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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 7, 1869

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To The Public
(Column 01)
Summary: J. M. Cooper announces he has sold his share in the Valley Spirit to Augustus Duncan and William S. Stenger.
(Names in announcement: J. M. Cooper, William S. Stenger)
General Meade and the Rebel Dead
(Column 02)
Summary: Gives high praise for General Meade's speech at Gettysburg, which included a call for burying Confederate dead as a matter of honor. Contrasts this noble action with those of Geary, who apparently expressed nothing but contempt for Confederate living and dead at Antietam.
Full Text of Article:

Humanity has been terribly outraged, ever since the close of the war, by the revengeful teachings of the Radical party.--Its leaders have continually breathed forth threatenings and slaughter against the living men of the South. But this vindictive spirit has not been leveled only at the living. The dead actors in the rebellion have been followed to their graves with all the maledictions that Radical fanatics could make use of. On every battle field which witnessed the triumph of the Union armies, the Rebel dead were thrown by scores into trenches hastily dug for the purpose and there they have remained to this day.--Whenever a suggestion has been made that these bones ought to be collected and placed in some enclosed ground, the suggester has been denounced as a sympathizer with treason. No Radical has ventured to suggest the propriety of such action because he knew that it would cost him his place if he holds one now or prevent him from ever obtaining preferment if he is an aspirant for office.

But thanks to General George G. Meade, the suggestion has at last been made. He has made it with a desire for its circulation throughout the Union, for the occasion of its utterance was one which drew upon him the eyes of all American citizens. Standing upon the battle field of Gettysburg--surrounded by some of the men who had been his companions in arms on those eventful days--with all the recollections of the bloody scenes which his eye then witnessed crowding upon his memory--remembering the heroism displayed and the self-sacrificing disposition manifested by the Rebel soldiery, stamping them emphatically as brave men--he uttered these noble words:

There is one subject my friends, which I will mention now, and on this spot, where my attention is being called to it, and on which I trust my feeble voice will have some influence. When I contemplate this field, I see here and there, marked with hastily dug trenches, in which the dead whom we fought are gathered. They are the work of my brothers in arms the day after the battle. Above them a bit of plank indicates simply that these remains of the fallen were hurriedly laid there by soldiers who met them in battle. Why should we not collect them in some suitable place? I do not ask that a monument be erected over them; I do not ask that we should in any way indorse their cause or their conduct, or entertain other than feelings of condemnation for their course. But they are dead! They have gone before their Maker to be judged. In all civilized countries it is the usage to bury the dead with decency and respect, and even to fallen enemies respectful burial is accorded in death. (Applause) I earnestly hope that this suggestion may have some influence throughout this broad land, for this is only one among a hundred crowded battle fields, that some persons may be designated by the Government, if necessary, to collect these neglected bones and bury them without commemorating monuments, but simply indicating that below sleep misguided men who fell in battle for a cause over which we triumphed.

At last, the voice of a great soldier has risen above the storm of passion. On an occasion most appropriate, whilst paying respect and honor to the brave men who laid down their lives on the altar of the Union, he seizes the opportunity to remind us all that our revengeful feelings should be suppressed at the portals of the grave. It is the voice of him who was the central figure of the Union Army in the decisive battle of Gettysburg. It is the voice of him who gave the word of command which summoned our bravest and best to the conflict. It is the voice of him who watched the ever-changing tide of battle for three days and who is therefore competent to attest the valor of his foes. When such a man utters such words, it gives good ground for hope that "the sober second thought" may soon return to the people of the North and cause them to banish from their hearts the bitter feelings which they have manifested towards the South--towards her living and her dead--ever since the end of the war.

When we heard him say with peculiar and striking emphasis, after condemning their cause and their course, "but they are dead," we felt the highest admiration for the man who would not allow loyal timeservers and flatterers to sway his judgement, suppress his feelings and bind his mouth shut on this subject.

But what a withering rebuke this language was to His Excellency John W. Geary! He sat upon the same platform.--He was surrounded by the same sleeping heroes. The same Southern valor must have been recalled by him. But Geary entertains no such lofty principles. His sense of propriety never taught him to speak in any terms but those of indecency of his dead foes. He must have remembered, whilst these words fell from the lips of General Meade, how he had outraged the nobler feelings of humanity and reflected dishonor upon the American states, by the utterance of language at Antietam, in relation to the Rebel dead which would have been far more becoming to a Hottentot or a South Sea Islander, than to the humblest American citizen, much like the Chief Magistrate of the great State of Pennsylvania. And remembering this, the blush of shame ought to have mantled his cheeks as he heard the victorious General of Gettysburg give expression to the high-toned sentiment so totally at variance with the ignoble sentiment to which he gave expression at Antietam.

A New Deal
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Summary: The paper endorses election of an entirely new legislature this fall. Republicans and some Democrats, the editors charge, need to be thrown out of a house that has become corrupt.

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Farewell Sermon
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Summary: The Rev. William F. Eyster delivered his farewell sermon as pastor of the Lutheran Church in Greencastle before departing for his new position as principal of the Hagerstown Female Seminary.
(Names in announcement: Rev. William F. Eyster)
Franklin County Graduates
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Summary: Miss Alice Garver and Miss E. M. Garver of Scotland, Franklin County, both graduated from the Hagerstown Female Seminary.
(Names in announcement: Alice Garver, E. M. Garver)
Our Boys
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Summary: Chambersburg's Silver Cornet Band and the Housom Zouaves militia company both participated in recent ceremonies at Gettysburg.
(Column 06)
Summary: Mrs. Harriet Roberts, wife of James Roberts, died in Mercersburg on June 18th. She was 60 years old.
(Names in announcement: Harriet Roberts, James Roberts)
(Column 06)
Summary: Elder Daniel Kearschling and Miss Sallie Bartls of Maryland were married on June 24th by the Rev. Thomas Creigh.
(Names in announcement: Elder Daniel Kearschling, Sallie Bartls, Rev. Thomas Creigh)

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