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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: November 18, 1864

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Also on this page are advertisements, notices, war news, and a report on Henry Ward Beecher's last stump speech in the United States presidential campaign.

A Modern Antaeus
(Column 4)
Summary: The Times cannot decide whether to admire the many victories the North has had in the Valley of Virginia or to admire the Confederate forces there who have suffered so many defeats yet continue to resist and fight back. Each time General Early fights back more quickly and more deadly, only to be defeated more severely each time.
Origin of Article: Chicago Times
Full Text of Article:

A Modern Antaeus.

From the Chicago Times

In contemplating matters in the Shenandoah Valley, one will find himself at a loss whether to most admire the vast number and extent of Sheridan's victories or the remarkable stolidity with which the rebel Early endures frequent annihilation. For the last two months the enemy have exhibited the remarkable peculiarity of being defeated overwhelmingly at very short intervals, and within a few days after each defeat presenting themselves in stronger force than ever to again undergo a defeat more disastrous than any of its predecessors. There was once, in some olden fable, a dragon that possessed the somewhat singular power of producing a half dozen or more new heads whenever one of its old ones was chopped off, and in Early we see the modern prototype of this fabled monster. The more Sheridan [illegible] away his limbs, the greater becomes his task, for, from each bleeding stump springs a crop of new limbs, till the rebel chieftain now resembles the hundred handed Briareus.

Early was first routed at Winchester, and a little later is found at Fisher's Hill waiting to be routed again. He is once more routed, with tremendous loss; and three days after, his demoralized cohorts present a firm array at Harrisonburg. From this place he is routed, with fearful slaughter, so that there is scarcely enough left to carry the tala [sic] of disaster to the rebel capital. A little later, and Sheridan falls back to Strasburg, but has hardly reached there ere Early's broken legion precipitate themselves upon him with the fierceness of tigers. Again are they routed with tremendous slaughter. Sheridan falls back to Strasburg, but has hardly reached there ere Early's broken legion precipitate themselves upon him with the fierceness of tigers. Again are they routed with tremendous slaughter. Sheridan falls back to Cedar creek, and has but just gone into camp when the routed Early is again upon him, driving him four miles, and captures twenty cannon. But the success is only a momentary one, for the gallant Sheridan dashes upon the field, reforms his broken regiments, and turns the tide of battle. Again does the unlucky Early undergo the crucifixion of being routed in a style which, for effectiveness, the record of defeats furnishes no parallels.

The worse Early is routed, the speedier and deadlier is his next attack. Like the old Antaeus, he only strikes the ground to arise a stronger, bigger giant than before. The more violent he is hurled to earth, the higher is his rebound. The more completely he is "settled" and the sooner he regains strength to be "settled" again.

Wonderful as is this recuperative power in Early, it is not more so than his inexhaustible ability to furnish cannon. He lost a large number of cannon when Sheridan first "settled" him; and he lost a considerable large number the second time he was "settled" be Sheridan. A little later, and Sheridan once more "settled" Early and captured all his cannon. Within a week he "settled" him again, and again captured a good many cannon. Day before yesterday he once more "settled" the unfortunate Early and captured fifty cannon; and we have no doubt that to-morrow or the next day he will again "settle" Early and once more capture a great many cannon--probably not less than fifty or sixty. The more cannon Early loses, the more he seems to have left; so much so, that if Sheridan keeps on "settling" him for six months longer, the Federal Government will be able to stop all its foundries, having enough cannon for its own supply and a large surplus for the next war with Canada, Maximilian, or Great Britain.

One would thin that either Sheridan would get tired of "settling" Early, or Early of being "settled." But they do not. Judging by the past, Sheridan having routed Early all the way from Stanton to Cedar creek, will continue routing and "settling" him from Cedar creek to the Pennsylvania boundary.

Negroes in the Army
(Column 4)
Summary: The Savannah News refuses to publish letters regarding the question of placing African Americans in the Southern army, deeming the topic unsuitable for discussion in a newspaper.
Origin of Article: Savannah News
Full Text of Article:

Negroes in the Army.

The Savan[n]ah News refuses to publish communications in referance [sic] to placing negroes in the army, for the reason that it does not regard the question in detail as a proper one for newspaper discussion. And it adds: "In opposing it, and pointing out the many evils sure to result from such a policy, our correspondents are led into arguments and reasoning which, while they suggest, themselves to every reflecting mind, are unsuited for news paper circulation either North or South. A measure so disorganizing, so unnecessary, unwise and impolitic, will, we feel confident, be rejected by our people and our Congress. Consistency self-respect, Southern honor and humanity demands it."

