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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 6, 1864

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Poetry, column 1

Exclusive Loyalty
(Column 2)
Summary: Chastizes Lincoln for suggesting that only those men who vote for him are truly "loyal" to the Union.
Origin of Article: Age
(Column 3)
Summary: Defends General McClellan against criticism that he was "slow" when he was in command.
Origin of Article: Journal of Commerce
'Horrid War'--The Dead in the Wilderness
(Column 4)
Summary: Prints letter from a New York soldier that describes the carnage he saw in the Wilderness after the battle there.
Origin of Article: Rochester Democrat
The Rebels Endorse Lincoln and Johnson. They Chuckle Over Their Nomination
(Column 4)
Summary: Notes that Richmond newspapers have been applauding the renomination of Lincoln and have suggested that Lincoln has made the South "the most united people ever."
Another Abolition Rascal
(Column 5)
Summary: Reports on more Republican leaders who have been charged with fraud and other crimes of corruption.
No Commutation Hereafter
(Column 6)
Summary: Criticizes the recent congressional vote to eliminate commutation.
Origin of Article: New York Herald

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Poetry and fiction, columns 1-4; classified ads, columns 5-6

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 2-6

Patriotic Gardening
(Column 1)
Summary: Urges readers to plant a few more vegetables to send to sick and wounded soldiers.

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Dispatch from Kentucky, column 5-6

Deceiving the People
(Column 1)
Summary: Accuses the Republican party of spreading falsehoods and generally deceiving the people into thinking that the North will win the war easily.
Full Text of Article:

The systematic efforts so unceasingly made by the leaders of the Republican party to deceive the people are utterly inexcusable and disgraceful. The practicing of deception and fraud seems to be their trade. Ever since the commencement of the war they have been only too successful in playing upon the credulity of the people and misleading the public mind in reference to the real condition of the country. These men, who are as bad as they are bold, and as corrupt as they are ambitious, by artful devices and unblushing falsehoods, have thus far been pretty successful in duping and misleading the honest, unsuspecting masses of the country, by which means they have been able to carry out their wicked schemes of personal ambition and self-aggrandizement to the almost total ruin of the country.

At the beginning of our troubles they treated the matter lightly, as of very little account. They effected to despise the courage of the South, underrated her resources, told the people the war would be a mere breakfast job for the North--that the Southern people were all cowards and would run at the firing of the first gun. We well remember when it was considered treason in our own town to say that the South would fight, and the man who was rash enough to go upon the streets and let an expression of that kind drop from his lips, stood in the greatest danger of being lynched. He at least would have been threatened with a rope. This was all the result of the deception practiced on the masses of the Republican party by their leaders.

The announcement, by Secretary Seward, that the war would be over in sixty or ninety days, is still fresh in the memory of all who take any interest in the affairs of the country; and we remember distinctly of hearing the present chief editor of the Repository make the safe remark in the summer of 1861, when Patterson's army was lying in the vicinity of Charleston, Va., that if Gen. Fremont had been placed in command of the column instead of Patterson he would have been in Richmond before then! Nothing was too absurd for them to believe, or affect to believe; and no falsehood was too great for them to attempt to palm off on the people as truth. Mr. Seward's sixty or ninety days have rolled into the past more than a dozen times since the prediction was uttered, and the war still rages with unabated fury. General Fremont was subsequently placed in command of a column in Virginia, but did not get much nearer Richmond than Patterson. So much for latter-day prophets.

One would naturally suppose that by this time the most credulous would be convinced that the age of prophets had gone by. But not so. Thousands there are who still permit themselves to be deluded by the absurd prognostications of unprincipled demagogues, and who still look for the suppression of the rebellion at the end of every sixty or ninety days. Experience is a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, says the old adage; but republican fools will not even learn in this, dear as it is.

