Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: March 4, 1863

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

Description of Page: Classified advertisments in two columns

Speech of Mr. Harding of Kentucky
(Column 3)
Summary: Reprints a speech given in the House of Representatives by Mr. Harding of Kentucky, in which he denounces the Emancipation Proclamation and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Includes miscellanous war and national news.

A Change of Policy
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors quote from recent speeches in the British Parliament that observe that under Lincoln's present policy the American Union will never be reconstructed. The editors heartily agree with that sentiment and argue that the administration has deviated from the initial war goals. Instead of preservation of the Constitution and restoration of the Union, they argue, the Republicans have shifted the war goals to more radical measures. The confiscation bill, the bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, the admission of Western Virginia as a state, and the "negro enlistment bill" have all served to unite the South in opposition and divide the North. However, the President can still change course, the editors argue, by refusing to use the confiscation bill, by revoking the emancipation proclamation and stopping black enlistment, by purging his Cabinet, and by restoring the original purposes to the war.
Full Text of Article:

The debate which recently occurred in the British Parliament, on the delivery of the Queen's annual address, possesses no small degree of interest for the American reader. It was almost wholly confined to American affairs; and, while the general tone of the speeches seemed friendly to the Government of the United states, and averse to anything like interference in our domestic troubles, the "Noble Earls" and "M. P.s," took occasion to tell us some very plain truths. We were never of those who paid great deference to English sentiment, for we have doubted the sincerity of many English statesmen who manifested friendly feelings towards us, believing that some of them would much rather see this great gover[n]mental experiment of ours prove a failure than a success. And yet they sometimes express opinions which demand respect and consideration; especially when we reflect that these men are far removed from the exciting scenes of our great contest and consequently their judgment of the issues at stake is likely to be calm and dispassionate, that they are statesmen of vast experience and world-wide reputation, and, some of them at least, unprejudiced against us.

In nearly all these speeches but one opinion was expressed, that "Under the present avowed policy of Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet there never could be a reconstruction of the American Union." Even those who have been our staunchest friends seemed to concur in this view. And even if all of them were unfriendly to the United States, would it not, under the principle that we should learn wisdom from our enemies, be prudent for the administration, and in fact for the whole American people, to pause, before it is everlastingly too late, and ponder this great issue under the new lights that have been thrown upon it within the last month or so. Are we steering straight for the haven of a safe, permanent and honorable peace; or are we not rather, as Mr. Disraeli feelingly remarked, doing our utmost to make this great country of ours "a different America from that which was known to our fathers, and from that even of which this generation has had so much experience--an America of armies, an America of diplomacy, an America of rival States and manouvering [sic] Cabinets of frequent turbulence and probably of frequent wars?" In other words, is not the policy of the administration tending directly and inevitably towards the very consummation the country has poured out her millions of men and money to avoid--a dissolution of the Union? If so, let us, in the name of all our liberties, shift the rudder and steer back again to safe waters, where we will have the same reliable chart to guide us that directed our fathers, through storm and calm, to a haven of peace, prosperity and national greatness.

It was true at the beginning of our national troubles, and is no less true now, that the safest and shortest way to reach the end was to go straight through, without turning to the right hand nor to the left. With the first gun fired upon Sumter we were in a state of actual war; the issue had to be met; the Government could not sign the article of its own dissolution; it had no more right to do so than the suicide has to put the knife to his throat; it was bound to sustain its nationality, and therefore had to take up the gauntlet and resist force by force. It declared war against the rebellion, for the purpose of defending the Constitution and restoring the Union of our fathers. This was a high and holy purpose, and one which, had we gone straight through, would have been well nigh accomplished. But in national politics the crooked byways, full of deep ruts and mire, are generally preferred to the straight, smooth highway of duty and honor. This "mud-road" statesmanship it is that has almost ruined the country. Yes, had the administration traveled in the straight path that lay open before it, refusing to diverge from it one iota to gratify its radical political friends; had the war been prosecuted with the one undivided object of restoring the Union and maintaining the Constitution, we might to-day have been able at least to see "the beginning of the end.: But no, "a Union with slaveholders" had become so unrighteous a thing in the eyes of the radicals, headed by Sumner, Stevens and Lovejoy, that it was determined that slavery must first be killed, the power of the slave interest must be struck down; "Then" said these conditional patriots, magnanimously, "we will talk about reconstruction of the Union." For a while the more moderate Republicans resisted this startling, revolutionary proposition; soon however the weaker minded yielded to the radicals, and the more conservative withdrew in disgust from their councils. Then fanaticism gained control of the Government and ruled the hour. Congress rushed madly on from one wild, impracticable, revolutionary scheme to another, without regard to constitutional obligations or natural, inevitable consequences. The confiscation bill, the bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, the act admitting Western Virginia, the negro enlistment bill, the unauthorized admission of self-elected members of Congress and other kindred measures, whose only effect has been to unite the South and divide the North, were hurried through with frightful rapidity. Then the President, hitherto tolerably conservative, confessed that he had to "yield" to the "pressure," and with one stroke of his pen, drove from his support the conservatives in the Border States and northern tier of seceded States, and made them, if not friendly to the rebellion, at least luke-warm Unionists. They reasoned that they might save their slaves by aiding the rebellion and making it successful, while they could but lose them if they adhered to the Union; and they acted accordingly. And, after, all [sic] no good resulted from this proclamation, for scarcely a single slave within the rebel lines has availed himself of it. Now all these measures have been steps in the wrong direction. Is there an observing man who will say that they have strengthened our cause or weakened our enemies? On the contrary has not the opposite effect attended them all? Are we not weaker to-day, through these ill-advised measures, than we were eighteen months ago; and are not the rebels stronger?

