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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: November 19, 1862

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Description of Page: The first page is taken up with descriptions of the events surrounding General McClellan's departure from the command of the Army of the Potomac.

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Description of Page: Poetry, fiction, and classifieds

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Description of Page: Non-fiction and classifieds

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The Late Elections
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors claim that the results of the recent election prove that voters have finally woken up and repudiated the Republican party, which has helped drive the country apart. Both abolitionist and secessionist leaders are to blame, the editors claim, for creating the crisis of disunion, with the abolitionists riding a "storm of fanaticism" in the North that resulted in Lincoln's election. Southern secessionists then manipulated public opinion and abused the doctrine of state's rights to secede from the Union, while conservatives in both sections were brushed aside. But conservatives in the North supported the prosecution of the war to put down the rebellion, even as Lincoln has gone further and further toward abolitionism. Now, the editors claim, the South must repudiate its fanatical leaders in the same way that the North has.
"Stand by Burnside as you have stood by me"
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors praise the nobility of General McClellan's parting speech to his troops, in which he advised them to "Stand by Burnside as you have stood by me, and all will be well." Despite all the persecution he has suffered, they note, McClellan left his command with grace and without a word of dissatisfaction. His reputation, the editors conclude, will be treated far better by history than those of his enemies.
The Return Judges and the Army Vote
(Column 3)
Summary: The editors attempt to summarize the events surrounding the refusal by the election returns judges not to count the votes of the 126th Regiment for the Franklin County elections. As the judges were counting ballots after the election, the prothonotary arrived with ballots from the 126th. The judges decided not to count these returns for county offices, though they reconvened in early November to reconsider that decision. At that meeting, claim the editors, the majority of judges decided that the returns were illegal, since the Supreme Court had ruled against soldiers' right to vote and since Governor Curtain had not called for a military vote. However, after the majority adjourned, a minority of Republicans reconvened and counted the votes. The Spirit attacks the editor of the Transcript for claiming that the judges were attempting to disfranchise the soldier, particularly in relation to the contested election of Mr. Downey as Commissioner.
(Names in announcement: Downey)
Full Text of Article:

It is not our purpose to go into an argument as to the legality or illegality of the Army Vote. That question has been decided by the highest legal tribunal of the Commonwealth, in the case of Chase vs. Miller, which decision was followed by Judge Allison, in the case of Thompson vs. Ewing, in the Common Pleas of Philadelphia. Both these cases were decided adversely to the Democratic candidates. Our intention is simply to give a statement of the facts, in relation to the refusal of the Return Judges to count the vote cast by the 126th Regiment.

The Return Judges met at the Court House, in this place, on the Friday succeeding the October election, according to the law and proceeded to perform the duty incumbent on them, when the Prothonotary appeared before them and presented a number of papers purporting to be the returns of an election, held in the camp of the 126th Regiment, then located near Sharpsburg, in the State of Maryland. The Judges decided not to count the returns thus made for any county office, and proceeded to sum up the legal votes, cast within the county, and issued their certificates of election to the candidates entitled to them.

After performing this duty, some of them being undecided as to the course to be pursued in relation to the military vote, they adjourned until the 2d Tuesday of November, the day fixed by law for counting the military vote. In the interim many of them became fully satisfied of the illegality of this vote and determined not to engage in counting votes, clearly illegal when they again met.--When they reassembled, on Tuesday last, the majority of them knowing that the Supreme Court had decided the law, under which it was cast, unconstitutional and void--that the returns had not been legally certified to them by the Prothonotary; that the Governor had issued no proclamation for an election in the military camps, and that the election was a rascally attempt at fraud, gotten up in a sneaking, clandestine manner, decided to adjourn without counting the vote, and did so adjourn. The majority did not "secede," but adjourned, when the minority composed of five or six dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, reorganized and counted the returns.

