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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: January 29, 1864

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: On this page are a reprinted list of deserters from the 52nd Regiment of Virginia Volunteers, advertisements, a poem, information on income tax, correspondence between President Davis and Pope Pius IX, articles on the results of the collection thus far of taxes in kind throughout the Confederacy, war news, and anecdotes.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Also on this page are war news, advertisements, and notices, including an enrolling notice for the 11th Congressional district and one seeking recruits for the 62nd Virginia Regiment.

(Column 1)
Summary: The editor asserts that no people in the world are more kind and humane than the people of the Confederacy, and he cites several examples to prove this point. These traits have prevented Southern troops from retaliating, in most cases, for Northern atrocities. In one case, however, Colonel Joel R. Griffin selected a private from the 5th Ohio to execute in retaliation for the hanging of Private Daniel Bright of the 62nd Georgia, who was held by General Wilde. Griffin promises to hang others if Confederate prisoners continue to be hanged. The editor of the Vindicator applauds this tactic and claims that Griffin's example will save many Confederate men being held from being executed. The article closes with a copy of the letter Griffin sent Wilde explaining his position.
Full Text of Article:


No nation of people on the globe are more kind and humane in their feelings than the people of the Confederate States. They have been averse to treating prisoners of war, who came not only with arms, but with the incendiary's torch in their hands, to make the work of their subjugation more cruel and more complete, with hearts blackened with the foul intent of adding infamous disgrace to their many atrocities, other than they would if they had been soldiers fighting in defence of homes and innocent ones, never having inflicted a wrong and only maintaining the right, when our own unfortunate prisoners have been immured in Northern dungeons to pine away from neglect or indignities shown, and die alone and uncared for, and have ever provided for those in their hands as best, in their isolated condition, they could. The same desire not to inflict unnecessary punishment has restrained our military leaders, save in rare and exceptional cases, from allowing the death penalty to be inflicted for desertion, thus adding innocently to the cost of life and suffering on many battle fields by their leniency and losing the fruits of victory which our full numbers would have reaped. This same humane feeling has prevented a just retaliation for wanton and cruel murders committed by the enemy upon our prisoners--which, if inflicted at once would have saved untold suffering. We can recall no instance in which, even when prisoners were selected, actual retaliation was made, save in the case published below, when Col. Griffin commanding on the Blackwater, selected a private of the 5th Ohio "whom" says he: "I hang in retaliation" for Private Bright of the 62nd Ga. Cavalry murdered by Gen. Wilde as a guerrilla. No more of Col. Girffin's [sic] men will be executed as guerrillas, for he will retaliate. If our leaders but follow Col. Griffin's example they will save many of our men from being cruelly treated and even murdered, which their excessive humanity but invites.

Further of Retaliation.

Our correspondent has obtained a copy of the letter sent to the Federal General Wilde, by the Colonel commanding the forces on Blackwater, relative to the late measures of retaliation adopted by our military authorities in Eastern North Carolina:

"Head Qur's Forces on Blackwater

Franklin, Va., Jan., 1864.

"General Wilde,

Comd'g Colored Brig. Norfolk, Va.

"Sir--Probably no expedition during the progress of this war, has been attended with more utter disregard for the long established usages of civilization, or the dictates of humanity, than was your late raid into the country bordering the Albemarle.

"Your stay, though short, was marked by crimes and enormities. You burned houses over the heads of defenceless women and children, carried off private property of every description, arrested non-combatants, and carried off ladies in irons, whom you confined with negro men. Your negro troops fired on Confederates after they had surrendered, and they were only saved by the exertions of the more humane of your white officers.

"Last, but not least, under the pretext that he was a guerrilla, you hanged Daniel Bright, a private of company L, Sixty-second Georgia regiment (cavalry,) forcing the ladies and gentlemen who held in arrest to witness the execution of Samuel Jones, a private of company B, Fifth Ohio, whom I hang I retaliation. I hold two more of your men--in irons--as hosrage [sic] for Mrs. Weeks and Mrs. Mundin. When these ladies are released, these men will be relieved, and treated as prisoners of war.

"Colonel Joel R. Griffin."

[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Dr. C. R. Harris will address Augusta citizens at Parnassus on February 6th. He is a popular speaker, well known to many in the county. The editor encourages everyone, including the women of the county, to attend.
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: The editor has learned from someone traveling through Winchester that Northern troops are enrolling African Americans in Jefferson and Berkley counties. The editor notes the irony of African Americans leaving the place where they have been cared for, aligning with Northerners who have shown no concern for them and who will place them on the front lines, and then shooting Southerners who have lived with them for so long.
Full Text of Article:

"We have been informed . . ."

We have been informed by a gentleman who has lately returned from Winchester that the Yankees are enrolling all the able-bodied negroes in Jefferson and Berkley. Poor deluded African, he leaves his kind Master and comfortable home to be placed in the front ranks of the Yankee army to save the lives of those who never had any sympathy for him and to murder those whose every thought and act was for his comfort.

Returns of Revenues Assessed in the State
(Column 3)
Summary: A report from the auditor of public accounts read before the Virginia Senate reveals the revenue from the tax on the profits of certain businesses and indicates that some people have profited greatly from the war.
(Column 4)
Summary: Elizabeth V. Webb of Waynesboro married James S. Kennedy in Staunton on January 26, 1864, with Reverend Mr. Dice officiating.
(Names in announcement: Reverend Mr. Dice, Mr. James S. Kennedy, Miss Elizabeth V. Webb)
(Column 4)
Summary: Lieutenant Elijah Coiner, of Augusta County, Co. E, 1st Virginia Cavalry, married Anna E. Reid, youngest daughter of Thomas Reid, Esquire, of New Market, at New Market, Shenandoah County, on January 13, 1864, with Reverend S. Henkel officiating.
(Names in announcement: Lieutenant Elijah Coiner)
(Column 4)
Summary: Sarah M. Anderson married George K. Killian, son of Reverend J. Killian, on January 7, 1864, with Reverend C. Beard officiating. All are from Augusta County.
(Names in announcement: Reverend C. Beard, Mr. George K. Killian, Reverend J. Killian, Miss Sarah M. Anderson)
(Column 4)
Summary: Mrs. Margaret E. McIntosh, 51, died January 13, 1864, at her residence in Staunton. She was born and reared in Staunton. Her death is a great loss to the community, as she was "a living example of all that is beautiful in charity and noble in the practice of every christian virtue."
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Margaret E. McIntosh)
A Good Chance to Invest Confederate Money
(Column 4)
Summary: Because of the scarcity of provisions and the prevailing high prices, F. Scheffer announces the closing of the Virginia Hotel and the sale at public auction of furnishings and supplies from the hotel.
(Names in announcement: F. Scheffer)
$50 Reward
(Column 4)
Summary: James C. Brown offers a reward of $50 for the return of Mary Ann, who ran away on January 24, 1864 and is supposed to be in the area of Estiline Furnace. She is about 20, has a defect in her right eye, and was wearing a worsted dress.
(Names in announcement: James C. Brown)
Full Text of Article:

$50 Reward.

Ranaway from the subscriber on Sunday the 24th inst., my negro girl

Mary Ann

about twenty years old, and has a defect in her right eye. She had on a Worsted Dress. She is supposed to be in the neighborhood of Estiline Furnace. I will give the above reward for her return to me or secured so that I can get her.

Jas. C. Brown.

Jan. 29th, 1864 3t.