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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: June 29, 1864

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Description of Page: Article covers the entire page.

Dedication of the Site for the Battle Monument at West Point: Speech of General McClellan
(Column 1)
Summary: Prints General McClellan's speech from a ceremony to dedicate a monument to West Point graduates who have fallen in the war.
Origin of Article: New York Tribune

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Description of Page: Fiction, columns 1-3, classified ads, columns 4-6

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Description of Page: Agricultural hints, column 1; classified ads, columns 2-6

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The Valley Spirit: For the Campaign
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces that the Valley Spirit will be furnished in folio form beginning on August 3 through the Presidential election so that readers in remote areas can be sure to have Democratic news.
The Military Situation
(Column 1)
Summary: Laments that Union forces have suffered a series of defeats in Virginia recently.
Full Text of Article:

The news from the front is not as encouraging as we could wish. Secretary Stanton has ceased issuing war bulletins for the reason that our military operations recently have been a series of defeats and disappoin[t]ments. The disaster to a portion of our left wing on Wednesday last must have been a severe mortification to the whole army. It seems the rebels succeeded in capturing an entire brigade of Union troops. General Hunter's movement against Lynchburg has also proved a failure. He was repulsed in the direct attack upon that city, and now it is semi-officially announced that he is in retreat to West Virginia. Thus ends the second combined movement against the rebel capital. The first failed when Sigel was beaten in the Valley and Butler failed in his assault upon Fort Darling. The second great combined movement was to isolate the rebel capital by cutting off its communications on every side. Grant himself was to capture Petersburg, Hunter Lynchburg, and Sheridan was to destroy the Gordonsville Railroad. Each of these movements has resulted in a failure, and General Grant must now form new combinations. It is idle any longer to talk of starving out the rebels. The roads northwest and southwest from Richmond are no longer even menaced. The only real good news at hand is that the road south from Petersburg is securely in possession of our army. This is no doubt an inconvenience to the rebels, but that is all. It of itself effects no important object. We wish we could write in a more hopeful strain; but the people are entitled to know the truth.

The $300 Commutation Clause
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that the US Senate voted to repeal the commutation clause of the enrollment bill. The Spirit suggests that the substitute clause be repealed too.
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Authors defend themselves against criticism from the Repository about the Valley Spirit's language in a recent article about Lincoln's and Johnson's renominations.
Full Text of Article:

The Repository seems to have been much exercised by an article in a recent issue of our paper, copied as an editorial from the New York World, in which "Old Abe" is denominated "a rail-splitting buffoon," and Andy Johnston "a boorish tailor." The deduction by the Repository therefrom that "it (the SPIRIT) revolts at the propositions to elect a laborer and a mechanic to the first offices of the nation" is, to say the least of it, disingenuous, and as refreshing a specimen of claptrap as has lately come under our notice. A rails-plitter [sic], having opportunities of culture and improving them, may become a learned and able statesman; and a tailor by the same means, may attain an exalted position and occupy it worthily; but a rail-splitting "buffoon" is scarcely the man to whom the helm of a great nation should be confided in the hour of its most imminent peril; nor is a "boorish" tailor, best fitted to preside in the most dignified body of the world. It is not only buffoons who are "rail-splitters," and tailors who are "boors," that are unfitted for such exalted positions as the presidency and Vice Presidency, in times like the present. We would make the same objection to buffoons and boors from any other station in life, whether lawyers, doctors, clergymen, or even newspaper editors. If President Lincoln has shaken off his buffoonery and risen up to the full standard of statesmanship required in his position by the perils which environ the country, and if Andy Johnston has acquired, by culture, sufficient knowledge to entitle him to respect in the sphere to which he aspires, the fact that the one was a rail-splitter, and the other a tailor, would not, in our opinion, unfit them for the highest positions ever attained by mortal men; but if "Abe," when he ceased splitting rails, still remained a buffoon, and "Andy," when he relinquished an honest calling to play demagogue, still remained a boor--as we have good reason to believe is the case--we have nothing to take back, and are free to say that this precious pair of worthies are not the men to manage with credit to themselves, or profit to the country, the affairs of this great Republic in a contest, which, if controlled much longer by unskilled hands, may prove its death struggle.

