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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: December 10, 1862

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Also includes Congressional news and Lincoln's second annual address.

News Summary
(Column 1)
Summary: A compilation of the week's war news, including the amassing of troops near Fredericksburg.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Continuation of Lincoln's address

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Description of Page: Conclusion of Lincoln's address and four columns of classified advertisements

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The President's Message
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors express their disappointment with the address by President Lincoln. Though they profess to try to support the President regardless of his party affiliation, they attack his address for downplaying the civil war and for stressing emancipation rather than discussing the sacrifices of Northern soldiers. The editors also quote the Journal of Commerce's critique of several of Lincoln's propositions, including the national banking act and the abolition plan. The banking scheme would disrupt the entire economy, they claim, and the emancipation plan would destroy the nation financially and politically.
Full Text of Article:

This anxiously looked for document we lay before our readers in this issue of our paper. We are disposed to treat everything emanating from so high a source as the President of the United States with respect and fairness, but are compelled to say that in our judgment this message falls far short of the expectations of the people, and is woefully deficient in everything that would indicate true statesmanship in its author. We have always aimed to treat the occupant of the presidential chair with the respect due to the dignity of his station and in this respect our course has been radically different from that of our political opponents, who never failed to seek every opportunity during Democratic administrations, to speak in the most disrespectful terms of the President and insult him with epithets and language too foul and filthy to be used by decent people against a street scavenger.

Especially have we been lenient towards the acts of Mr. Lincoln. We honestly desired to support him and did support him and did support him in everything that our judgment could approve and which we believed to be calculated to restore the supremacy of the Constitution as it is and the Union as it was. Any act or policy that does not tend to the accommplishment [sic] of this great object will at all times meet with our unqualified condemnation . Further than our judgment approves we cannot and will not support any man either high or low.

But what shall we say of the message? that is the question. We confess that it disappoints us, not that we expected much , but that it comes so infinitely short even of that which we expected. In vain do we look for a full and fair presentation of the state of the country in view of its pending troubles and impending perils. In vain do we look for a stirring appeal in behalf of a bleeding country, something to touch the finer emotions of the human heart and to arouse the patriotism of the people to high and lofty deeds. In vain do we look for broad and comprehensive views of statesmanship, such as would give hope to the people that our beloved country might yet be rescued from the terrible evils which reckless politicians and ambitious demagogues have brought upon it.

The President almost entirely ignores the existence of this horrible civil war that is devastating the land and exhausting its resources. It is true he makes several incidental allusions to "war" and "rebellion," but gives us no account of our military operations during the year or the probabilities of a successful termination to the deadly strife.

While thousands and tens of thousands of brave men have fallen on the bloody field, and rivers have been made to run red with gore, and while upon every hilltop and in every valley of this broad land the voice of the bereft have been heard in accents of mourning for their loved ones slain in battle, and while the deadly conflict is still raging with all its fierceness and fury, without a word of commiseration for the brave wounded and dead, or a genial paragraph for the living and with the destinies of thirty millions of white people in his keeping, the President of the United States babbles about the negro!

He proposes three amendments to the Constitution, and follows the proposition with an elaborate argument trying to prove that his "compensated emancipation" policy is the grand panacea for all our ills. His argument, however, does not indicate much ability in Mr. Lincoln as a logician. His reasoning must fail to convince the most unsophisticated minds and his conclusions are miserable abortions which bear their own absurdity on their face.

His views on the finances and his recommendation of a general Banking law are equally unsound and totally inadequate to relieve the wants of the country. We append the following remarks from the Journal of Commerce on the two main propositions contained in the message as expressing our own views better than we could express them ourselves:

"The financial propositions of the President require no examination at the hands of men familiar with the laws of finance. They are rejected at one by the good sense of the experienced banker or financier, without a moment's hesitation.--Again and again heretofore such plans have been examined, sifted, even tried, and they have always proved ruinous. At the present time especially they are unfitted to the wants of the country. Any great change in the currency, such as is proposed, would produce commercial disaster everywhere. Before the change could be effected the majority of banks and bankers would be ruined, the people would be convulsed with financial embarrassments, and the distress which would visit high as well as low would inevitably set the seal of condemnation on the proposed system. Certainly the President and his advisers cannot have any clear idea of the working of the laws of money. They need experience in the common affairs of the money world, or they would never have threatened us with a plan so crude, so manifestly worthless for all practical purposes, even if it be not entirely without authority of the Constitution.