The "legal advice" that was "most positive and emphatic" as to the duty of the Judges to count the vote, did not seem to strike them with greater force than the legal advice they had received from as sound lawyers, as the gentleman whose advice was so kindly tendered. The Judges acted properly in this matter and deserve the thanks of every man who desires to preserve the purity of our elections.

In a labored article in the last issue of the Repository and Transcript, the editor of that paper in alluding to the contested election of Mr. Downey, as Commissioner, characterizes it as an attempt to disfranchise the soldier. We cannot imagine on what grounds the gentleman comes to that conclusion. A number of sick and wounded soldiers are brought here to the Hospitals, some of them reside and have domicils [sic] in other counties of this State, and in the States of New York and Massachusetts, and although we may regret that under existing laws, our soldiers cannot exercise the right of suffrage, yet we are unwilling that citizens of the States of New York and Massachusetts, and the counties of Adams, Lancaster and others in this State, shall elect a Commissioner for Franklin county, in direct violation of all law.

We have no doubt whatever, that when the case of Fickes vs. Downey, comes before the learned Court, "whose duty it will be first to construe the law," it will be decided according to the laws of the Commonwealth, and without regard to the opinions expressed by partisan newspapers.

General McClellan Again Removed from the Command of the Army
(Column 4)
Summary: The writers decry the removal of General McClellan from his command. The people will punish this vacillation by the political leaders of the country, argue the writers, and this particular change is no doubt a sign of "radical influences" being brought to bear at the highest levels of government.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Ledger
[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: The editors claim to disavow any praise from the editor of a unnamed competing paper, hoping that they will be judged disloyal to his doctrines of "Abolitionism and infidelity."
[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: The editors note that the Democratic majority on the combined ballot in the state legislature is only one. While some fear that the Democrats will lose the offices of senator and state treasurer if a Democrat switches, the editors reassure them not to worry, since "the member of the Senate or House of Representatives who deserts his colors will have a heavy responsibility resting upon him."
News Summary
(Column 6)
Summary: A summary of the past week's war news, including rumors of Stonewall Jackson's movements in Virginia.

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Description of Page: Page also contains market and financial information and reports from hearings on the surrender of Harper's Ferry.

