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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: March 11, 1863

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Includes the text of the new conscription bill and two columns of classified advertisements.

Letter from Hon. C. R. Buckalew
(Column 6)
Summary: C. R. Buckalew, the newly elected senator from Pennsylvania, writes in a letter to the Central Democratic Club of Philadelphia on Washington's Birthday that the role of the Democrats is to drive the Republicans from power and reverse their policies of expanding the war aims into engaging the issues of blacks. He decries what he sees as the arbitrary exercise of power by the administration, and quotes Washington to the effect that the military must be cautious about not becoming transgressors of the laws they seek to uphold. Buckalew urges a policy of conciliation toward the conservative men in the South.
Trailer: C. R. Buckalew

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Page includes reviews of books and periodicals, as well as Congressional news.

Adjournment of Congress
(Column 1)
Summary: The Spirit's editor notes the adjournment of the 37th Congress with relief. While this Congress started out with a conservative, patriotic declaration of war, it was quickly taken hold of by fanatical, radical leaders who twisted the purposes of the war. The men who dared to defend the old Constitution were "sneered and hooted in their seats." The editor hopes that the country will never see the like of this Congress again.
Letter from Mr. Buckalew
(Column 1)
Summary: The editor draws the reader's attention to the letter from C. R. Buckalew printed on page one. He then goes on to discuss the impending changes in the politics of the state. Pennsylvania will now be represented in the Senate by Buckalew, a Democrat, and a conservative Republican "who votes with us on all the vital questions of the day." In addition, the Congressional delegation has fourteen Democrats and ten Republicans, and the whole state government is "thoroughly Democratic." It is a pattern that can be found across the North, the editor says, and soon the Democratic party will be restored to national power.
Seward on Emancipation
(Column 2)
Summary: Quotes from a dispatch written by Secretary of State Seward, wherein he speculates that radicals in both the North and South had conspired to instigate a "servile war," one by rebelling against the Union and the other by promoting emancipation. If this is indeed Seward's sentiment, the editor says, he should have opposed the Emancipation Proclamation publicly and cleared himself of any guilt by association.
Origin of Article: New York Tribune
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Reprints a report that states that Union officers have been arrested for mutinous conduct in connection with the arrival of black troops.
Origin of Article: New York Times
Editorial Comment: "From personal observation and information and opinions given by reliable men in different sections of the army, we are firmly convinced that the army from the Middle and Western States is radically opposed to the measure."
The Radicals
(Column 3)
Summary: This writer sends a copy of an editorial from the New York Methodist, reporting on a speech given by Wendell Phillips in Henry Ward Beecher's church. In his talk, Phillips stated that he would not accept the reestablishment of the Union without emancipation. This was the same line given by Beecher as well as by Horace Greeley, says the editorialist, and they cannot escape the judgement that they are as much for secession as Southern leaders.
Origin of Article: New York Methodist
Correspondence from "the Army of the Potomac"
(Column 4)
Summary: A report from a correspondent with the 126th Reg't Penn. Reserves, encamped near Fredericksburg, Virginia. He describes a Confederate raid on their lines, reflects on the organization of the Army of the Potomac and its chances for taking Fredericksburg, and relates a number of promotions and sicknesses.
(Names in announcement: Capt. R. S. Brownson, Lieut. Court. Hullinger, Sgt. George Platt, Sgt. Clay McCauley, 1st Lieut. James McCullough, James McKesson, T. J. C. McGrath, Adjutant John Stewart, Capt. George L. Miles)
Full Text of Article:

Correspondence of the Spirit and Times.

Camp of "Tyler's Brigade," 5th Corps,
Near Fredericksburg, Va.
March 1st, 1863.

This is Sunday, but my devotions have not been so abstracted or business so pressing but what I can give a few moments to writing my usual letter.

On Wednesday last, the "Rebs" made a fierce attack on our pickets. Intelligence of the fact soon reached camp, causing no little excitement, especially as the frightened messengers represented the matter as of a most serious character. But a few moments elapsed before our Brigade was under arms and marching to the lines. As night approached, however, our force, with the exception of the 126th, returned to camp. This Regiment was left to strengthen the lines and were thrown out a considerable distance. It happened that they had started without their blankets, and a cold rain prevailing that night, and fires being forbidden, they suffered no little. The Rebs did not trouble them and they were called to camp on Friday. I learn the attack occurred in the neighborhood of Stafford Court House. The usual vigilance on the part of our officers in charge of our line was forgotten, and with characteristic boldness the Rebs made a dash, capturing about fifty of our men. an officer cannot hold a more responsible or important position than to be in command on the picket lines, and any relaxation or neglect of duty should be severely punished.

Gen. Hooker, I hear, is in Washington arranging, I presume, a programme for new operations. With the return of favorable weather the Army of the Potomac will have work to do. One of these fine mornings the dogs of war will be let loose, and if the "Rebs" don't be ousted from their boasted stronghold, Fredericksburg, I am greatly mistaken. The feeling seems to be universal that we will have better luck in the next attack. The men are brave enough and great enough in numbers. What is needed consists in good management, hearty co-operation among commanders, and unrestructed powers in our Chief. Then if we fail, I will admit that Fredericksburg is impregnable, and that this army is an organization fated to misfortune and impotent as an instrument of success.