Mr. Lincoln is evidently in earnest in his plans of emancipation. His earnestness demands that his views receive a careful, candid and studious examination by the people, and this they will have. But who can read them at a moment like this and not be astonished at their presentation as a means of bringing to an end the existing war, which is destroying the nation? We are compelled to say that the whole plan indicates a failure on the part of the President to appreciate the vastness of the war, the swift nature of its influences, the terrible verge on which the country trembles. While Congress is discussing and adopting amendments to the Constitution, while the Legislatures of the States are assembling and considering them, after Congress shall have done with them, while we wait the chances of all the free States and seven of the slave States agreeing to incorporate these propositions in the grand instrument of our national existence, the war goes on fearfully, and the blood of the people flows fast and--if this plan be our only hope--in vain!

Mr. Lincoln makes that terrible error of imagining, as the radical men have taught him, that this war is a war about slavery alone, that slavery is the cause of rebellion, disagreement, disunion. He proposes to adopt a scheme of emancipation involving an immense debt, on the theory that if he can thus dispose of the slavery question he will have removed out of the way all causes of discord, the American millenium [sic] will have dawned, and--no matter what it costs us--we have nothing to do but live on in peace and prosperity, until we are a nation of a hundred millions--then pay our debt and be perfectly blessed. The theory is strange enough in peaceable times, it is with solemn sadness that we see it offered in these days of awful war, as a means of ending conflict and establishing national peace and union. To us it appears as impracticable and hopeless of good as letting go an anchor is mid ocean to save a vessel that is driving before a tempest, with torn sails and disheartened crew.

The President's New Plan
(Column 2)
Summary: The writer attacks the President's plan as far-fetched, but supports the postponement of the issue until 1900. By then, the states will all be in conservative hands, and a younger generation will have to deal with the problem.
Origin of Article: New York Herald
Editorial Comment: "The New York Herald ridicules the President's new plan for abolition in the following strain of bitter irony:"
White or Black?
(Column 3)
Summary: The writer compares two resolutions considered in the Senate, one which inquired as to the situation of two white citizens of Delaware who had been arrested by the military, and another offered by Senator Sumner on the sale of freemen into slavery. The inquiry on whites was tabled, while the resolution on blacks was passed. Such discrimination toward whites, the writer notes, "speaks ill for the sympathies of Senators with the spirit of their government, their color, and their race."
Origin of Article: Journal of Commerce
Correspondence from the "Army of the Potomac"
(Column 5)
Summary: A correspondent in the 126th Reg't Penn. Volunteers writes from their position outside Fredericksburg. Little has changed, he reports, although the Confederates seem to be digging in. The delay in attack, he believes, comes from the Union forces being short of supplies. He also reports that Thanksgiving passed by without special observance. In addition, he writes that accusations made against their brigade in the Philadelphia Press about their conduct on the march down to Fredericksburg are completely unfounded.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Brand, Lieut. Rhodes, 2nd Lieut. Cook)
Full Text of Article:

In Camp Near Fredericksburg, Va.,
December 2nd. 1862.

There has been no movements of the Grand Army of the Potomac since my last letter. The Rebels still have possession of Fredericksburg. They do not appear in very great strength in the city, but there are indications of an immense army occupying the country around it. From the hills on this dies the Rappahannock we can look down upon the ancient place, and wonder that our leaders did not move to its possession when we first came here. On Sundays the ringing of the church bells can be distinctly heard and people seen repairing to their respective places of worship. Through the weeks there seems to be no cessation from the usual routine of business and altogether there is an apparent unconcern as to our presence or future movements. Along the river bank fortifications have been thrown up and are hourly strengthened without molestation, and Rebel Cavalry come down to the streams to water their horses and converse with our pickets on this side. Under the circumstances out position seems a very queer one. There is not the least indication observable of our early forward movement, and all theories with reference to the future are built without any tangible or reliable foundations. The geneal [sic] belief is however that our inactivity is owing to the necessity of having ample supplies before moving too far away from our base of operations. This I think is likely the case. When we came here our Subsistence Department had become greatly reduced and the wretched condition of the road, from Acquia Creek Landing, our newly established and most convenient depot, to this point, impeded transportation and caused provoking delay. The truth is, that for a time both man and beast were suffering for want of food. Within a few days the railroad has been completed and the various stores needed will be more rapidly furnished. At what particular date the army will resume its march I dont [sic] believe the leaders themselves know. It is desirable and absolutely necessary that before further advances are made we have an abundance of Subsistence and Quarter Master's supplies, and whenever these are on hand in requisite quantities the public desire for a renewal of active hostilities will be gratified.