Failure of Grant's Recent Advance
(Column 6)
Summary: General Grant was to have assembled a large number of troops in order to take Richmond from all sides, but was still unable to capture the city. In the end, some of the troops he had hoped to assemble were engaged elsewhere, including in the Valley. The current theory is that Grant will wait until spring to try to take the city again.
Origin of Article: New York World
Full Text of Article:

Failure of Grant's Recent Advance.

The New York World, commenting on the general failure of Grant's advance, says:

It is no longer a secret that the rebels have again thwarted Gen. Grant's movement for the capture of Richmond. His attention was to have accumulated a vast army of three or four hundred thousand men, with a view to invest Richmond on every side. After the fall of Atlanta, it is supposed he could spare fifty or sixty thousand troops from the West, and take all the conscripts to be added to the army of the Potomac and of the James. But he invasion of Missouri by Price and the menacing of St. Louis, the attack of Hood upon Sherman's rear and the activity of guerrillas and rebel raiding parties throughout Tennessee and Kentucky, and last of all, the wonderful vitality of the rebel armies in the Shenandoah, have prevented the concentration of troops in Grant's army to be effective in time for the Presidential election.

A large part of this army is composed of raw recruits, and General Grant is supposed to be unwilling to force them against the strong defences of Richmond, while he would not have hesitated had he a sufficient number of Sheridan's or Sherman's veterans. The theory is that in all probability, the campaign against Richmond will be postponed until next May; that another draft for three hundred thousand men may be made after the election, which draft will be a real one, and all the men will be secured and incorporated in the armies during the coming winter. With these, the Administration hope to carry all the important points of the South.

There is now no harm in stating that at least two army corps, under General Sheridan, were on the way to the Army of the Potomac when they were recalled to beat back Longstreet's force in the Valley. While the rebel army has been defeated, Lee's strategy has won a strategic victory in the postponement of the campaign.

Ludicrous Mistake
(Column 6)
Summary: Reports that one brigade of Yankees, on their way to join Grant's forces in the recent battle to take Richmond, were unfamiliar with the area, got separated from the rest of the troops, and finally stumbled upon a railroad that they thought was the one they were supposed to destroy. The rail line they destroyed, however, was one just built by Grant's men to run from Petersburg to City Point.
Origin of Article: Express

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Description of Page: Also on this page are other articles on the war, advertisements, and notices.

The President's Message
(Column 1)
Summary: The editor comments on President Davis's message, the text of which was published in the previous week's issue, and the encouraging report it contains. Most areas in the Confederacy taken by the enemy have been recovered, or at least the enemy's hold has weakened, finances are more stable, and the arming of African Americans is not necessary at present.
Full Text of Article:

The President's Message.

We said before our readers in our last issue the message of President Davis.

From it we have a most encouraging statement of affairs. These portions of our states held by the enemy have nearly all been reclaimed or the tenure of the enemy upon them much weakened. Our finances are in much better condition than many had supposed and with the addition of the seemingly practicable suggestions of the Secretary of the Treasury it is hoped may still further be greatly improved. And the arming of slaves in defence of our liberties is not deemed essential at present. The various suggestions of the Message meet with the approval of the people with the exception of the recommendation of the repeal of all class exemptions. This is condemned as unwise not only by the people but the men in the field. The last Congress modified the exemption bill so as to apply to Preachers, Teachers, Printers, Physicians and Druggists, which classes were deemed essentially necessary for the public good. There has been much acerbity of feeling shown against the Executive on account of this recommendation, but we are among those who believe that President Davis is eminently a patriot, that he would do anything consistent with reason and right for the advancement of the interests of his country, but that the suggestion on this subject was elicited by the perusal of the exemption bill as it stood before it was modified by the last Congress, the vast array of classes mentioned therein being sufficient to cause the request for the repeals of all exemptions as a patriotic duty on his part. But Tanners, Shoemakers, Telegraph operators, Workmen in mines, Blacksmiths, Millers, and in fact all save the classes named above have been subject to detail and not exempted since the framing of the new exemption bill by the last Congress. We doubt not that when the President calls to mind that only a few classes, deemed essentially necessary, were exempted, instead of the array mentioned in his message that he will be as averse to a change of the law as the people, the press or the army.