Agents Wanted
(Column 1)
Summary: A joke advertisement, requesting agents who will go sell the Dispatch in the black village of Wolfstown.
Burglars About
(Column 1)
Summary: Burglars attempted to break into the house of Miss Houser on South Main Street last Saturday night, forcing open the shutters of a lower window before they were scared off.
(Names in announcement: Miss Houser)
Our New Sheriff
(Column 1)
Summary: Samuel Brandt, Esq., received his commission as sheriff on Monday, and the editors believe he will be a popular and efficient officer. He has chosen as his deputy Jacob Sellers, Esq., known around the county as a "efficient business man and a clever fellow."
(Names in announcement: Samuel BrandtEsq., Jacob SellersEsq.)
Col. F. S. Stumbaugh
(Column 1)
Summary: Col. F. S. Stumbaugh is at home again, forced to retire temporarily from his command due to impaired health. His regiment (the 77th Reg't Penn. Volunteers) has served well in Kentucky and Tennessee. The Colonel has been in command of a brigade for some time, which the editors believe merits him a commission as brigadier general.
(Names in announcement: Col. F. S. Stumbaugh)
The Difficulty Adjusted
(Column 1)
Summary: The drafted men at Harrisburg, who had been prevented from forming into regiments by the War Department, have been allowed to organize themselves after the intervention of Governor Curtain. Thousands are now returning to their commands. Many of these men had either deserted or refused to assemble because they were under the impression that they would be forced into the old regiments and be required to serve longer terms than those for which they had been drafted.
Tax Decisions
(Column 1)
Summary: The Commissioner of Internal Revenue has made the following decisions: When tinners make and place gutters on a building, they should assess a three-percent tax for manufacture of tin, unless the tin is simply roofing, whereupon no tax is assessed. Marriage certificates must have a ten-cent stamp. Each carriage of a livery stable is subject to separate tax. The general principle of the Excise Law is that manufactured items are taxed at their value, even if the materials from which they have been made have already been taxed (for instance, shoes and leather). Merchant tailors are required to take out manufacturers licenses, but do not need a license as dealers if they sell from their establishments, unless they sell other goods in excess of $1000 per year.
Rebel Raid No. 2
(Column 2)
Summary: A rumor spread through town of a Confederate raid on Tuesday, which proved to be false.
Donations to the School House
(Column 2)
Summary: George Bayne, steward of the School House military hospital, writes to thank the following people for their donation to the soldiers: chicken pie from Mrs. Schofield; rice pudding from Mrs. Ebberts; green apples from Mrs. Thompson; cabbage from Mrs. Newman; milk from Mrs. Nead, Mrs. Brewer, Mrs. Jordan, and Mrs. Reeves (from the latter a large supply); From the Ladies' Aid Society of Fayetteville, through Miss Greenawalt, a large supply of dried apples and cherries; milk, cold slaw and sandwiches from Mrs. Dr. Fisher; and prepared farina and milk from Mrs. Chambers; corn starch from Mrs. Radebaugh; from the Ladies' Aid Society of Chambersburg a quantity of shirts, butter, applebutter, onions and cabbage; lot of pickled beets from Mrs. Trostle; plum butter from Mrs. Sprecher; milk and cream (a large supply) from Mrs. Lynn; fresh butter from Mrs. Long, and fresh butter and dried fruit from Mrs. E. D. Reed.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Schofield, Mrs. Ebberts, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Newman, Mrs. Nead, Mrs. Brewer, Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Reeves, Miss Greenawalt, Mrs. Dr. Fisher, Mrs. Chambers, Mrs. Radebaugh, Mrs. Hutton, Mrs. Britton, Mrs. Trostle, Mrs. Sprecher, Mrs. Lynn, Mrs. Long, Mrs. E. D. Reed, George Bayne)
From "the Army of the Potomac"
(Column 1)
Summary: A letter from a correspondent in the 126th Reg't Penn. Volunteers, detailing the company's movements from Snicker's Gap to Warrenton. The writer also describes the departure of General McClellan and the anger of many of his admirers in the ranks over his removal.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Lane, Capt. Brand, Capt. Carman, Lieutenant Colonel McAllen, Lieutenant Cook, Lieutenant Rhodes)
Full Text of Article:

In Camp Near Warrenton, Va.
November 11th, 1862.

With three days provisions in our haversacks we left Snicker's Gap, on Wednesday morning, and proceeded on our march as "the advance" of Porter's corps, and after journeying about sixteen miles, bivouacked for the night. Early next morning we were a [sic] again in line, and at 3 P.M. arrived at White Plains, a distance of twelve miles more. Here we pitched our shelters and lessened considerably the proportions of some large bay stacks to supply us with bedding. The night was exceedingly cold, forming the first ice of the season in this region. Awaking in the morning we found the earth covered with snow and a fierce, searching wind prevailing. The entire day was one of the most disagreeable we had yet experienced. White Plains is a village on the Manassas Gap Railroad, some fifty odd miles from Washington. At this time it derives importance from being a point of supplies for the army. Saturday morning, at 10 o'clock, we continued our march to New Baltimore, twelve miles distant, and went into camp. At half past eight next morning (Sunday) we moved three miles further, and encamped at this point. The aggregate distance we have traveled thus far from our old camp at Sharpsburg, is about ninety miles and through four counties in this State, namely, Jefferson, Loudon, Clark and Fauquier. The portion of country we have passed over is mostly of a mountainous character, difficult to travel, but exceedingly attractive in scenery. The land is evidently fertile but could be made much more valuable and productive. Well built stone fences are most invariable the enclosures of the fields. From Harper's Ferry to this place we saw but very little grain. Agricultural interests seem wholly crushed by the terrible ravages of war. If this section is a fair sample of Virginia tilled land, next year's crop will not afford subsistence sufficient for half the population. The war seems to have absorbed nearly every pursuit of life. Desolation and distress are visible on every hand. The grown male inmates of nearly every home seem to have lain down the implements of industrial life, and leaving the endearments of the family, the interests of business and the comforts of the domestic fire side, have entered the Southern Army. In lazy attitudes, about each homestead, you see the unemployed and wretchedly clad negro.--Little children seem to be indifferent to the flaunting banners, gay uniforms and inspiring music of our hosts; and the wives and daughters flee at our coming and hide themselves from our gaze. The great number of buildings in ruins astonish us, and residences once, perhaps, the abiding places of happy hearts and scenes of festive joy, are deserted, and sealed to friend and foe. And thus, briefly, do we see some of the calamitous effects of war. Thus does Virginia, after sowing to the wind, reap the whirlwind. Thus does the hallowed soil of patriots and statesmen become a land of sorrow and desolation, the just fruits of her perfidy and treason.