The city of Fredericksburg is one of the most ancient in the country, and has a conspicuous place in our early history. It is situated immediately on the South West bank of the Rappahannock a river which at this point resembles our own Conococheage. The population of the place is about three thousand. It is the seat of justice of Spotsylvania County, and in times past must have been an attractive and interesting place. Here, in one of the Cemeteries, repose the ashes of "Mary the Mother of Washington." The tomb contains this simple inscription, but it speaks volumes of the virtues of her who gave birth to him who was "First in War, First in Peace, and First in the hearts of his Countrymen." Washington was born only about thirty miles from here, in Westmorland County, and I have no doubt in his early manhood was a frequent visitor to Fredericksburg. He was a prominent member of the Free Mason's Lodge in existence there, and held at one time the honorable position of Grand Master of the United States. His regalia was in possession of the Lodge up to the time of the breaking out of the Rebellion, when it was removed to some other section and secured. I have no doubt I could find much about Fredericksburg worty [sic] of record but must forego until we get there.

Among the distinguished visitors to the army last week, were President Lincoln and Mrs. Burnside. The President confined the business of his visit to an interview with the General Commanding. The result may be looked for in time, Mrs. B. was at Head Quarters on a visit to her husband. The General himself has been spending too much time at Acquia Creek Landing and has been rendering himself very popular by his unassuming manners and free social intercourse among the soldiers, and employees of the Government.

Thanksgiving day came and passed without any special observance from the Pennsylvania boys. We missed the usual home dinner of former days of this character, when the good things of life abounded and happy hearts surrounded the festive board. Good dinners at home may have been the order of the day on this last Thanksgiving, but I can hardly believe there was the same enjoyment of them as there would have been, had the many vacant chairs been filled with the patriot fathers and sons now far away battling for their country and its honored flag. We thought of the day and its purpose and thought of home and those we love. To many a one the question may have recurred what shall I give thanks for, when our beloved country is enduring the shock of war and I am so far away suffering the pangs of absence, the chilly blasts of winter, and the hardships of military service? Yes we have much to thank God for. To Him we owe the profoundest gratitude for the health and strength He has vouchsafed to us to battle for the Right. To Him we are indebted for protection from countless dangers. He has been merciful to us in all our wickedness and saved us thus far from disease and death. The food that we eat still comes from His hands, and we breath [sic], and move, and still have being through his clemency and goodness. And has he not blessed our loved ones at home? To them He has been gracious and bountiful and opened their hearts in His praise and goodness for His protecting hand upon us. Yes, He deserves our thanks and the richest offerings of our hearts. In all seasons His is our shield and whether at our own firesides surrounded with peace and Comfort or in the din and strife of war His goodness and mercy are boundles [sic] and we should give Thanks.

A letter appeared in the Philadelphia "Press" lately denouncing in most unmeasured terms the conduct of our Brigade on its recent march from Harper's Ferry, the writer accuses us of all manner of bad deeds and would leave the inference that we were an organization of marauders and thieves instead of soldiers for the Union. This letter came to the notice of Gen. Tyler and he read it the other day for the information of the whole Brigade. He pronounced it a tissue of unmitigated lies, and was indignant to the highest degree. He said it was his desire to preserve the honor and respect of his command at all times, and that he was proud to say that no one could justly accuse them of violations of law, such as the letter writer referred to, would have the public believe they were guilty of. He knew that there were a few men in his command who discarded and repudiated all observance of orders, but he defied any one to show him a command who had not some such characters. As for his command in general, he claims that it was second to none other in the service in respectability and behavior, and it should ever have such a reputation if his efforts availed. Gen. Tyler is very jealous of the honor of his Brigade and labors unceasingly for its effectiveness and discipline. He was right in meeting the assaults made upon it and uttered the truth when he said the scribbler of the "Press" was a defamer and falsifier. I refer to the subject more particularly as the "Press" circulates largely in Chambersburg.

