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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: February 8, 1865

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-3

The War Over -- What Then?
(Column 4)
Summary: Predicts that the Republican party is feeling a loss now that the war is over and it no longer can use the military to impose its power on the people.
Origin of Article: Age
Full Text of Article:

The effect, upon parties, of the end of the war is beginning to be much discussed. The Abolitionists cannot but feel that, with the end of the war, must come a terrible shock to their power as a party. They know that it must at once cut off from them hundreds of thousands whose pecuniary interest alone led them to sustain an administration that was profitable, and who, contracts being unattainable, and the myriads of forms which executive patronage can assume only in time of war being no longer available, will abandon the party to which they have for four years been giving a purchased and heartless support. The war has given the party now dominant, engines all powerful for the crushing of its political opponents. These engines will be no longer available, or even have existence, when the strife shall cease. The Abolitionists, while the war lasted, could absolutely control the ballot boxes. They could call to their aid the influence of military officers upon Democratic soldiers in the field, compelling the latter, whose comfort, and even whose lives were at the mercy of their superiors in the military rank, to suppress their own sentiments, or even to assume the political notions of those superiors--which superiors were controlled in turn for their dependence upon an Abolition administration for military promotion. This element of strength will be destroyed by the return of peace. The vast armies of political spies, mouchards, government detectives, provost marshals, deputy provost marshals, deputy-deputies, commissioners of drafts, enrolling officers, recruiting officers, examining surgeons, inspectors of horses, inspectors of mules, inspectors of every conceivable thing used in the army, agents to buy and agents to sell, fellows between the two latter in complicity to both and making "good things" out of their jobs, the swarms of officials connected with the machinery by which trade was regulated between "loyal," insurgent and semi-insurgent communities, confiscation agents, additional turnkeys to the densely populated bastiles, petty lords of military hospitals all over the land, dilapidated preachers of easy virtue who had calls to "support the government," not particularly by preaching or praying, but by pocketing with commendable regularity the salaries of the chaplaincies--all these, and thousands upon thousands of others not enumerated, could be relief upon always to labor diligently for the success of the party from whom they had their daily bread, well buttered. All that is over now--if the war be really ended.

Just so soon as the Abolition party shall be stripped of the power to bribe, to intimidate, to force acquiescence in their monstrous wrongs, will come their doom; and when they shall be obliged, unsustained by the agencies of which we have spoken, to confront the disenthralled people at the polls, God pity them!

Democrats might well rejoice to witness the close of the war. Bonfires, illuminations, bell ringings, the loud booming of artillery, would but inad[e]quately express their joy at the prospect of restored vitality to the will of the governed.--Age.

Religion and the Government
(Column 4)
Summary: Criticizes the President's decision to allow Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, an outspoken abolitionist, to speak at the raising of the United States flag over Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
Origin of Article: German Reformed Messenger
Full Text of Article:

If anybody thinks the American government has no righteous bias, he is most egregiously mistaken. It seeks to appear neutral, but it is not difficult to discern which way it leans. Its religion, however, is of a very utilitarian character. It compliments most those churches or religious bodies, which serve its interest best according to its notion. Those bodies which have thrown themselves most cordially into the worldly current receive its chief attention. And it seems meet that they should thus have their reward.

We notice in a recent order from the President, that the United States flag is to be erected over Fort Sumter, Charleston harbor, with imposing ceremonies. This is all right. That flag deserves to be honored on the spot where treason first trailed it in the dust. To this there can be no objection. But it is also ordered, that Rev. Henry Ward Beecher shall be invited to deliver an address on the occasion. We suspected that something like this would take place, when it was reported, a short time ago, that Henry Ward was closeted with the President, in Washington. It was given out also, at the time, that said Reverend gentleman expressed a desire to preach the gospel (?) in Charleston, as soon as it should fall into the hands of our forces. No doubt some such desire was expressed to the President, and, as a result, Mr. Beecher is now invited to deliver an address on the occasion referred to.

The order seems to us to be in bad taste. It looks like a taunt to the South. It is not usual to call clergymen from the sacred desk to deliver orations on such occasions. It is known that Henry Ward Beecher is most obnoxious to the people of the South. To parade him before a fallen foe does not seem to argue either great courage or magnanimity. If Mr. Beecher wishes to preach tot he people of that fallen city, let him go and preach. But why should the government select him for such a mission? Is his Christianity the purest and the best? Does the government intend to express its partiality for his system and creed? What is the object?