For the last three days the great Army of the Potomac has been massing at this point. It might seem a piece of arrogance and absurdity for me to name its numerical force. Two hundred thousand men is vast number, but I believe they are here to that extent. For miles around one sees hill and valley covered with tents. Drums are beating in a general mix, "the Girl I left behind me," "the Bold Soldier Boy," "Yankee Doodle," and other popular airs, while the trumpet's blasts are a conglomeration of "calls," "rests" and "signals." Flags, national and State, float proudly to the breeze from the headquarters of every regiment. Richly atired [sic] officers and plainly uniformed privates, on and off duty, are seen in every direction. Orderlies with big envelopes, sealed orders perhaps of grave import, speed over the road and through the camps with telegraphic rapidity. Wagoners are cursing, mules kicking, whips cracking, trains creaking and a grand confusion of anything and everything, which goes to make up the pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious warfare, is visible on every hand. Such an army in discipline, numbers and appointment, this world has seldom seen. Marvellous [sic] in the rapidity of its creation and strength it may seem, but it is the gift a people strong in the faith of liberty; pure unselfish in their devotion to the law; and true to the sacredness of perpetual union. It is upon the fidelity and patriotism, the bravery and activity of the army, that the people hang their hopes of success in a righteous cause, and human freedom looks for the preservation of its great exemplar. Let us fondly trust that it may accomplish its great work and then that the Government is safe from rebellion and treason for all time.

But as I write these lines, a solemn and profound sadness pervaded this army. There are many, very many hearts of sorrow among us, almost inconsolable, and which time can scarcely heal. The announcement that Gen. McClellan's command of this army had ceased fell like a dark pall on the cherished hopes and bright anticipation of his devoted followers. His brief but impressive and affectionate farewell, was read at the head of each Regiment yesterday morning. It was an event wholly unexpected, and could scarcely be realized. The affection of the men for their Commander is well known, was unbounded. Amid all the asperity and calumny which was heaped on his devoted head, and notwithstanding the bitter animosity of which he was the victim, his army stood around him as one united mass, the defenders of his fame, the pre-eminent object of their love. Political brawlers and scoundrely speculators, whose patriotism is synanamous [sic] with money, the prolongation of the war, and the destruction of the Union, were the style of men who worked unceasingly and devotedly to ruin McClellan in the eyes of the army and the country. Him they regarded as the chief obstacle in the pathway of their schemes. They could not endure the brilliancy of his rising star, and to tear it from its place, and to crush it beneath their feet was the grand object they desired to obtain.--No doubt they are now gloating with joy and satisfaction at their success. At this stand point, and at this moment, I am unable to say whether the President yielded to the importunities of McClellan's enemies, or was actuated by motives of public interest to make the change. I have had an abiding confidence in the patriotism of Mr. Lincoln, and I believe most of the embarrassments he has had to encounter, have been caused by a class of men whose love of country is of a very dubious character. Although these parties may now be satisfied, I trust that at this juncture in our affairs, it may not be charged upon him that it was to appease their clamors he sacrificed McClellan. The cause of it thus far seems studiously concealed; but be that cause what it may the loss of General McClellan is working most serious consequences. I have no admiration for the man who says he loves McClellan first, and next the cause of his country. Such a character is scarcely better than a traitor. But when officers and men who have had ample opportunities to know their leader, his skill as a tactician and commander, and whose personal conduct has impelled them to love him, they recognize in his success the success of their cause, and I do not wonder at their indignation when they are firm in the belief that it was scheming politicians who accomplished his removal. A vast number of Officers have sent in their resignations since yesterday morning. They say if this war is to be carried on for the pecuniary and political advancement of certain individuals, they have neither a heart to cheer, nor a hand to raise for it. Privates too entertain and express these sentiments, and it is due all concerned both for the welfare of the cause and the reputation of McClellan as well as for the efficiency of the army, that the reason for the Presidents apparently summary action be explained.