But it is not yet too late to save the Republic. A change of policy may even yet drive back the black clouds and give us clear sky. Let the administration and its counsellors [sic] return to their constitutional obligations. The confiscation bill has always been a nullity, let it still "lie on the shelf;" let the President revoke his emancipation proclamation; let negro enlistment be stopped at once, for our brave men in the army are almost universally opposed to it, and their feelings should be consulted and respected in such a matter; let the radicals in the Cabinet be tumbled out heels over head--the people of the country are sick and tired of them and want new, reliable, competent men in their places; and let the original purpose of the war be again declared and adhered to: that it is not waged for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, but simply to restore the Union and maintain the Constitution, with all the rights, privileges and institutions of the several States unimpaired; and, starting in once more on the straight path, with the gallant McClellan again at the head of the army that adores him, and safe men at the head of the nation, victory may again perch upon our banners, and ultimate success attend the unparalleled struggle of a brave people for national integrity and unity. As we are now drifting, such a result seems scarcely within the range of human probability.

"Aid and Comfort"
(Column 2)
Summary: This editorial accuses Northern radical newspapers of helping unite the South in opposition. Confederate leaders encourage Southerners to stick to the fight by quoting from abolitionist papers, which accuse Democrats of sympathizing with the rebellion. The editors add that papers like the Transcript and Dispatch are also culpable, as "they scarcely put out an issue in which a dozen such terms as the above can not be found."
Negro Soldiers
(Column 3)
Summary: Relates a story about incompetent black troops.
Origin of Article: Hartford (Connecticut) Times
A New Conscript Bill
(Column 3)
Summary: The conscript bill of Senator Thomas, as it passed the Senate, authorized the President to call up men between the ages of 20 and 35 in a first draft, and between 35 and 45 in a second draft. The exemptions to the draft are also listed.
Full Text of Article:

The new conscript bill of Senator Wilson, as it passed the Senate, authorizes the President to call at his option, as many persons between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, for a first draft, and those between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five for a second, as he may see fit. In furtherance of this authority he is instructed to appoint in each congressional district of each of the several States, a provost marshal and two assistants, and a surgeon, whose duty it shall be to enforce and superintend the details of the draft.

An evasion is provided for by the payment of a sum not exceeding three hundred dollars, or the procurance of a substitute. The penalty, of refusal to comply, and the neglect to procure a substitute, are punishable with trial by court martial. Exempts between the ages aforementioned include such as are rejected as physically or mentally unfit for the service; also, first, the Vice President of the United States, the Judges of the various courts of the United States, and the heads of the various Executive Departments of the government and Governor's of the States; second, the only son of a widow, or of aged or infirm parent or parents dependent upon his labor for support; third, where there are two or more sons of aged of infirm parents subject to draft, the father, or if he be dead, the mother may elect which son shall be exempt; fourth, the only brother of children not twelve years old, having neither father nor mother, and dependent upon his labor for support; fifth, the father of motherless children under twelve years of age, dependent upon his labor for support; sixth, where there are a father and sons in the same family and household, and two of them are in the military service of the United States as non commissioned officers, musicians or privates, the residue of such family and household, not exceeding two.