We do not for a moment believe that were Editors, Preachers &c., detailed that President Davis would exercise any authority to muzzle the Press or the Pulpit. For it must be clearly understood by him that the free, outspoken sentiments of the Press have contributed largely to make us the united people we are, that where the administration has been wrongfully assailed ten friends have been made for one enemy and that the concordant utterances of the Press have kept up the continued cheerful and determined spirit of our people. This at least is understood by our enemies, for in their invasions they make it an universal practice to destroy this great confederate agency, by demolishing all printing establishments in their reach. This has been especially the case in our Valley; but our enemies have been foiled in their attempts for nearly all have arisen Phoenix-like from their ashes and still lend their sufficient aid to their Government. The great moral power of the press is universally conceded but what a falling off therefrom would there be were the representatives of of [sic] free speech and thought compelled to seek, with supplicatory appeal, for details from the powers that be--However free in the expression of thoughts yet it would all be considered as winked at by Government for effect, and the moral effect of the Confederate Press be forever gone.

We think it is patent that those who are at present exempted are essentially necessary for the public good and that details not exemptions are the subjects of fraud.

We agree with a contemporary of Lynchburg that it is idle to believe that an enlightened Congress will interfere with the liberties of the Press or Pulpit and with another of Richmond that it is better to let well enough alone as the chances are greatly in favor of making matters worse.

War News
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that little has happened in Richmond and Petersburg, that Hood is said to be heading to Nashville, and that Sherman is said to be moving away from Atlanta. The article further states that nothing has happened in the lower Valley since Rosser captured two hundred prisoners on November 12, 1864. The prisoners arrived in Staunton on Wednesday on their way to Richmond.
Election of Lincoln
(Column 2)
Summary: The editor reports that exchanges from Northern papers announce the reelection of Lincoln as president. This means, the editor believes, that the barbarism and outrages will continue for another four years. The ravages of the Valley will pale in comparison with what will follow, and the South must now be prepared for a longer war than anticipated.
Full Text of Article:

Election of Lincoln.

The latest Northern exchanges received at Richmond concede the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States for another term of four years. Laying aside the moral effect upon the world at large, of the election of Lincoln after a four year's exhibition of incapacity, we must view it in the relations which obtain with reference to ourselves.

The unbridled licentiousness of the past four years is to be continued for the next four, with all the ingenious adjuncts which the minds of our Barbarian Enemies can devise. The destruction in our beautiful Valley will be vastly obscured by the ravages of other invaded portions, but the cry of failure thus far to subjugate the Confederate States, if we be true to ourselves, will be reiterated at the expiration of the last year of his second term. We must prepare now for a longer war than many surmised, without relying upon dissentions among the people of the United States or failure of their financial system or anything else for relief except the physical force and determined will of the people of our Confederacy. We should hoard up our resources, doing away with the wasteful extravagance exhibited in so many instances, save the lives of our men by all the devices of engineering skill, ever be ready to take advantage of circumstances to strike our enemies severe blows, infuse discipline, so needful to retain the advantages gained, retaliate for all of their wanton acts with "Oriental Scrupulosity," and we will prevent the accomplishments of their designs and in the end achieve that independence which the unbiased opinion of the world at present would and should declare our due.

[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Colonel Charles Peyton, enrolling officer, has been transferred to the Albemarle district and will be replaced by Captain W. T. Fry for this congressional district.
(Names in announcement: Colonel Charles Peyton, Captain W. T. Fry)
Lincoln Elected
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that Lincoln carried the popular vote by around 225,000, and he won the electoral vote by 192. McClellan carried New Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky.
The Cavalry
(Column 2)
Summary: Thirty farmers from Augusta County, many of whom had already seen service, arrived in Richmond when their detail duties were revoked. They waived their medical examinations at Camp Lee and were assigned as a body to duty in the 13th Virginia cavalry under Colonel Robert A. Caskie. Colonel Lucius Davis will be brigade commander of this and other regiments.
Origin of Article: Dispatch
Rockingham's Losses
(Column 4)
Summary: The latest Yankee raid resulted in the following damage to Rockingham County: 30 houses, 450 barns, and 31 mills burned; 100 miles of fencing torn down; 100,000 bushels of wheat, 50,000 bushels of corn, and 6,232 tons of hay destroyed; 1,750 cattle, 1,750 horses, 4,200 sheep, and 3,350 hogs carried off; 3 factories and 1 furnace burned; an immense number of farming utensils destroyed; and countless household furnishings wrecked.
Origin of Article: Rockingham Register
Full Text of Article:

Rockingham's Losses.

