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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: February 21, 1866

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-Page 01-

The Straightest Sect
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper announces that "the straightest sect" is the new nickname for the "consistent Union men at the South during the war." "The name is very appropriate, when we recollect that the title is scripturally applied to the Pharisees, who were the falsest and most contemptible of hypocrites."
[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper reports that "a delegation of colored men" called on the President and that Frederick Douglass "urged that the right of suffrage should be given the colored race among other rights." The President replied that "he would not adopt a policy which would result in danger to the colored race, and possibly lead to a war of races."

-Page 02-

What Are We To Do?
(Column 02)
Summary: This editorial argues that the course of the radical Republicans in Congress has left Southerners distrustful. Southerners, the editors argue, accepted defeat and kept all the promises made at Appomattox, only to be "threatened with new penalties and forced to live in a constant state of uncertainty and doubt." Nevertheless, the editors urge Southerners to patiently await the result of conflict between President Johnson and Congress in the hope that conservatism will prevail in the North. They owe nothing less to the memory of the Confederacy.
Full Text of Article:

It is useless to deny that the course persued by the Radicals in Congress and their evident determination to grind the Southern people into the dust, if they can, has caused a general feeling of distrust in the South, and produced the desire among many of our most respectable and worthy citizens to emigrate to Mexico or anywhere, so as to be relieved of the present painful feeling of insecurity for the future. The Southern people went into the war for independence honestly; they staked their all upon the issue and when they lost it they honestly submitted to the arbitrament of the sword. They were willing to give the North all it won in the fight and they have performed their part of the contract. They were not "erring brethren" or foolish children, who were led off by "scheming politicians" and it is an insult to their intelligence and manhood to think so. One of the most radical mistakes the Northern people have made is to suppose for an instant that we were not in earnest and were led like sheep to the slaughter. Our people went into the war with their eyes open and they forced politicians to do their bidding. It is true they miscalculated the result, but that does not make us fools or any the less men. And the sooner the people North will realize this fact the sooner all will be well in the United States--and President Johnson's policy carried out.

It was hard to be conquered; it was hard to furl the banner that had floated in triumph over so many glorious fields; it was hard to give up cherished hopes and fond anticipations of a separate nationality; it was hard to reap such bitter fruits from four years suffering and privation and accept the result; it was harder still to trudge over weary miles, with the shout of the conqueror ringing in your ears, to desolated homes--but all this we did and nothing the Southern people endured during the war adds so much to their honor and glory, as the honorable manner in which they have carried out the pledges made to Grant at Appomattox. But now after all; after we have performed our part and accepted the pledges of Grant and Johnson, it is harder still to be threatened with new penalties and forced to live in a constant state of uncertainty and doubt.

It is not that we doubt the will and determination of Andrew Johnson to do us justice, but the fear that the mass of the people North are so imbued with Radicalism, that nothing but our extermination will satisfy them. It is this feeling that creates the desire to leave home and friends and settle in a foreign land. Carry out President Johnson's policy; fulfil the pledges made by Grant at Appomattox and afterwards approved by Johnson, in his amnesty proclamation; then, will the Southern people go to work with a new life and energy and the idea of leaving the country be abandoned. We can not think the people of the North are fools or radicals and we hope soon to see the latter overthrown. If the honest, conservative sentiment, is as overwhelming North as reported we will soon see a change, and we can not see anything for our people to do now but to await the result of the coming conflict between President Johnson and the Radicals as patiently and as bravely as they endured the storms of the last four years. There is much to do in our country; everything is to be "reconstructed" and wealth untold is ours if energy and good sense direct our labors. Let the radicals do their worst, we surely can wait for the development of their policy before we leave our homes and all we hold dear, to be occupied by strangers. And, after all, this is a good country to live in and it is our duty to live and labor here. The widows, the orphans of our dead are left a sacred heritage to us. A land made glorious by the deeds of Jackson, Lee and a host of brave hearts is still ours. By making it prosperous and wealthy; by working as a people never worked before, we can say, come what may, "we have done our duty."