General McClellan's Oration
(Column 3)
Summary: Calls General McClellan's speech at West Point "one of the finest productions of modern times."
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Suggests that rather than criticizing General McClellan for leaving Washington exposed, Republican papers should turn their attention to Lincoln's "broken pledge" to provide McClellan with assistance.
The Rejection of Hamlin
(Column 5)
Summary: Supports the decision of delegates to the Baltimore Republican Convention to keep Hannibal Hamlin's name off the ticket for Vice President.
Origin of Article: Johnstown Democrat
Abraham's Pets
(Column 5)
Summary: Opposes the good conditions in which blacks live at a Freedman's Colony in New York.
Full Text of Article:

Says the N.Y. Herald's Washington correspondent: "Over a thousand contrabands arrived here to-day from the White House, and were sent to Colonel Green's Freedman's Colony. All the men able to work are employed in the Quarter master's Department. The Colony is in a most thriving condition, having three thousand acres under a high state of cultivation, and crops of wheat and rye that promise a harvest valued at ten thousand dollars." This is how the negroes stay in the South, as we were told they would by our Abolition friends. This is how they are taken care of and feasted on the fat of the land while soldiers families are suffering the pangs of want--not to mention the fact that poor white Union refugees are daily starving for food and perishing of hardships.

Another Convict Pardoned
(Column 5)
Summary: Reports that the Pennsylvania Governor has pardoned a black soldier who shot and killed a white man at Camp William Penn last fall.
The Fourth of July
(Column 6)
Summary: Urges readers to celebrate the Fourth of July in spite of the present sectional hostilities.
Full Text of Article:

The an[n]iversary of our National Independence is fast approaching, but as yet we have heard of no arrangement being in progress, in our midst, for its proper observance. We are sorry to observe of late years, a decreasing interest, on the part of our citizens in properly celebrating the nation's birth-day and would be pleased to again participate in an old-fashioned celebration, Spread-Eagle "oration," "regular toasts," "volunteer toasts" and all. For upwards of eighty years our country has been blessed beyond all the nations of the earth, enjoying a degree of happiness and prosperity without a parallel, all resulting from the actions of our fathers on the 4th day of July 1776. This accursed rebellion now afflicting our beloved country, fostered and kept alive as it is, by the mistaken policy of those who are charged with its suppression must end sometime, and prosperity and peace once more bless us with their smiles. Let us, then, keep up the usual celebration of the day, even during the present troubles of the country: hoping that in the end we may have another day on which to celebrate the re-union of these states under the constitution our fathers gave us, and under the folds of that Star Spangled flag, which for eig[h]ty-eight years, has been as a beacon to the oppressed of all nations, and the pride and glory of a free people.

(Column 6)
Summary: Reports that because this region has been spared from troops moving through in recent months, this year's hay crop is an excellent one.
(Column 6)
Summary: Lists injuries received recently by members of the 107th Pennsylvania Volunteers: Capt. D. S. Mathews, Company I, leg, severe; Lieut. John S. Williams, Company F, abdomen, severe; Private Daniel Sonem, Company I, shoulder, slight; Private S. Jones, Company K, ankle, severe; Private Wesley Iser, Company B, neck, severe; Private John Campbell, Company C, toe, slight; Private James Conner, Company H, thigh, severe; Private Thomas Polk, Company I, knee, slight.
(Names in announcement: Capt. D.S. Mathews, Lieut. John S. Williams, Private Daniel Sonem, Private S. Jones, Private Wesley Iser, Private John Campbell, Private James Conner, Private Thomas Polk)

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Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 2-6

Terrible Accident
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that David Holler was involved in an accident with his mower that resulted in the amputation of his leg.
21st Penna Cavalry
(Column 1)
Summary: Notes that since the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry has been moved to the front, three officers have been injured and only one--Major Bell--is left to take command.
(Names in announcement: Col. Boyd, Lt. Col. Mosham, Major Gillis, Major Bell)
Colored Substitutes
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the Provost Marshal has authorized the enlistment of black substitutes for white persons.
Full Text of Article:

It is said that Provost Marshal General Fry has issued instructions to the various Provost Marshals that, under existing laws, they can receive or accept colored substitutes for white persons. The decision will naturally cause a great reduction of the rates demanded for white substitutes.

