read it in religious tracts, the chaplains state.
Full Text of Article:

Beaufort, S.C., July 30th, 1862

We are quite conscious of, and fully appreciate the fact, that many persons throughtout [sic] the loyal States are making great sacrifices for the cause of our beloved country, and are doing much for the physical comfort and spiritual welfare of our soldiers.

Much has already been accomplished by the generous donation of tracts, papers and other religious publications. And the hallowed influences thus exerted for the religious culture of the soldier are very great. Eternity alone will reveal their blessed results.

Yet, both our experience and observation clearly demonstrate to us, that, in connection with our religious services in camp, Christian correspondence from Home is doing more for the morals and spiritual advancement of our men in the army, than any other instrumentality employed.

The soldier, whether officer or private, old or young, will read a letter who would not read a tract or religious paper.

First, Because it is addressed immediately to him,

Second, Because it is written by one personally in his welfare.

Even, the least paper or tract enclosed to a soldier, by the kindred or friend addressing him, with the request to read it, will incline him to read and re-read it, until its truths are indelibly impressed upon his heart.

The letter, with its contents thus addressed to him will be carefully folded and placed in his pocket for future reference; so that, when out on picket duty or during his leisure moments, he will have something to read and occupy his mind. The impressions made by such letters are like bread cast upon the waters to be found after many days.

We would say then: Parents, write to your sons; wives, write to your husbands; sisters, write to your brothers; children write to your parents, write often, cheerfully and encouragingly. Let your letters abound in words of cheer, and breathing the spirit of Christian sympathy and love.

Kindly admonish your friends to shun the evils incident to camp life. Urge them to lay hold of the sure promises of the Gospel, which will purify, strengthen and save the soul.

In the name and by the authority of the "Great Captain of our Salvation," we say to pastors and people, write messages of love to our soldiers. We do not ask for long and studied letters, but for simple, home-like cheerful Christian letters.

Christian young ladies, write. Write to all your friends and acquaintances, who have gone forth to battle for our country. Let no feelings of false delicacy deter you in the matter. And in writing, seek to blend the endearments of home and the occurences [sic] of the neighborhood with the story of the cross.

You will thus strew the rugged pathway of the defenders of our country, with flowers of immortal bloom and accomplish much good for the salvation of souls and the glory of God.

"The seed that, in these few and fleeting hours
Your hand unsparing and unwearied sow,
Shall deck your graves with amaranthine flowers
And yield you fruits divine in heaven's immortal bowers."

Yours, Truly
W.D.C. Rodrock, Chap. 47th Reg. P.V.
J.C. Emerson, " 7th N.H.V.
C.T. Woodruff, " 9th Conn.
H.A. Philbrook, " 8th Maine.