The Battle Fields of Virginia
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper applauds the "five beautiful maps" of the Battle of Chancellorsville drawn by Jed Hotchkiss and Col. Allan for their book, "Battle Fields of Virginia Topographically Illustrated." "Thoroughly familiar, as these gentlemen are with the subject of which they treat, they bring to its illustration maps from surveys taken immediately after the battles, and with great minuteness of detail, which alone must render their work without equal in interest to the students of history, the visitor to the memorable fields or to those still living, on either side, that, soldier like, in talk must fight their battles over again." Soldiers should "rejoice to know that the record of their deeds is thus impartially transmitted to their posterity."
The Western Lunatic Asylum
(Column 03)
Summary: This article discusses the history and present conditions of Staunton's "Western Lunatic Asylum." Special emphasis is placed on the Director's Report for fiscal years 1863, 1864, and 1865, including a discussion of an encounter with Sheridan's troops.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Francis T. Stribling, W. W. Corcoran)
Full Text of Article:

The last report of the Directors of this institution is before us, embracing the fiscal years of 1863, '64 and '65. The report of the Physician and Superintendent is full of interest, to those who have a feeling for our unfortunate fellow man, whom God has afflicted so severely. Notwithstanding the Superintendent labored under all the inconveniences during the war, which fell to the lot of the private citizens and heads of families, the Asylum, under his skillful management, is now in a comparatively flourishing condition.

The Asylum was established in the year 1825, with an appropriation of $10,000 for the purchase of land and the erection of buildings. At that time, but little attention was devoted to the cause of this class of unfortunates--the friends of the insane, were averse to placing them in "mad houses." The notions of that day were in keeping with the lack of improvements, and the managers of this Institution had many difficulties to contend with. Prejudices and difficulties gradually gave way--the horrors of the "mad house" were applied to the dark ages. As the pick and shovel removed the soil to make room for that noble structure, now the pride of our State, so were the minds of the people and the Legislature cleared of unfounded prejudices, and to-day Insane Asylums are fixed facts.

Since the original buildings were constructed, there have been nine additions there-to, and the Asylum has grown from a capacity for thirty-two, to a size to accommodate over four hundred persons; supplied with steam, gas, &c., and a chapel with a splendid organ, the gift of W. W. Corcoran, Esq., of Washington City.

The History of the Asylum discloses some curious and interesting facts--there have been under treatment, at different times from its establishment to the present report, 1921 patients, of these since 1836, 537 have died, 781 have been discharged, 148 restored, 73 unimproved and 307 remain under treatment. Of patients treated during the last ten years, 23 became deranged because of "the war"--from disappointed love, 7; from intemperance and dissolute habits, 30; from religious excitement, 9; from political excitement, 1; from the use of tobacco, 5; jealousy 4; idleness 5--of those who have died in the last two years, fifty-three resided in the Institute from 5 to 30 years.

The able and interesting reports of Dr. Francis T. Stribling disclose the fact, that the cases placed under his care in the earlier stages of insanity, yield much more readily to treatment, than those of long standing. The Statistics of the Asylum clearly prove that, "Home with its associations, is of all other places, the most objectionable as a residence for the insane;" and the Doctor urges his fellow citizens "to watch with care the earliest manifestations of mental disorder" in their families or friends; and use no delay in placing them under the restraints and kindnesses of the Asylum. He deprecates the use of false pretences to decoy them to the Institute, and shows the bad effects of such. He says it destroys their confidence in human nature, and renders the influences of the Asylum of less avail.

The Superintendent pays a handsome tribute to the value of the press to the unhappy inmates. He also alludes in fitting terms to the happy results of the labors of the various Ministers of the Gospel, who have from time to time officiated at the Chapel.

We extract the following which speaks for itself--"on the 4th of March, General Sheridan's command made an assault upon the meat house, flour house, store room and other buildings, bearing off and destroying about 180 barrels of flour, 10,600 pounds bacon, 300 bushels corn and a considerable quantity of hay--135 bushels of rye and oats--wagon and carriage harness, 50 pairs coarse shoes--many articles or wearing apparel from the Laundry and 3 valuable mules. I promptly and earnestly announced to the officer in command, the character and object of the Institution; cited the number of the unfortunate insane under our care--apprised him of the difficulties we had encountered in obtaining the supplies, and the danger, that if removed, they could not be replaced--but without avail! It is gratifying to add, that none of this party intruded within the buildings occupied by patients of either sex--a happy circumstance! for which I felt well assured from careful observation, we were more indebted to the forbearance of the privates, than, to any restraints imposed by their officers."

The indebtedness of the Asylum is stated at $25,779. The State is asked to make the necessary appropriations for the support of the Institution, and judging from the remarkably economical manner in which the Institution has been conducted, not a cent more than necessary is asked for.