I paid a visit on Sunday to the Camp of the 107th. They are located near the Railroad a Brooke's Station about three miles from here I found the boys generally hearty and well. Capt. Brand, of Company "K," had tendered his resignation which was accepted and he had left for home. The Captain has been in active service for more than a year and has amply proved his bravery on the battle fields of Manassas, South Mountain and Antietam. He parted with his command reluctantly and was only induced to take the step by bad health. 1st Lieutenant Rhodes, will take the Captains place and 2nd Lieutenant Cook will take his position. While on my way to the 107th I saw Gen. Burnside in a special train returning to his Head Quarters from Acquia Creek Landing.

Our boys are fitting up their shelters with wooden foundations and pine boughs for better protection against the storm and cold.

It is rumored that Major Pumroy, U.S. Paymaster, will shortly visit us for the purpose of paying us for three months service. I think there will be no disappointment this time. A large portion of the amount received will go to the families and friends of the boys at home.


-Page 05-

Gun Bursted
(Column 1)
Summary: On Friday as some new cannon were being tried by Alexander's Battery, stationed near W. Ramsport, one of the guns blew up, killing one and wounding several nearby.
Provost Marshal
(Column 1)
Summary: Gov. Curtain has appointed George Eyster, Esq., Provost Marshal of Franklin County. Though the editors are not sure what the duties of the post are, they are sure Eyster will do a good job.
(Names in announcement: George EysterEsq.)
Tumbling Down Again
(Column 1)
Summary: Petroleum oil, which rose rapidly from 25 cents per gallon to $1.10, has fallen down to 60 cents.
Received Their Arms
(Column 1)
Summary: The drafted militia at Camp McClure received arms and equipment last week and are now prepared for active service. The editors are not sure of the plans for the men, but speculate that they will be moved to Washington soon.
Large Stock
(Column 1)
Summary: Last Friday, Jacob Plough of Green Township brought a cow to the public square that weighed 1800 pounds. The cow is a mix of Teeswater and Durham breeds, and is red and white.
(Names in announcement: Jacob Plough)
More Trouble With Conscripts
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports on a general desertion from the camp of draftees near Chambersburg during a storm, due to inadequate shelter.
Origin of Article: Patriot and Union
Full Text of Article:

We learn that a general skedaddling of the drafted men in camp at Chambersburg occurred on Friday and Saturday, who were not properly provided against the "peltings of the pitiless storm" that suddenly came upon them. On Saturday they broke guard and fled in every direction. Such was the condition of affairs that a detachment of the provost guard battallion [sic] of this city were ordered to Chambersburg, on Saturday afternoon, to guard the camp and prevent further desertions. The kind of weather we are now experiencing is very severe upon men unused to exposure, especially when government jails make proper provision for them.

Patriot and Union.