The following is a fair and an accurate exhibit of the losses inflicted upon this great and noble county of the "old commonwealth" by the Yankees in their last raid up the Valley. It has obtained by our County Court, after diligent effort, and the employment of all the means necessary to approximate accuracy in such a calculation. The Court after being called together for this purpose, appointed a committee of 72 persons, consisting of 36 citizens of respectability and standing, located in every section of the county, and after a careful and an accurate canvass of the county, they have furnished the estimate of the lesser hereto appended. Has any other one country in the Confederacy suffered to the same extent? Look at the exhibit:

Losses. Dwelling House burned, 30 Barns burned, 450 Mills burned, 31 Fencing destroyed, (miles) 100 Bushes of Wheat destroyed, 100,000 Bushes of Corn destroyed, 50,000 Tons of Hay destroyed, 6,233 Cattle carried off, 1,750 Horses carried off, 1,750 Sheep carried off, 4,200 Hogs carried off, 3,350 Factories burned, 3 Furnace burned, 1

In addition to which the[re] was an immense amount of Farming Utensils of every description destroyed, many of them of great value, such as McCormick's Reapers, Threshing Machines; also, Household and Kitchen Furniture, Money, Bonds, Plates, &c., &c. The whole loss being estimated at the enormous sum of $25,500,000. This estimate is in Confederate prices, and should be reduced, we think, about one-fifth, in order to bring it to the government standard.--Rockingham Register.

(Column 4)
Summary: Samuel F. Shank married Elizabeth Miller, both of Rockingham County, on October 28, 1864, with Reverend C. Beard officiating.
(Names in announcement: Reverend C. Beard)
(Column 4)
Summary: Rebecca McCord married John C. Coiner, both of Augusta County, on November 6, 1864, with Reverend C. Beard officiating.
(Names in announcement: Reverend C. Beard, Mr. John C. Coiner, Miss Rebecca McCord)
(Column 4)
Summary: Virginia S. Brown married Francis M. Holland at the home of John D. Brown, Esquire, on November 9, 1864, with Reverend William E. Baker officiating.
(Names in announcement: John D. BrownEsquire, Reverend William E. Baker, Mr. Francis M. Holland, Miss Virginia S. Brown)
(Column 4)
Summary: Lucy Hopkins died of diphtheria on October 16, 1864, and Robert A. Hopkins died of diphtheria on October 21, 1864. Both died at Midway and were the children of W. J. and M. M. Hopkins.
(Names in announcement: W. J. Hopkins, M. M. Hopkins, Lucy Hopkins, Robert A. Hopkins)
One Cent Reward
(Column 4)
Summary: A. G. S. Vanlear announces a reward of one cent for the return of Livingston W. Hall, who was bound to him by Hall's father until he became of age. Hall ran away on September 21, 1864. He is seventeen, "well grown, stout and healthy."
(Names in announcement: Livingston W. Hall, A. G. S. Vanlear)
Hd. Qr's Res. Forces V. D.
(Column 5)
Summary: Brig. General E. G. Lee issues an order, via John H. McCue, A. A. A. G., to persons in Augusta and Rockbridge counties who are listed to report to the headquarters of the reserve forces of the Valley District to pick up their detail papers. Failure to do so will result in their papers being withheld. Those persons from Augusta County include William Andrews. David Argenbright, Jacob Argenbright, John Bosserman, David D. Coiner, David J. Fox, George Fix, David C. Gilkeson, John Gale, A. K. Kindig, A. A. Pitman, James Perry, George Rusmisel, Joseph T. Smith, George W. Smith, William W. Shuff, Jacob Stover, Blueford Smith, William W. Woolland, John A. Wiserman, George W. Womoldorf, and R. W. Wright.
(Names in announcement: William Andrews, David Argenbright, Jacob Argenbright, John Bosserman, David D. Coiner, David J. Fox, George Fix, David C. Gilkeson, John Gale, A. K. Kindig, A. A. Pitman, James Perry, George Rusmisel, Joseph Smith, George W. Smith, William W. Shuff, Jacob Stover, Blueford Smith, William W. Woolland, John A. Wiserman, George W. Womoldorf, R. W. Wright, Brig. Gen. E. G. Lee, A. A. A. G. John H. McCue)