A perusal of Dr. Stribling's reports will repay the reader. The most striking facts connected with the Institution are: the peculiar adaptation of the buildings, and grounds--the astonishingly small sum they have cost the State, (less than any similar building of its capacity in the United States,)--the system of blending kindness with firmness--the gratifying results, in fact the thorough and complete adaptation of this grand Institution and its management to the work in hand.

Without detracting from the credit due others, it may be said that to Dr. Stribling belongs the gratitude of the friends of the insane, the State and the Country, for his labors in developing a correct system of treating the diseased mind. His name will occupy a high place upon the honored roll of benefactors of the human race.

(Column 06)
Summary: Henry Loynes, of Shepherdstown, married Miss Harriet Cease, of Staunton, on February 15. The Rev. J. I. Miller presided.
(Names in announcement: Henry Loynes, Harriet Cease, Rev. J. I. Miller)
(Column 06)
Summary: Capt. J. Greiner, of Rockbridge, and Miss Sallie McGuffin, of Greenville, were married by the Rev. William Pinkney on February 7.
(Names in announcement: Capt. J. Greiner, Sallie McGuffin, Rev. William Pinkney)
(Column 06)
Summary: Mr. James Mays "an old and respected citizen" of Staunton died on February 16. He was 60 years old.
(Names in announcement: James Mays)
(Column 06)
Summary: Alice Kate Dull, aged 28 months and 2 days, died near Greenville on January 23.
(Names in announcement: Alice Kate Dull)

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that "another old citizen has passed away." James Mayse froze to death near his residence. "Being very old and infirm he fell and was found Saturday morning, in forty yards of his own door, a corpse. Mr. Mays was known as one of the kindest hearted and most useful men in Staunton. Peace to his ashes."
(Names in announcement: James Mays)
The Direct Tax
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that "some $17 or $18,000 have already been collected" in Augusta County. The whole tax was about $28,000 but exemptions will reduce it by about $1,500. The collector will remain in Staunton two weeks longer, and those who have not yet paid are urged to get out and do it.
Where Are the Street Commissioners?
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper denounces the "filthy conditions of our streets and alleys," and asks that the street commissioners "look to it at once and take measures to prevent sickness in the Summer." The paper reports that $500 have been appropriated for the purpose, and asks that it be spent at once.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper announces that Urban D. Poe and John Paris have been appointed Notaries for Augusta County by the Governor.
(Names in announcement: Urban D. Poe, John Paris)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports that a Masonic Lodge called Lee Lodge has been organized in Waynesboro.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports that Miss Julia Painter, from near Greenville, was jailed for stealing a hog. Also, Mr. James Levell was committed and charged with passing a counterfeit twenty dollar bill in an exchange with John O'Hare.
(Names in announcement: Julia Painter, James Levell, John O'Hare)
Mass Meeting
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper calls on the people of Staunton to join in a mass meeting on Court Day, February 26, in support of President Andrew Johnson and his policy.
The Water Works
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper announces that there is a "debt of $17,000 on the Corporation for the water works." The editors note that no general water tax has ever been collected, and argue that the works should earn enough money to help pay the debt. A $1 tax on each hydrant is currently in effect, and the paper supports hiring a regular Superintendent to repair hydrants and pipes, and "furnish an account to the Council for collection."

-Page 04-

Ashes of Glory
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper publishes the following poem by S. J. Requine honoring the Confederate dead.
Full Text of Article:

Fold up the gorgeous silken sun,
By bleeding martyrs blest,
And heap the laurels it has won
Above its place of rest.

No trumpet's note need harshly blare--
No drum funereal roll--
Nor trailing sables drape the bier
That frees a dauntless soul!

It lived with Lee and decked his brow
From Fate's empyreal Palm;
It sleeps the sleep of Jackson now--
As spotless and as calm,

It was outnumbered--not undone;
And they shall shuddering tell
Who struck the blow its latest gun
flashed ruin as it fell.

Sleep, shrouded Ensign! not the breeze
That smote the victor tar,
With death, across the heaving seas
Of fiery Trafalgar.

Not Arthur's knights, amid the gloom
Their knightly deeds have starred;
Nor gallic Henry's matchless plume,
Nor peerless born Bayard!

Not all the antique fables feign,
And Orient dreams disgorge;
Nor yet the Silver Cross of Spain,
And Lion of St. George.

Can bid thee pale! Proud emblem, still
Thy crimson glory shines
Beyond the lengthened shades that fill
Their proudest kingly lines.

Sleep! in thine own historic night,--
And be thy blazoned scroll;
A warrior's Banner takes its flight
To greet the warrior's soul!