Instructions were given us Sunday evening to be prepared for a grand review by General McClellan at an early hour next morning. The hour arriving, we put on our best "bib and tucker" and were promptly assembled at the place appointed near camp on the road leading to Warrenton. A more beautiful and propitious morning for such an occasion could not have favored us. The sun shone brightly and warm, the sky was clear, and the air balmy and delightfully invigorating. The programme commenced by the reading of General McClellan's Farewell Address, and the Introductory Address to his new command of General Burnside. Soon after General McClellan, riding a magnificent charger made his appearance. He was followed by Major Generals Burnside, Porter and a host of other officers of every commissioned rank, and a large portion of his favorite body guard. It was a brilliant yet impressive scene. Delight mingled with sadness was upon every countenance. The army hailed the presence of the chief they loved, but sorrowed at the thought that he was with them for the last time. The grand salute to a Major General Commanding were givan [sic], and the party proceeded to New Baltimore to review General Sigel's Corps. It was 3 o'clock, P.M., before the ceremonies of the day were concluded. Repairing to Headquarters at Warrenton. General McClellan, his officers and a number of invited friends sat down to an elegant dinner. Then came the parting scene. The young chieftain with tears coursing down his cheeks affectionately embraced all around him, and soon after the Grand Army of the Potomac faded from his view as he proceed on his way to Trenton, where he was ordered to report. McClellan still holds the high rank of Major General in the Regular Army and he may be assigned to some important duty. However at present, everything respecting his future movements is mere conjecture.

I to-day had the pleasure of meeting at their quarters five miles from our camp, our friends Dr. Lane and Capt's Brand and Carman, Lieut. Col. McAllen, Lieut.'s Cook and Rhodes and a number of other familiar faces. Time was precious with us, and it would really have amused you to hear us talk, each one endeavoring to convey a knowledge of a dozen different subjects in the same breath. We all had something new to say each other, and each one seemed anxious to make it known. These meetings are some of the sweet, pleasurable incidents of soldiering. They don't come often, but when they do come you see the warm heartfelt, earnest greeting, somehow, very different from what we witness under other circumstances as we move along the pathway of peaceful life. The Reserves and the 107th had marching orders when I arrived and broke camp before my departure. All the troops South of Warrenton are on the move to-day, destination Richmond. As yet no marching orders have reached us but we are momentarily expecting them.

And now mid-way between the historic "Antietam" and the evil heart of the Rebellion, whose name will soon be added to our victorious banners, "Richmond," I close this lengthy and hastily written letter. SHENANDOAH.

(Column 6)
Summary: Dr. G. W. Smith of Greenvillage married Sadie Van Lear of Fayetteville on November 11.
(Names in announcement: Rev. W. R. H. Deatrich, Dr. G. W. Smith, Sadie Van Lear)
(Column 6)
Summary: Mrs. Mary Feckey died in Hamilton Township on November 11 at the age of 58.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Mary Feckey)

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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: Continuation of reports on McClellan's departure from page one, plus five columns of classified advertisements.