There is something grand and inspiring in the elevation of the old flag over the ruins of Sumter, by Gen. Anderson. But that the occasion should be improved by a stump speech from Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, seems to us a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous.


Trailer: A.
Political Assassination
(Column 6)
Summary: Says it is "unfair" and "absurd" for newspapers in England and France to consider Lincoln's assassination evidence that Americans are incapable of self-government.

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Description of Page: Official dispatches reporting on Union General Sherman's conference with Confederate General Johnson, columns 5-7

The New Era
(Column 1)
Summary: Argues that the nation will be in good hands with President Johnson--a southerner himself--directing the reconstruction.
Full Text of Article:

Since the taking of Richmond, the capture of Mobile and the surrender to General Sherman of the army under command of General Johnson, it must have become apparent to every one that the great rebellion, which for four years has deluged our country with fraternal blood, and placed in jeopardy the very existence of free government, has at length received its death blow. The government set up by those in rebellion has been dispersed, its President a fugitive, its finances broken down beyond repair, and its armies utterly defeated and destroyed. With no organized force in the field, with the exception of the army of Kirby Smith, west of the Mississippi, the rebellion may be considered as crushed--dead beyond resurrection. The military power has thus effected all that it can do towards the restoration of the Union, and other agencies must now be invoked to restore the country to its former condition of unity and prosperity.

Many of the questions which have agitated and divided public opinion in the Northern States during the progress of the rebellion, have ceased to have any practical importance, whilst the continued discussion of others, yet of interest to the people, can result in effecting no good purpose. The emancipation policy of the party now control[l]ing the destinies of the country, is fixed and determined, and no amount of opposition can change or alter it during the continuance of that party in power. The Democracy have warmly and persistently opposed this policy ever since its inauguration. They have opposed it for the reason that it was in manifest violation of the Constitution of the country, and in the belief that a continuance in it would retard, instead of hasten, the suppression of the rebellion and the restoration of the authority of the government over the rebellious States. They believed, and still believe, that a continuance in that policy to the end to which its advocates confidently expect it to lead, namely: the elevation of the negro to a position of social and political equality with the white man, will prove a curse instead of a blessing to the black as well as to the white race; but inasmuch as its adherents will retain power for the next four years, during which period its bad or good results will have been fully developed, further active opposition can do no good and may as well be abandoned; it may therefore for the present, be considered a dead issue. The war being now practically at an end, the best mode of conducting it can no longer be a subject of controversy. Thus these old grounds of difference lose their importance and new and delicate issues claim public attention.

The administration of President Johnson in its work of restoration, will necessarily have many subjects of difficulty to meet. Subjects fraught with important consequences to the country. He has as yet made no declaration of the policy which will govern him in the duties of his position, but promises to deal with questions as they arise and make his policy known by his acts. That he will [be] disposed to punish with severity the instigators and leaders of the rebellion, is most certain, but that he will be lenient and conciliatory to their deluded followers, the masses of the Southern people, is equally beyond doubt. His course, however, in this respect, is only of importance to us in its bearing on the difficult and delicate work of re-constructing, re-organizing and restoring the seceded States to their position in the Union. The policy which will govern in this great work is a matter of great interest to the people of the country at this time, as on it will depend the permanency of peace and the future prosperity of our country and people. For our part we are hopeful, and are disposed to believe that his course will meet general approval and be conducive to the best interests of all.

Mr. Johnson is emphatically a man of the people. Born and raised in the South, there is, perhaps, no public man who so well understands the temper and views of the people of that section, or can make better use of those influences on which reliance must be placed, to convince the larger portion of the Southern population that their true interests are adverse to those of the men who excited the rebellion. To secure the cooperation of the Southern people in the work of re-construction, would seem to us less difficult under a southern man of Mr. Johnson's stamp, than under any other, and hence we deem it fortunate that such a man was in a position to succeed our murdered President in the administration of the government at such a critical conjuncture in the affairs of the country. The intellectual ability and force of character possessed by him, and displayed in every position which he has occupied, leave no room to doubt his capacity to fill the high position devolved upon him with credit to himself and his democratic training. He was born and raised a Democrat, and we much doubt if those principles of democracy, imbibed in youth and strengthened in manhood, have lost their hold upon him and given place to their opposites. In the settlement of many questions of the most vital importance to the interests of the people which will arise during his administration, we expect to see his native democracy cropping out and asserting itself. We feel assured that the day of New England's ascendency in the councils of the nation is fast passing away, and that the administration of President Johnson will be more in accordance with the views of the people of the Middle and Western States than of those who have so long ruled us with a high hand. Truly this is a consummation devoutly to be wished. In the new era upon which the country has entered, the path of duty to the Democracy is a plain one. In the future, as in the past, they will make every sacrifice of treasure and blood to sustain the government in its efforts to suppress treason and rebellion, and yield a willing obedience to every Constitutional act tending to that end. During the progress of the fearful contest, which for four long years has convulsed the country, they have pursued the even tenor of their way in this path regardless of the malignant slanders, and the bitter persecutions of their political enemies. On every battle-field of the republic thousands of its adherents have sealed their devotion to their country with their blood and attested the patriotism of the good old party.