[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: This writer urges readers in Kentucky to follow the Democratic party line, insisting that their duty is not to sustain the party of the President. In fact, the writer argues, if Kentuckians act against the Democratic party, they act against the best interests of the country and thus are traitors.
Origin of Article: Louisville Democrat
Troubles in the South
(Column 6)
Summary: Discusses insurrectionary movements by Union men in North Carolina and the efforts of Confederate officials to suppress them.
Full Text of Article:

If the South is a unit, as the papers in that region would have us believe, it is a very queer unit, to say the least. In almost every quarter there is opposition to the government--not only opposition by speech, but actually armed opposition. It has become so alarming in some sections that large army forces have been detached to put it down. The signs are encouraging, and lead us to hope that, at some day not very distant, the co-operation of the true Union men North and South, may re-establish the old order of things. A contemporary says:

The official documents published by certain Governors at the South, and their Generals in command, show that the affairs of Dixie are getting to be desperate in the extreme. The strongest appeals are being made to deserters to return again to the army, and shooting and bucking and lashes are being freely showered upon those who are caught. Their prisons are filled with civilians placed there on suspicion of being favorable to the Union, or complicity in some act against the rebel cause. Colonel Lee, a son of the General of that name, has been sent to the States of North Carolina and Georgia to secure deserters, and to put down the insurrectionary movements taking place in those States. In his general orders, dated Jan. 26, he says:

"There are a number of deserters, tories and conscripts resisting the laws in northern and northeastern Georgia and in southwestern North Carolina, and that the Confederate Government has dispatched a force under his command to suppress any insurrectionary movements, to capture deserters, and generally to restore tranquil[l]ity to this part of the country."

Governor Shorter, of Alabama, declares that his "invitation to the able bodied men of Alabama, not subject to conscription, did not receive the attention it merited, and then makes a most impassioned appeal for them to offer their services. Officers and privates belonging to the army," he says, "are lingering at home and shirking their duty, and a large number of those subject to conscription are hiding from the enrolling officers."

Those who were subject to conscription were evidently already taken from their homes, and the aged and other exempts have not responded to his appeals. Governor Vance details a similar state of things in North Carolina, and promises to deserters, whose name is legion, free pardon if they will deliver themselves up before the tenth of February. It has come to bribes and amnesties. But this is not all--the Charleston Mercury of 27th ult. announces the arrival of Gen. Polk in Columbia, who stated that "the tories who had been depredating in Madison county, N.C., had been routed and dispersed. A force of 1,000 men from Gen. Kirby Smith's division, aided by companies collected in North Carolina, attacked them in front and rear, killed many, captured a number and scattered the rest." A similar attack on the "tories," (as the Union men are called,) in Tennessee, is announced by the Richmond Dispatch, the result of which is thus given:

"The tory cavalry and infantry were parading in a field near the Fish spring. Colonel Folk ordered his men to swim the river and charge them. The tories seeing this, abandoned their horses and took shelter upon the summit of a large ridge. Folk's men were then dismounted and charged up the ridge, completely dispersing the tories. All of their horses were captured. Four of the tories were killed, and a number wounded and captured. The captured were immediately hung, by order of Col. Folk. Taylor was killed."

It is almost charged in direct terms by the press and others at the South, that the Legislature of North Carolina is disloyal--and a correspondent of the Charleston Mercury, writing from Richmond, gives vent to the feelings prevalent in Jeff. Davis' capital in regard to the loyalty of North Carolina to the rebel cause. The writer says:

"We are disturbed about the action of the North Carolina Legislature. Have we not trouble enough with the Yankees, without wrangling at home? Our hope is that the good sense of the people of North Carolina will avert the impending trouble, and keep that powerful and patriotic State in line with her sisters."

The Raleigh State Journal takes the Legislature to task for expressing sympathy with the civilians imprisoned at Saulsbury by Jeff. Davis, and adds:

"Do they know that out of the whole number confined there some two or three weeks ago, only one man, out of about three hundred, could be found who was willing to take the oath of allegiance to the Government of the Southern Confederacy? This is a fact which cannot be truthfully denied.

"Now we do not charge the Legislature with treasonable purposes or proclivities. We give them credit for all the good intentions they claim. But we do charge them with a purpose to quarrel and conflict with the Confederate Government; and we tell them they are instigated to it by men who are traitors, but who have not the courage to avow their treason.

"We call upon the people to watch the movements controlled by such men."

From these signs of the times it is very evident that the South is no longer that unit that has been claimed for it; and the people only want the opportunity to throw off the tyranny which is throttling them by means of the military despotism in their midst.