Vocal and Instrumental Concert
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces that the Young Ladies of the Seminary will be giving a concert next Thursday evening at 8 o'clock in Franklin Hall. Proceeds will go to the Christian Commission.
(Column 3)
Summary: On June 16, Rev. S. McHenry married Andrew Henry and Lizzie Peifer.
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. McHenry, Andrew Henry, Lizzie Peifer)
(Column 3)
Summary: On June 2, Rebecca Susan Coble, wife of George Coble, Jr., and daughter of Robert and Caroline Clugston, died at age 26 years, 5 months and 3 days.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Rebecca Susan Coble, George CobleJr., Robert Clugston, Caroline Clugston)
(Column 3)
Summary: Mrs. Christian Burkholder died on June 22 at age 63 years, 6 months and 17 days.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Christian Burkholder)
(Column 3)
Summary: On June 16, the infant child of Isaac Shank died at age 28 days.
(Names in announcement: Isaac Shank)
(Column 3)
Summary: William Stoeppler, son of Andrew and Mary Stoeppler, died on June 26 at age 2 years, 1 month and 11 days.
(Names in announcement: William Stoeppler, Andrew Stoeppler, Mary Stoeppler)

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Description of Page: Dispatches describing troop movement near Petersburg, Virginia, columns 1-2, classified ads, columns 3-6

(Column 2)
Summary: Summarizes recent proceedings of the US Congress, including a successful vote in the Senate to eliminate the commutation clause of the enrollment act.
The Bill Increasing the Pay of Soldiers is Now a Law
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports that the President has approved legislation that will increase the pay of soldiers in the US army.

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Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-6

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Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-6

Latest Telegraphic News!
(Column 1)
Summary: Describes skirmishing around Petersburg and unsuccessful Confederate charges on Union entrenchments.
Full Text of Article:

[By the Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Line--Office in Shryock's Book Store and at the Depot.]

Reported Expressly for THE VALLEY SPIRIT.

Latest from the Army of the Potomac.

Washington, June 27.

The steamer Highland Light, arrived here at 11 o'clock from City Point which place she left at 11 o'clo[c]k yesterday morning.

The Highland Light brought up the 8th Ohio volunteers, 151 officers and men.

There has been no very heavy firing within the last few days, but skirmishing is kept up all along the line. The cannonading at times is heard. Firing was heard about 5 miles from Bermuda Hundred on Saturday, where General Butler is entrenched.

The enemy made an attack upon Butler's entrenchments but did not succeed in effecting anything and were driven off. On Saturday the rebels attacked Sheridan's rear at Wilcox's landing, and captured a few of his men.

A brigade of Infantry was at once despatched to protect Sheridan's rear, and the enemy was kept back till Sheridan had succeeded in crossing the river with the entire train.

The Railroad is advanced five miles from City Point toward Petersburg.

Yesterday, just before the Highland Light left, heavy firing was heard in the direction of Petersburg. On Saturday night the rebels made an attack on our pickets about the centre of our line as they were being relieved but were repulsed with little or no loss to our troops.

On the Heights beyond Petersburg the rebels have an 18 gun battery bearing upon the centre of our line in front of that place. This battery has been very troublesome and so far has proved too heavy for any artillery that we have brought against it.

Wilson has gone on another cavalry expedition and good news from him may be expected soon.

A rebel Captain and four privates came into Butler's lines on Friday and took the oath of allegiance.

Two hundred rebel prisoners were at City Point yesterday morning.

Latest News By the Mails!
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the President has approved legislation that will increase the pay of soldiers in the US army.
Full Text of Article:

General Grant's Army.
Wilson's Cavalry Destroying the Track of the Weldon Railroad--The Second and Sixth Corps Moved Toward the Railroad Lee Attempts to Turn our Right Flank--The Second Corps Meets H-- Corps--An Engagement Ensues--The Twelfth New York Artillery Loses Four Guns Heavy Firing in front of the Nineth Corps--Return of the Third Excelsior Regiment.

H.Q. Army of the Potomac,
June 23--6, A.M.

Wilson's division of cavalry have moved off in the direction of the Weldon Railroad. When last heard from they had reached Reim's Station, and were tearing up the track.

The Second and Sixth Corps moved from their old position on the right toward the Weldon Railroad.

Lee seems to have anticipated a movement by our left, and determined to turn our right flank.