Before the last State election in Pennsylvania, the people were assured that the rebellion was "on its last legs," that the war was well nigh over, that all that was yet needed was for the people to sustain the administration once more by voting for Curtin, and the thing would be closed out. There would be no more men called for, and very little, if any, fighting to be done, provided the people would vote for Curtin. "Vote For Curtin and Save the Draft," was the rallying cry. Well, the people deliberately walked into the snare that was set for them. They did vote for Curtin, and three days after they had deposited their ballots, to wit, on the 17th day of October, 1863, to their utter amazement, they read in the newspapers, a proclamation from "father Abraham" calling for "300,000 more" men to suppress a rebellion, which they, in the simplicity of their hearts, supposed they had dispatched with their votes. But it did not stop here. A little later 200,000 more were called for; and a little later still, again 200,000 more, making the enormous aggregate of 700,000 men wanted by this administration, to end a war which the people had been assured was substantially ended prior to the second Tuesday of last October. But notwithstanding the magnitude of the call, the people went to work with a will to raise the men. large local bounties were paid by the several sub-districts, in addition to the United States bounty, to obtain volunteers to fill their respective quotas, and thus avoid the draft altogether. Many of the districts were entirely successful; others were nearly so.

To stimulate volunteering, and to encourage the people to bear patiently the heavy drain upon their resources, they were told by the administration leaders that this would positively be the last call that would be made upon them for men; that the war would certainly be brought to a close early in the spring, and that the government simply wanted so large a number of men for the purpose of making assurance doubly sure. The idea was to frighten the South into submission by overwhelming numbers. Even our neighbor, the Repository, assured us that the war would end, without fail, in the spring campaign, "perhaps without another great battle."

How have the predictions and assurances of these imposters [sic] been verified? Let the recent bloody campaign of General Grant from the banks of the Rapidan to the fortifications of Petersburg, and the repeal of the $300 commutation clause in Congress, with another remorseless conscription in prospect, afford the answer.

How long will the people continue to be deceived by these monstrous political quacks and humbugs? How long will they permit themselves to be deluded on to their ruin? Under the policy of the present Administration, this war can never end! Their policy precludes the possibility of such a result. It is against the law of reason, of human nature, and of God. From the very nature of the case the war must be interminable.

If the people want peace they must go back to the principles of common sense from which they have departed. They must hurl from power this imbecile, wicked and corrupt administration. They must elect Statesmen to preside over the destinies of the nation instead of buffoons. Then they may expect to obtain peace and a restored Union, and not until then.

[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Questions the Repository's accusation that the Valley Spirit is a "partisan journal" by suggesting that the Repository is hardly an independent journal itself.
The Rights of the Government
(Column 3)
Summary: Argues that the war is not an excuse for the President and his government to assume dictatorial powers.
Origin of Article: World
(No Title)
(Column 3)
Summary: Sarcastically suggests that the Repository is "honorable" and "very fair" to be supporting Lincoln for President even as it privately doubts his fitness for the job.
Full Text of Article:

The Repository is a very fair paper. It is so fair that it wouldn't misrepresent an opponent for the world. It is also very honorable. We do not think it could be bribed into doing a dishonorable act. It is likewise very truthful. It would rather cut off its right hand than tell a falsehood. In addition to this it is extremely honest. It would never be guilty of publicly advocating the claims of a buffoon to the Presidency, whilst privately entertaining the opinion that "he is not the man for the crisis." In short the Repository is a paragon of fairness, honorableness, truthfulness and honesty! In proof of which we need only refer to the assertion in its last issue that "the Spirit denounces Grant."

Evils of Party
(Column 4)
Summary: Accuses Republican newspapers of "hypocrisy" for speaking out against the danger of political parties and factions.
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Suggests that the Repository has never written anything "profound."
[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: Wonders if Lincoln is involved in "shoddy" businesses since he seems to have money even though he claims he is not drawing a salary as president.
Caesar, Sambo and Pompey
(Column 6)
Summary: Wonders what will come next after black men prove themselves to be good soldiers.
Full Text of Article:

There is a class of people among us who affected to believe that negro soldiers could never be made to fight, and they still pretend to have a contempt for their fighting qualities. But in the Department of the South they have acquitted themselves nobly under circumstances the most trying. They have won imperishable honors at Port Hudson, in Florida, and at Petersburg; and there also comes a highly flattering account of their heroic courage and patient endurance in the fight at Guntown, under the unfortunate Gen Sturgis, who seems to have been, as Western journals have it, "either drunk or crazy." A despatch from Memphis stated that the black soldiers, who came into Memphis after the defeat of Gen. Sturgis, brought their guns with them, while the white ones left theirs behind. If we should "give the, ---well, we will not offend ears polite by naming him--"his due," then surely, we can afford to render to Caesar, Sambo and Pompey all the honors to which they are justly entitled.--Philadelphia News.