-Page 03-

At Home
(Column 1)
Summary: Assistant Surgeon George W. Burk of the 46th Reg't Penn. Volunteers is home on a visit. He looks well and is fond of the service.
(Names in announcement: Ass't Surgeon George W. Burk)
New Telegraph
(Column 1)
Summary: The Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Company are erecting an additional line between Chambersburg and Harrisburg, one line being found to be inadequate. One line will be used for local purposes and the other for through traffic.
Colonel Campbell
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors regret to inform their readers that reports in letters received last week state that Col. Campbell is in very critical condition. A bullet was extracted from his arm, but he has been sinking ever since.
(Names in announcement: Colonel Campbell)
A New Depot
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors have received reports that the Cumberland Valley Railroad intends to start rebuilding its depot within the month. The location has not been decided yet, but it is to be larger than the old building. The company intends to make the new depot both ornamental and useful.
Children's Aid Society
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors relay a request from the Children's Aid Society of New York that children who have been placed by the agency write them. The editors have decided that since a number of children were placed in Franklin County, they would call this request to the children's attention.
(Column 1)
Summary: Captains John H. Reed and George L. Miles of the 126th Reg't Penn. Volunteers have returned to their homes. Reed has resigned his commission because he is still suffering from the injuries received at Fredericksburg and is barely able to walk. Miles is home on a few days furlough and says that the men of the regiment are healthy and in good spirits, though "up to their eyes in mud."
(Names in announcement: Capt. John H. Reed, Capt. George L. Miles)
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors note the parole of Lieut. William Burgess, of the 6th Penn. Reserves, from the Confederate Libby Prison in Richmond. He is being held at the parole camp in Annapolis, and they hope he can return to visit his family in the area. Burgess, a Lieutenant in the Ambulance Corps, was captured while supervising the removal of the wounded from the battle field at Antietam.
(Names in announcement: Lieut. William Burgess)
Snow and Sleighing
(Column 1)
Summary: Twelve to fourteen inches of snow fell on Saturday night and Sunday, and the editors report the sleighing during the next few days to be "very fine."
Mortality in the Army
(Column 2)
Summary: A list of several recent deaths of men in the service, and descriptions of the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
(Names in announcement: Private James McKesson, Private Hugh Brotherton, Private Walt, Private Deatrich)
Wild Currency
(Column 2)
Summary: The editors defend the Bank of Chambersburg against a charge in the Greencastle Pilot that it is a weak bank and in part responsible for the proliferation of paper money in the area. In fact, the editors note, the Bank of Chambersburg will not redeem notes of worthless banks, and its strength is attested to by the fact that its capital stock is selling $14 above par.
Lurgan School District Teacher's Institute
(Column 2)
Summary: The Lurgan School District Teacher's Institute met in the Roxbury schoolroom on February 21, with David A. Stouffer giving a two-hour lesson in analyzing and correcting sentences. The Institute also passed a resolution thanking its president, H. A. Thomas, and secretary J. X. Smith.
(Names in announcement: David A. Stouffer, H. A. Thomas, J. X. Smith)
(Column 2)
Summary: John Porterfield of Philadelphia married Anna B. Keil of Chambersburg on February 15.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Steck, John Porterfield, Anna B. Keil)
(Column 2)
Summary: Elizabeth Weidmann and Paulus Bachmeir were married on February 27.
(Names in announcement: Rev. M. Wolf, Elizabeth Weidmann, Paulus Bachmeir)
(Column 2)
Summary: Jeremiah Zody and Mary E. Dunkle, both of Mt. Hope, were married on February 24.
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. McHenry, Mary E. Dunkle, Jeremiah Zody)
(Column 2)
Summary: John Grove, Sr., died on February 23, aged 87 years, 1 month and 19 days.
(Names in announcement: John GroveSr.)
(Column 2)
Summary: Maggie Palmer, only child of George and Mary Palmer, died on Februray 24 in Chambersburg of diphtheria.
(Names in announcement: Maggie Palmer, George Palmer, Mary Palmer)
(Column 3)
Summary: Reprints a list of the people authorized by the Board of Relief to receive and pay over relief for drafted soldiers. They include: George W. Zeigler, Antrim Township; W. S. Amberson, Washington Township; John Kees, Quincy Township; J. B. Cook, Fayetteville; J. Wallace, Greenvillage; John Orr, Sr., Orrstown; William McClelland, Strasburg; Thomas Pomeroy, Roxbury; Robert Moore, Hamilton; H. McKnight, Guilford; P. Kunkleman, Peters; P. McGarvey, St. Thomas; W.S. Harris, Metal; James Ferguson, Fannett; James M. Bradley, Montgomery.
(Names in announcement: George W. Zeigler, W. S. Amberson, John Kees, J. B. Cook, J. Wallace, John OrrSr., William McClelland, Thomas Pomeroy, Robert Moore, H. McKnight, P. Kunkleman, P. McGarvey, W. S. Harris, James Ferguson, James M. Bradley)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Classified advertisements