Every measure of the new administration for the pacification of the country and calculated to restore it to its former condition of greatness and prosperity should, and will, receive the hearty support of all true Democrats. If in the progress of events under the new administration, its measures or policy should come in conflict with the established principles of the Democratic party, its dissent will, as heretofore, be expressed fearlessly, not however in a factious spirit, but with a view to is change or abandonment.

Andrew Johnson
(Column 2)
Summary: Provides a biographical sketch of the new President. Emphasizes that he was raised in indigent circumstances, but went on to educate himself and win his first elective office, mayor of Greenville, Tennessee, in 1830.
Remains of President Lincoln
(Column 2)
Summary: Describes the procession that carried President Lincoln's remains from Washington to Springfield, Illinois. Notes that the funeral train stopped in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where crowds of people assembled to pay their respects.
The Country and the New President
(Column 3)
Summary: Argues that the tragic circumstances under which Andrew Johnson has assumed the presidency demand that even his opponents should support his efforts to reconstruct the nation.
Origin of Article: World
The Dawning of Peace
(Column 4)
Summary: Applauds the Secretary of War's termination of the draft, as well as his orders to stop additional purchases of arms, ammunition, and other military supplies. Sees this as an indication that the administration is placing the greatest priority on guaranteeing peace.
Origin of Article: Age

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Description of Page: Report on the mourning of Lincoln's death in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, column 3, classified ads, columns 2-7

Funeral of the Late President
(Column 1)
Summary: Describes Chambersburg's solemn observance of Lincoln's death.
(Names in announcement: C. S. EysterEsq.)
Full Text of Article:

The day set apart for the obseq[u]ies of the late President in the city of Washington was observed by our citizens in a manner befitting the mournful occasion. All business was suspended and the solemn deportments of our people during the day evinced that they fully participated in the feelings of grief caused by the atrocious crime by which the Chief Magistrate of the nation was cut off at a most critical conjuncture of public affairs. Nearly every residence, office, workshop and dwelling in the town was draped with the sombre emblems of mourning. Sadness appeared to pervade the entire community and every countenance wore the impress of grief at the loss of a friend. The interior of the different places of worship were appropriately clothed in black and at 12 o'clock, services of the most solemn and impressive character were had in each. In the afternoon a procession of the Military, Fire Companies, the different benevolent Associations and citizens generally was formed which after passing through the principal streets halted at the Depot where an eloquent and appropriate address was delivered by C.S. Eyster, Esq., the orator selected for the occasion by the committee of arrangements. During the progress of the procession through the streets minute guns were fired by a battery of artillery and the toll of the church bells added solemnity to the display.

It is with pleasure that we chronicle the fact that not a single instance of disorder occurred during the entire day. Every one seemed fully impressed with the solemnity of the time and deported themselves accordingly.

Stammering and Piles
(Column 2)
Summary: Announces that Dr. J. H. Barr, "the great master of impediments of speech," will visit Chambersburg next week to offer cures for stammering and piles.
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Announces that Rev. J. McKendrie Reilly, of Baltimore, will deliver a lecture next Thursday evening in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Tickets are available for 25 cents each at the book stores of J. N. Snider, S. S. Shryock, and T. J. Wright. The subject of his speech will be "Our Age, Country, and Bible."
(Names in announcement: J. N. Snider, S. S. Shryock, T. J. Wright)
(Column 6)
Summary: Rev. G. Roth married George Beitsch, of Allegheny county, and Elizabeth Pressler on April 26.
(Names in announcement: George Beitsch, Rev. G. Roth, Elizabeth Pressler)
(Column 6)
Summary: Rev. Dr. Schneck married Isaac Heckman and Sophia Gipe on April 20.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Dr. Schneck, Isaac Heckman, Sophia Gipe)

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Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-7