The above indicates the probable amount of consideration the Lincolnites have for our white soldiers in general. It is scarcely possible to take up a newspaper in the interest of Lincoln and Johnson which does not contain grandiloquent spread eagle flourishes about the black troops, and comparisons disparaging to our white veterans. Of course there is a reason for all this. Soon it is hoped to extend the right of suffrage to "American citizens of African descent," and that party which has been foremost in laudation of charcoal, and has gone farthest in advocacy of the "divine commingling of races" will be most likely, it is thought, to get the votes of Caesar, Sambo and Pompey. Shoddy will do anything for a little brief authority and a large slice of plunder. The following exaggerations of the Sturgis affair are from other shoddy organs, which read and blush for your poor white relations:

"The colored troops were the last to give way." "The negro troops gathered ammunition from the cast away accoutrements of the white troops, and thus were enabled to keep up the fight until they reached Memphis." "One body of 1,600 (white) infantry which were cut off and supposed to have been captured, were defended by 200 negro troops from the repeated assaults of the rebel cavalry." "Another body of negro troops came in (to Memphis) having escaped by various roads. All brought their arms and accoutrements with them."

-Page 05-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 4-6

Rebel Invasion
(Column 1)
Summary: Discusses the alarm that resulted from indications that Confederate troops were moving down the Valley.
Full Text of Article:

On Sunday afternoon intelligence reached General Couch's headquarters, at this place, that a considerable force of Confederates were moving down the Shenandoah Valley. This was about the sum and substance of the dispatch but as soon as it was made known it assumed every shape that the active imaginations of our people could possibly give it, and created a terrible state of excitement in the community. Our merchants at once commenced packing their goods. The Railroad shops were stripped of their machinery and everything valuable about the premises put aboard the cars. Our streets soon began to fill up with wagons, drays, carriages and wheelbarrows moving in all directions while the side-walks were blocked up with dry goods, groceries and merchandize of every description in readiness for transportation. The exodus of the farmers with their stock soon set in and through Sunday night until noon on Monday it was one continuous stream of horses, mules, cattle and negroes moving in the direction of the Susquehanna. An army wagon train with a large lot of horses from the camp about Hagerstown passed through early on Monday morning. The rebels would have found but little material for plunder between the Potomac and the Susquehanna had they concluded to come over. They, however, would have found one thing that they have not met with on their previous marauding excursions. Every step of their advance down this valley would have been resisted and met with a force they little expected to find here. Gen. Couch on being apprised of their advance made ample preparations to meet and check it effectually. A battery of artillery with a force of infantry and cavalry were brought here so quickly and so quietly that our citizens were as much astonished to find it here as the rebels would have been had they run against it. It was also, we are informed, the determination of Gen. Couch to put the town under martial law and compel every man to take up arms and defend his home. This course would have been approved by every loyal citizen, or man of spirit, in the place. Those skulking cowards who fly on the first sound of approaching danger, but whose "voice is still for war," and who preach up "extermination," would thus have been afforded a fine opportunity to put their doctrines into practice. It also afforded us much gratification to see the efforts of Gen. Couch promptly seconded by a number of our citizens who had formerly been in the military service. They issued a call, with their names attached, for the formation of companies for "Home Defence," and were very active in their exertions to make all needful preparations to meet the expected invasion. We hope to see this spirit kept up for although the excitement is over the danger may not be passed. We must do something to put an end to the disgrace of skedaddling for which our people are becoming so noted on every idle rumor of a rebel raid.

All is quiet here at the present writing. The excitement and alarm has passed from the minds of the people and business has been resumed and going on as formerly. Many of the farmers have already returned with their stock and commenced harvesting again as if nothing had happened to interrupt it. We have many conflicting rumors in circulation as to the whereabouts of the rebels but the general belief is that we are in no great danger of either a raid or an invasion in force at this time.

Another Accident
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Michael Fitzpatrick lost a foot in a mower accident on Jonathan Strock's farm.
(Names in announcement: Michael Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Strock)
(Column 1)
Summary: Urges readers to keep their premises clean and asks that municipal officials do something about filthy streets.
An Item for the Ladies
(Column 2)
Summary: Calls some of the latest women's fashions "scandalously wasteful."
Origin of Article: Patriot and Union
Full Text of Article:

While the ladies throughout the country are forming dress covenants, and pledging themselves not to purchase or wear any article of foreign luxury during the continuance of the war, a co[n]temporary suggests whether it would not be well for them to start another movement, looking not to the prevention of the use of rich materials, but to the prevention of their abuse and waste. With all due deference to the gentler sex, there is still no disguising the fact that some of the present fashions are ridiculous; and sinfully ridiculous, because they are scandalously wasteful. While a silk dress on the back of a woman is an elegant and becoming article of attire, (and the ladies, themselves, say a rather economical one,) the case is widely altered when the costly fabric is made to sweep the sidewalk and to perform a sort of small scavengering. It is no unusual circumstance to see ladies of extravagant tastes not only dragging a yard or two of silk after them upon the pavement, having the bottom of their skirts adorned with lace or quilling, (we believe they call it,) or some other costly gimerackery, to entangle the feet of passers-by, cause dislocations of "gathers," damage to dress and temper, promote unpardonable waste, and add to the general dirtiness. We saw one of these respectable Dorothy Draggletails promenading Market street, the other day, with a silk train fit for a Duchess in the royal "drawing room," sweeping upon the pavement, and, by way of descant at once upon the wasteful extravagance and the folly of the age, dragging after them the wreck of a three-story bonnet and of a double breasted hoop skirt which had been thrown into the street, and which had become entangled in the fine lady's finery. The wearer of the train had no suspicion of the real state of affairs, and she strut along like a peacock with his tail spread, fondly imagining that the sensation she was creating was a tribute to her stunning make-up. We thought of Burns' fine lady at church, with a louse promenading upon her bonnet, and of the familiar lines suggested thereby:

"O wad some power the giftie gie us,

To see ourselves as others see us."

We like to see a woman dress elegantly, and have no objection to her dressing as costly as her means will afford; but we do think that silk is too expensive a material to be used for street cleaning purposes; and further, that the ladies should leave that occupation to the homes when employed by the City Fathers. It is the wasting and not the wearing of silk dresses that is sinful.--Patriot and Union.

Another Victim
(Column 2)
Summary: John Washinger was robbed of sixty dollars at the train depot yesterday morning.
(Names in announcement: John Washinger)
Official Corruption
(Column 4)
Summary: The Tribune, a Republican newspaper, tells of several recent acts of corruption on the part of Union officers.
Origin of Article: Chicago Tribune
(Column 5)
Summary: Rev. P. S. Davis married William A. Fulker and Rebecca S. Knisely on June 25.
(Names in announcement: Rev. P. S. Davis, William A. Fulker, Rebecca S. Knisely)
(Column 5)
Summary: Rev. F. Dyson married J. Clemson Briggs, Esq., of Philadelphia, and Helen S. Rhoads on July 4.
(Names in announcement: Rev. F. Dyson, J. Clemson BriggsEsq., Helen S. Rhoads)
(Column 5)
Summary: Rev. B. McCullom married Robert Carson and Ann Mullan on June 28.
(Names in announcement: Rev. B. McCullom, Robert Carson, Ann Mullan)

-Page 06-

Description of Page: Dispatches from Petersburg, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, and Arkansas, columns 1-3, classified ads, columns 4-6

-Page 07-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-6

-Page 08-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-6

The Army of the Potomac
(Column 1)
Summary: Describes the destruction of twenty miles of railroad near Petersburg.
(Names in announcement: General Wilson, General Meade, Colonel Collis, General Butler, General Grant, General Burnside)
Full Text of Article:

Wilson's Cavalry at Ream's Station--Their Retreat cut off.

Near Petersburg, June 23, 11 P.M.

A large body of rebel cavalry that moved around our left is now at Ream's Station, on the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad.

General Wilson's 3d Division of cavalry passed this place a few days ago, en route for the Danville and Richmond Railroad. They were too slow, and Wilson reached the road, destroying many miles of track before he retraced his steps, meeting no opposition until he neared the point from which he started.

All the track was composed of strap iron, placed upon wooden supports. The one destroyed the other, as the track was torn up and placed upon the wooden sleepers and burned until it was bent and useless. A locomotive and train of cars were surprised at one station, and before the engineer could move off, all were in the hands of our men. The cars were crowded with refugees from Petersburg. All the cars, with the locomotive were destroyed. Having accomplished his work in a most successful manner, General Wilson returned.

Over twenty miles of this valuable road was rendered completely useless in a few hours. When his advance neared Ream's Station the enemy was discovered in force. They had been patiently awaiting his return at this place, and all the cavalry they could muster was spread out between our gallant raiders and their infantry supports. They fought all night and during the morning of this day. Wilson could not push through them, and consequently found he must fight till reinforced. An officer succeeded in reaching General Meade's headquarters with intelligence of their awkward position, and the 6th Corps being on the extreme left and nearest the scene of strife, was instantly despatched there to divert the enemy's attention. A division of the 2d Corps soon followed, supported by Col Collis' provisional brigade. It was thought the rebels in our immediate front would have opened on us savagely, but all were disappointed, their troops having been moving all the afternoon in the direction of our left and rear, on Burnside's line. The rebels begin to use their shells nightly, throwing shell with more accuracy than is their usual habit.

Generals Grant, Meade and Butler met at Gen. Burnside's headquarters to-day. The meeting was unofficial, being of a purely accidental nature.

Confederate Advance on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad--Martinsburg Evacuated.
(Column 1)
Summary: Describes General Ewell's assault on Federal troops at Martinsburg and the subsequent evacuation of the city.
(Names in announcement: General Ewell, General Sigel, Brigadier General Kelley, Brigadier General Max Weber, General Hunter)
Full Text of Article:

Baltimore, July 3

Rumors have been circulating here all day that a large force, under command of General Ewell, had attacked the Federal troops at Martinsburg and compelled the evacuation of the place. The following information in regard to the matter has been received at headquarters, based principally upon despatches from Harper's Ferry.

About daybreak this morning intelligence reached headquarters at Martinsburg to the effect that the rebels were actually approaching in three separate columns; one by way of the turnpike towards Shepardstown, another towards Martinsburg, not far from the line of the railroad, and a third west of it.

It will be remembered that the Department of the Railroad is that of Gen. Hunter, who is assisted by Gen. Sigel, with Brigadier Generals Kelly and Max Weber. Gen. Kelly's force is at Cumberland, where no alarm or excitement exists. General Sigel on receiving information at once prepared to check the approach of the enemy, in order that no movable property should be destroyed.

The troops were drawn up, and at five o'clock fighting commenced in the neighborhood of Bunker Hill, continuing for four or five hours, during which the cavalry fell back to the infantry supports. Ascertaining that the force of the enemy was largely superior to his own, Gen. Sigel determined to evacuate Martinsburg, which was accomplished in good order. He telegraphed to the railroad company here as to the state of affairs and all the movable property was safely carried away. Some heavy trains, filled with supplies for Gen. Hunter, were also gotten off to a place of safety.

A force of the enemy also came by way of North Mountain, 7 miles to the west, with the view, no doubt, of flanking our force, but in this they were disappointed. A despatch received at five o'clock, this evening states that fighting has been going on all day near Lectown, about ten miles from Harper's Ferry and three miles to the left of the railroad, between a force of the enemy that was moving in the direction of Shepardstown pike, and a command that Gen. Sigel had left there to occupy the place. Both forces here engaged are small, and it is reported officially that our troops there had repelled successfully all attacks.

All the freight and passenger trains of the Company were worked successfully through last night, but no express train for the west left Baltimore this evening.

At the last account, no injury had been done to the road or bridge. It is supposed that the invading force is the same sent against Hunter, who is understood to have retired into Western Virginia, toward Ganley, to await the arrival of supplies and ammunition. Finding that Hunter had eluded them it is probable the rebels are now attempting a raid into Maryland.

It is thought the strength of their force has been greatly exag[g]erated and will dwindle down to only a small raiding party; and that they will scarcely venture far beyond the Potomac.

Gen. Sigel has fallen back to Harper's Ferry and holds the strong position on Maryland Heights.

There was great excitement at Hagerstown and Frederick to-day, owing to the exaggerated reports brought by fugitives from Martinsburg.