When near the Jerusalem Plank Road, the Second Corps was confronted by Gen. Hill's Corps, and a smart engagement ensued.

A battery of the Twelfth New York Artillery was annoying the Rebels, who succeeded in getting round in the flank, and charged it.

The infantry support being surprised, retired, leaving four guns in the hands of the enemy; but our line of battle was soon reformed.

The men had become accustomed to Lee's new practice of acting entirely on the defensive, and must have been confused by his bold assault.

Two divisions of the Fifth Corps were within easy supporting distance on the right, and the Sixth was ready for any hostilities on the left.

Several charges were made by the Rebels, who suffered severely.

There was heavy firing in front of the Ninth Corps about midnight. At times the musketry broke out into regular volleys. The firing lasted all night.

H.Q. Army of the Potomac, June 24.

Maj. Holt, of the First Massachusetts, is slightly wounded.

It is reported that the Seventeenth New York battery has lost four guns by being surprised.

Skirmishing was continued all last night on our left, but with what result is not yet known.

The Third Excelsior Regiment, Lieut. Col. Leonard Commanding, will leave here, to morrow, for home, their term of service having expired. This regiment participated in all the battles of the Peninsula, under Gen. McClellan,a nd with the exception of Antietam, all those in which the Army of the Potomac have been engaged.

Fortress Monroe,
June 28--5 P.M.

The mail steamer Charles Vandebilt, from Bermuda Hundred, reports no fighting up to 10 o'clock this morning.

There is nothing later from the Whtie House, and no particulars from Sheridan since his arrival there.

General Grant's Army.
Details of Wednesday's Right on the Weldon Railroad From Gen. Hunter.

H.Q. Army of the Potomac, June 23.

The attack upon the Second corps on Wednesday, near the Weldon railroad, did not result so disastrously as was at first supposed.

The line was formed by Barlow's division being on the left, Birney's (Gen. Mott in command) on the centre, and Gibbons on the right.

It was expected that the Sixth Corps would have connected on the left with Burlow, but it seems quite a gap was left, into which A.P. Hill's corps entered, and before our men were aware of it they had received a volley from the rear which created a panic in the ranks and caused a rapid retreat to the woods in the rear of the third division.

This left the flank of the third division unprotected, and the enemy, taking advantage of it, charged through and fairly late the rifle pits, ordering our men to surrender.

The troops, however, left the trenches and fell back rapidly, but many of them were captured and quite a number killed and wounded.

Our loss in prisoners is reported at about 1,000 while some make the figure higher. Our loss in killed and wounded is probably 1,500.

Four officers engaged in this fight had just joined their commands after being exchanged, and when surrounded and ordered to surrender replied, "Never! death rather than Libby!" and fighting their way as best they could, several of them got back safe.

At 8 p.m., a change was made by the 2d corps and the line of works from which they had been forced in the afternoon recovered.

We lost scarcely a man in this advance, as the enemy fired too high and the balls all passed over the heads of our men.

A number of prisoners were taken.

Skirmishing was kept up all night along the line, the pickets being at some points not more than 50 yards apart.

At daylight this morning an advance of the entire line was made, when it was found the enemy had taken a new position, some distance further back, where they had thrown up strong entrenchments during the night, which they still hold.

Col. Blaisdell, 11th Mass., was killed today by a sharpshooter while visiting the skirmish line.

W. H. Child of the 45th Pennsylvania regiment, who was but a few days ago promoted from Sergeant Major of the regiment, to Lieutenant of Co. F. of the same, was shot dead by a rebel sharpshooter on Tuesday evening.

The 6th Corps moved towards the railroad this morning, driving the enemy before them and during the afternoon reported that they were in possession of the road, and arrangements were at once made to destroy it.

At 5 p.m., a large force of the enemy were seen moving towards the the [sic] front as if to resist the advance of the 6th corps. An engagement in that direction is expected tonight.

June 24--5 P.M.--Nothing but picket firing took place during the evening or night, and very little is going on this morning.

From Gen. Hunter's Command.

The War Department today received information from Gen. Hunter's command, which, having fulfilled the mission on which it was sent, (the destruction of the Central railroad in the vicinity of Stanton, and the Gordonville and Lynchburg railroad and an important portion of the James River canal.) is successfully pressing forward to the point in Western Virginia, to which it was ordered.