(Column 1)
Summary: Businessmen have been inconvenienced ever since the suspension of specie payments by banks by the lack of small change. Eyster and Co. has arranged with the Bank of Chambersburg to issue checks in the sum of 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents, redeemable in sums of a dollar or more at the bank, which should provide for the community's needs and yet not violate the law against the issuance of small notes.
The Advance in the Price of Kerosene
(Column 1)
Summary: Explains that the rise in kerosene prices is due to a scarcity rooted in the suspension of manufacturing. Refiners were worried that government taxes would ruin their business, and many suspended manufacturing. But with manufacturing back on track, the editors believe it will be impossible for refiners or speculators to keep prices so high.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Ledger
Prisoners Released
(Column 2)
Summary: Several citizens of Franklin County taken prisoner during Stuart's raid were released on parole.
(Names in announcement: G. G. Rupley, Joseph Winger, Hon. E. McPherson, J. M. Cowan)
158th Regiment Penna. Militia
(Column 2)
Summary: The drafted men encamped near Chambersburg have been formed into a regiment and companies. Companies A, C, F, and K are from Cumberland County, Company H is from Fulton, and the remainder are from Franklin County. The officers of the Franklin companies are: Company B--Captain E. K. Lehman, 1st Lieut. M. D. Miller, 2nd Lieut. M. A. Leidig; Co. D--Captain Arch R. Rea, 1st Lieut. J. S. Snively, 2nd Lieut. John Hassler; Co. E--Captain William T. Barnitz, 1st Lieut. William S. Maxwell, 2nd Lieut. Samuel Haeflich; Co. F--Captain Henry S. Crider, 1st Lieut. P. G. McCoy, 2nd Lieut. Samuel Deihl; Co. G--Captain M. W. Trair, 1st Lieut. Joseph Rock, 2nd Lieut. William Stover; Co. I--Captain William McDowell, 1st Lieut. John Beaver, 2nd Lieut. John W. Jones.
(Names in announcement: Colonel David B. McKibben, Lieut. Col. Elias Troxell, Major Martin G. Hale, Quarter Master David E. Longsdorf, Surgeon Nathan G. Leet, Chaplain Daniel Hartman, Quarter Master Sgt. Robert Hays, Peter Ritner, Captain E. K. Lehman, 1st Lieut. M. D. Miller, 2nd Lieut. M. A. Leidig, Captain Arch R. Rea, 1st Lieut. J. S. Snively, 2nd Lieut. John Hassler, Captain William T. Barnitz, 1st Lieut. William S. Maxvell, 2nd Lieut. Samuel Haeflich, Captain Henry S. Crider, 1st Lieut. P. G. McCoy, 2nd Lieut. Samuel Deihl, Capt. M. W. Trair, 1st Lieut. Joseph Rock, 2nd Lieut. William Stover, Capt. William E. McDowell, 1st Lieut. John Beaver, 2nd Lieut. John W. Jones)
Directory of the Hospitals
(Column 2)
Summary: The Sanitary Commission has established a office of information regarding patients in the hospitals in the District of Columbia and Frederick, Maryland. The Commission can obtain information on any patient in the surrounding hospitals within 24 hours of the request being filed. The notice is signed by the Commission's secretary, Frederick Law Olmstead.
(Column 6)
Summary: George W. High and Caroline A. Conner, both of Chambersburg, were married on November 1.
(Names in announcement: Rev. F. Dyson, George W. High, Caroline A. Conner)
(Column 6)
Summary: William H. Grossup married Charlotte Uglow of Chambersburg on November 20.
(Names in announcement: Rev. F. Dyson, William H. Grossup, Charlotte Uglow)
(Column 6)
Summary: James R. Ramsey and Henrietta Jefferson, both of Franklin County, were married on November 30.
(Names in announcement: Rev. F. Dyson, James R. Ramsey, Henrietta Jefferson)
(Column 6)
Summary: David Hollinger and Maggie McNair, both of Antrim Township, were married on December 2 at Grove's Hotel in Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: Rev. W. H. R. Deatrich, David Hollinger, Maggie McNair)
(Column 6)
Summary: John G. Goettman died on December 5 in Chambersburg, aged 57 years, 6 months and 4 days.
(Names in announcement: John G. Goettman)
(Column 6)
Summary: Benjamin Franklin Mahaffy died on December 2 near Marion, aged 8 years, 8 months and 23 days.
(Names in announcement: Benjamin Franklin Mahaffy)
(Column 6)
Summary: Sarah C. Gelwix died on November 1 in St. Thomas Township, aged 9 years, 10 months and 18 days.
(Names in announcement: Sarah C. Gelwix)
(Column 6)
Summary: Cyrus Gelwix died on November 16 in St. Thomas Township, aged 7 years, 8 months and 29 days.
(Names in announcement: Cyrus Gelwix)
(Column 6)
Summary: Mary Ann Rosenberry died on November 15 in St. Thomas Township, aged 7 years, 4 months and 26 days.
(Names in announcement: Mary Ann Rosenberry)
(Column 6)
Summary: John Howland Rosenberry died on November 20 in St. Thomas Township, aged 7 years, 5 months and 1 day.
(Names in announcement: John Howland Rosenberry)
(Column 6)
Summary: Samuel Cook died on November 12 in St. Thomas Township, aged 27 years, 8 months and 11 days.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Cook)
(Column 6)
Summary: Benjamin F. Bricker died on November 25 in Hamilton Township, aged 10 years and 11 days.
(Names in announcement: Benjamin F. Bricker)
(Column 6)
Summary: Absolom Baughman died in Hamilton Township on November 24, aged 19 years and 5 days.
(Names in announcement: Absolom Baughman)

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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: Non-fiction and classified advertisements