The usual two month's muster for pay took place yesterday. This is the second that has taken place since last pay day. Four month's pay is now due the boys, but there will be hardly any funds forthcoming until next muster on the 30th of April, or at the expiration of our term of service.

Several promotions have recently taken place in our Regiment. Capt. R.S. Brownson has been commissioned Major, a good appointment and one very acceptable to the Regiment. Lt. Court. Hullinger is now Captain of Co. "D," and Sergts. George Platt and Clay McCauley are his 1st and 2d Lieutenants. First Lieut. James McCullough has been selected as Captain of Co. "C." In nearly every company new promotions to non-commissioned officers have been made.

Death carried off three of our men last week, among them James McKeason, Co. "D" of your town. I regret to announce the severe illness of T.J.C. McGrath. Co. "A," and clerk to Quartermaster Nill. He is having kind attention and I trust he is not beyond recovery.

Among those now absent with leave is our very efficient Adjutant, John Stewart, and Capt. George L. Miles, Co. "G." May they have a good time while they can. Your correspondent will hardly be home until next May. Then he expects to be discharged--cause: physical ability, he being too strong for the service to hold him.


Trailer: Shenandoah
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Persons holding Eyster & Brothers currency are requested to present it for redemption at the store before April 1.
Democratic Meeting
(Column 4)
Summary: The Democrats of Green Township are requested to meet in Scotland on Saturday the 14th and in Fayetteville that same evening to nominate a ticket for township elections in the spring.
(Column 4)
Summary: Adjutant Stewart of the 126th Reg't Penn. Volunteers and Private George Wampler of Company A of the same regiment were home last week on ten days furlough. They returned to the regiment on Monday.
(Names in announcement: Adjutant Stewart, Private George Wampler)
(Column 5)
Summary: A memorial written by a friend of T. J. C. McGrath, of Company A, 126th Reg't Penn. Volunteers, who died of typhoid fever in a military hospital on March 3.
(Names in announcement: T. J. C. McGrath)
Trailer: A Companion in Arms
Tribute of Respect
(Column 5)
Summary: A meeting of the Bar was held at the offices of Hon. Wilson Reilly for the purposes of giving expression to their feelings in regard to the death of T. J. C. McGrath, Esq. They adopted resolutions commemorating McGrath and moved to publish them in the local papers.
(Names in announcement: T. J. C. McGrath, Hon. Wilson Reilly, J. W. Douglas, C. S. EysterEsq., J. McD. SharpeEsq., George W. BrewerEsq., Snively StricklerEsq.)
I. O. O. F. Tribute of Respect
(Column 5)
Summary: A resolution prepared by a committee of the Chambersburg Lodge No. 175 I. O. O. F. commemorating its member, T. J. C. McGrath, and noting that he was the third member of "its little band of brothers" to have perished in the war.
(Names in announcement: T. J. C. McGrath, W. S. Everett, W. Kennedy, George Palmer)
Another Soldier Gone
(Column 6)
Summary: Private Henry Clay Bitner, son of John Bitner, the miller who resides three miles away from Chambersburg on the banks of the Conococheague, and a member of Company E, 156th Reg't Penn. Militia, died on February 19 in Newbern, North Carolina of congestive fever. His body has been forwarded home, and will arrive this week.
(Names in announcement: Private Henry Clay Bitner, John Bitner)
A Word to the Council
(Column 6)
Summary: The editors argue that Franklin Street, from Market Street to the Cemetery, should be macadamized. It is in worse condition than almost any other road in town, and many roads that are less traveled are kept in better condition. Since there are so many funerals these days, the community will not object to paying a little more tax to get the job done.
Full Text of Article:

There is scarcely a person who went, or attempted to go, to the Cemetery, on last Sunday, who will not endorse us when we say it is the imperative duty of the Town Council to take immediate measures for having a pavement laid, on Franklin Street, from Market Street to the Cemetery, and having the street itself macademized. It is now in a worse condition than any other street in town; and in rainy weather is almost impassable, alike to foot passengers and vehicles. There is scarcely a week during which funerals do not pass along it to the Cemetery, for want of a better route; and, as a general rule, it is more traveled than many other streets that are kept in a much better condition. Let the Council start the improvement at once; it will be acceptable to the entire community, and but few will be found to object to it on the ground of a little additional tax.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Includes miscellaneous war and national news, and five columns of classified advertisements, including a list of taxes appraised on the merchants of Franklin County.

(Column 2)
Summary: Martha Scott Montgomery, wife of James Montgomery, M.D., died on February 22, in Fannettsburg, at the age of 51.
(Names in announcement: Martha Scott Montgomery, M. D. James Montgomery)
(Column 2)
Summary: N. S. Derringer, formerly of Franklin County, died on December 25, 1862, at a hospital near Falmouth, Virginia, of wounds received during the battle of Fredericksburg. He was a member of the 24th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers.
(Names in announcement: N. S. Derringer)

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements