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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: January 13, 1864

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Includes reprints of letters from General McClellan to Lincoln during 1862 on the larger political character of the rebellion.

Correspondence--Our Washington Letter
(Column 1)
Summary: This correspondent to the Spirit and Times begins by criticizing the lavish entertainments of Mrs. Lincoln and the reported exclusion of people who are not well dressed from the Presidential home. In other news, he reports work on amendments to the conscription bill, a proposal to extend the payment of bounties until March 5, and discussion of a direct rail line between Washington and New York that could possibly run through the Cumberland Valley.
Trailer: Conococheague

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Fiction, anecdotes, and classified advertisements

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Agricultural advice and classified advertisements

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Includes reports of cavalry skirmishes near Harper's Ferry.

Let us Go to Work
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors call for community leaders to exert themselves in procuring volunteers to fill up Franklin County's quota.
Full Text of Article:

We people of Chambersburg and Franklin county, of whatever political party, profess to be heartily in favor of suppressing the rebellion, and of giving all the money and men necessary to accomplish that end. Whatever be our differences of political belief, we all think alike on this one question. But what are we doing? Has our patriotism expended itself in noisy declamation and vain boasting? If the rebellion is to be suppressed, our armies must be recruited up to the old standard, before the opening of the next campaign; and Chambersburg and Franklin county must do their share. Congress is about to continue the time for recruiting one or two months longer; and during that period we will either have to fill our quota by volunteering, or be subject to another draft. Drafts, as we all know, are not very pleasant things; and self-interest, as well as town and county pride, should prompt us to lend our whole energies to the work of filling our quota. Let us lay aside crimination and recrimination, and prove the sincerity of our professions. It is not enough simply to offer large bounties; what we need is systematic, personal exertion--the exertion of men of influence and property. Whatever opinions we may entertain of the policy of the administration, however much we may disapprove of the reckless fanaticism of the party in power, we are still bound to aid in sustaining the majesty of the law, in suppressing revolt and insurrection, and in restoring the fabric of our once glorious Union. To this noble purpose let us, one and all, consecrate the honest labor of a few brief weeks, and success will attend our efforts. The time has passed for windy patriotism and vapid boasting. If we really wish to accomplish anything, we must go to work heart and hand. Greencastle was the first town in the State which filled its quota, let us see if Franklin cannot be the first county.

Inconsistency of Abolitionism
(Column 2)
Summary: The editors attack the Lincoln administration and its Congressional allies for inconsistency on a number of fronts. Lincoln claimed to have the authority to suspend habeas corpus on his own, but then Congress passed a bill authorizing it and indemnifying those exercising that authority. If Lincoln had the power to take such action in the first place, why were the bills needed? Similarly, with the emancipation proclamation, Congress soon after produced a bill giving power to the president's proclamation. If Lincoln had the authority to free slaves in the first place, whey was this bill needed? Then, when the conscription bill was passed, volunteers dropped off, and the administration turned back to volunteering as if they had never advocated conscription.
No Presidential Election
(Column 4)
Summary: The editors note the importance of this year's presidential election, but also report rumors that Lincoln, if defeated, may try to retain power, "backed by a negro army of 300,000."
Meeting of the Legislature
(Column 5)
Summary: The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently organized itself, with Mr. Johnson, a Republican from Crawford County, as Speaker. However, the Senate, with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, remains unorganized, though the Democrats proposed an alternation of the offices, with the Republicans getting the Speaker and Democrats the Clerk, and so-on down.

-Page 05-

Cumberland Valley Rail Road
(Column 1)
Summary: The directors of the Cumberland Valley Rail Road issued their 29th Annual Report. Included were the damages caused by the Confederate raids. These included: temporary construction of a bridge at Carlisle, $3,410.55; Estimate for permanent structure, $3,566; first temporary construction of bridge at Scotland, $727.35; second temporary construction of same bridge, $3,743.96; repairs of damages on bridge, $75; reconstruction of buildings at Chambersburg, $6,964.63; new T-iron, lumber, wood destroyed and stolen, $9,629--a total of $6,115.49 (less $7,845 for 224 tons of T-iron left on road). Damages to the Franklin Rail Road were: cost of reconstruction and estimate for completion of road, water tower, etcetera: $20,084.07 (less $5,167.65 for 147 tons of T-iron left on road). Officers of the company are: President, Hon. Frederick Watts; Managers, Josiah Bacon, Edmund Smith, W. H. Henderson, Thomas B. Kennedy, Thomas A. Scott, Thomas A. Biddle, J. Edgar Thompson, H. J. Lombaert, Daniel Gehr, Wistar Morris, John Hulme, E. C. Knight; Secretary and Treasurer, Edward M. Biddle; Superintendent, O. N. Lull.
(Names in announcement: Hon. Frederick Watts, Josiah Bacon, Edmund Smith, W. M. Henderson, Thomas B. Kennedy, Thomas A. Scott, Thomas A. Biddle, J. Edgar Thompson, H. J. Lombaert, Daniel Gehr, John Hulme, E. C. Knight, Edward M. Biddle, O. N. Lull, Wistar Morris)
At Home
(Column 1)
Summary: Lieut. Colonel William D. Dixon, and Capt. Joseph A. Davison, of the 6th Penn. Reserves, have been at home on a short visit. The 6th has been in almost every major engagement from "Dranesville to Gettysburg," and its ranks are severely depleted. However, the editors hope the unit will be refilled soon.
(Names in announcement: Lieut. Colonel William D. Dixon, Capt. Joseph A. Davison)
The "Cold Snap"
(Column 2)
Summary: The editors note the severity of the cold the past week and ask people to remember the troops in the field, "protected by nothing but a thin shelter tent, or doing guard duty among snow and ice." They then go on to note that the skating has been excellent.
The Common Schools
(Column 2)
Summary: The editors reprint extracts from the Pennsylvania School Report of 1863 and the report of Mr. Shoemaker, the former Superintendent. Five new school houses were built in the county last year, four in the place of old ones and one new one--one in Greencastle, two in Guilford, one in Montgomery, and one in Washington. There are 204 school houses in the county, 50 new ones having been built since 1857. The average number of scholars increased about 1200, though attendance fell off last year by 500, "occasioned by Stuart's raid." One hundred and thirty three of the teachers rendered general satisfaction, eighty three were medium, and nine were poor. The Scriptures were "read regularly, and used for purposes of moral instruction," in 193 schools. The prevailing public mood is supportive, "yet there are still some who are opposed to certain features of the system."
(Names in announcement: Mr. Shoemaker)
Horrible Railroad Accident
(Column 2)
Summary: William Kunkel, a shifter employed by the Pennsylvania railroad, was killed near the round house by one of the trains he was separating. Kunkel was a former resident of Franklin County and brother-in-law of John Reasner.
(Names in announcement: William Kunkel, John Reasner)
Origin of Article: Patriot and Union
Masonic Appointments
(Column 2)
Summary: Robert A. Lamberton of Harrisburg was appointed Deputy G. H. P. for the counties of Dauphin, Cumberland, Franklin, and Lebanon. He was also appointed Deputy Grand Master of the Third Masonic District, composed of Dauphin, Franklin, Cumberland, Juniata, Perry, and Lebanon.
Trains Delayed
(Column 3)
Summary: The delay in the passenger train on the Cumberland Valley Rail Road last Thursday noon was caused by the rear car running off the track when the train was backing up at Mechanicsburg. All the rumors in town about the accident proved to be greatly exaggerated.
End of the Game Season
(Column 3)
Summary: Sportsmen are reminded that anyone killing a partridge after the first of January is liable to a five-dollar fine, and the editors add that "no true sportsman will violate the law."
Look Out for Them
(Column 3)
Summary: The Lancaster papers warn of a new counterfeit in circulation--a photograph of the genuine five dollar note on the Union Bank of Philadelphia.
The Draft Postponed
(Column 4)
Summary: The Spirit reprints letters by President Lincoln, the Secretary of War, and the Provost Marshal General to Congress that ask it to extend the deadline for the federal bounty for volunteers. The letter writers state that they would rather continue to encourage volunteering than have to resort to a draft.
(Column 5)
Summary: Mary Catharine Banker, youngest daughter of Mr. Andrew Banker, died in Chambersburg last Friday morning after a protracted illness, aged 16 years, 8 months and 2 days.
(Names in announcement: Mary Catharine Banker, Andrew Banker)
Money Wanted
(Column 6)
Summary: The Borough of Chambersburg desires a loan of $6,000 for the purposed of furnishing a bounty to volunteers to fill the Borough's quota under the last call. George Seilhamer, secretary of the Town Council, adds, "It is hoped patriotic citizens will come forward at once to take the above loan."
(Names in announcement: George Seilhamer)
Volunteers Wanted
(Column 6)
Summary: The Borough of Chambersburg will pay a bounty of $200 in addition to the regular government bounties to persons who will volunteer under the present call. The Town Council urges "patriotic citizens" to step forward so as to avoid the draft.
(Names in announcement: George Seilhamer)
Full Text of Article:

The Borough of Chambersburg will pay a bounty of $200 in addition to the regular Government bounties to persons desiring to volunteer under the present call. An appeal is made to patriotic citizens (white or black) to accept this liberal offer and thus to fill up the Armies of the Union and at the same time avoid the coming draft.

By order of the Town Council,
Dec 30, '63.
E. C. Boyd.

-Page 06-

Description of Page: Five columns of classified advertisements

News From the South
(Column 1)
Summary: A collection of short articles from papers across the South. The principal article notes that President Lincoln has been forced to deal with the South as a belligerent nation, as humiliating as it must be to him and his supporters.
Origin of Article: Richmond Sentinel, Macon (Georgia) Confederacy

-Page 07-

Description of Page: Humor and five columns of classified advertisements

-Page 08-

Description of Page: Includes a list of Pennsylvania State Senators and Representatives, a list of advertisers, and four columns of classified advertisements.