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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: July 07, 1865

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-Page 01-

The South for Union and Fraternity
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper reprints from the New York News an editorial that argues that the South's "calm resignation" in the face of defeat proves that they wish to return to and support the Union in good faith. It urges northerners not to take a vindictive course in reconstructing the Union, and asks that southerners be admitted speedily to full citizenship.
Origin of Article: New York News
Full Text of Article:

There is something in the calm resignation of the Southern people that appeals irresistibly to the sympathy and forbearance of their conquerers. We know not whether most to admire their heroism in war or that moral courage that enables them to accept with dignity and composure the consequences of defeat. The dager is lest the vanquished should behave more nobly and more creditably in their helplessness than the victors in their might. There are heard no murmurs, no repinings, no petulant outbursts of rage and disappointment from the South; but, too often, the language and sentiment of hostility and sectional antipathy prevails over the better feelings and the judgement of the triumphant North.

There is some excuse for the expression of rankling spite and enmity in a subdued and impoverished people, with the pain and mortification of recent discomfiture swelling their hearts with morbid sensibility; but there is no excuse for the parade of power and the exhibition of malice and resentment in those who stand in the midst of trophies, the acknowledged masters of the field.

The conduct of the Southern people attests the sincerity of their abnegation of armed opposition to the Federal Government. With the same unanimity and identity of action and purpose with which they sprang to arms in defense of their political belief, they have now laid down those arms, and with a frank acknowledgement of failure, have expressed their desire to resume the privileges and obligations of American citizenship under the Federal Union. They were bold and open foes so long as they relied upon the agencies of war: their own interests, no less than motives of self respect and honor, are guaranties that they will act in good faith as co-workers in the mission of the Republic.

The views and inclinations expressed by the several delegations from Southern States that have conferred with the President, evince a spirit that, if not repelled by harshness, will insure a quiet and natural relapse to the normal condition of subordination to civil authority, in the true intent of republicanism. The most violent and obstinate partisans of secession have become unqualified submissionists to the central rule, and are to-day willing, even zealous, laborers in the cause of tranquility, order and rehabilitation.

No Confederate leader has been more active and efficient than General Forrest in striking for the Southern cause. His name is associated with the boldest, the most desperate and destructive phases of that partisan warfare which constituted one of the most terrible resources of the South. But the fierce mosstrooper, the reckless raider, who spread terror before him and left desolation behind, has been transformed, at the first signal of peace, into the quiet and law-abiding citizen, giving bonds for his good behavior, and lending his valuable services to the Federal authorities for the suppression of all the lawless bands in West Tennessee and North Mississippi. Is it not wiser to accept the useful friendship of such men than to compel them to retain a brooding antagonism? General Forrest is but a type of the foremost Confederate chiefs. Bitter and furious on the war-path, they put aside their enmity when they surrendered their swords. There is no inconsistency in their conduct.

As soldiers, they were energetic, stern and dangerous to those opposed to them in arms; as citizens, they will be the most peaceable and obedient disciples of law and order. General Forrest says that he means the oath of allegiance he has taken in good faith; that he is henceforward a citizen of the United States and a friend of the Union; that he will aid the Government as far as he can in restoring order; and that the authorities may thereafter try him and hang him if they see fit.

How is it possible for a brave and generous people to harbor resentments, or to seek for vengeance against such men? They are disarmed, they are submissive, they are powerless for evil, they are available for good; they ask for our friendship, they invite good will and mutual confidence--surely we neither fear them so much that we cannot trust them, nor hate them so much that we will not accept their offer of fraternity. Shall we put manacles upon the hands that are extended to us in invitation of a friendly grasp? Shall we give the cold shoulder to those who offer conciliation and who, in some capacity, are to be members of our political household? The Southern people must either be trusted as partners in and co-inheritors of our republicanism, or our republicanism must be relinquished. Which shall it be? There is no way, under our legitimate system of government by which they can be deprived of the full rights of citizenship, while the people of the North enjoy republicanism. We must change our form of government or concede that the South and its population are upon a level with ourselves in all political prerogatives. The popular sentiment of the North is fast tending toward an appreciation of this truth and it will soon be impossible to enforce a vindictive policy or to prolong the exercise of arbitrary power without outraging the public feeling. But far better would it be for those that now have influence in the councils of the Republic to anticipate the wishes of the people, and to accord full amnesty and political equality to all classes of the South, as a matter of justice and expediency, and not upon compulsion.--New York News.

The Congressional Districts of Virginia as Apportioned by the Loyal Legislature
(Column 05)
Summary: The article reports that Augusta County has been placed in the Sixth Congressional District (out of eight). Augusta is joined in the Sixth District by Rockingham, Rockbridge, Highland, Bath, Alleghany, Botetourt, Albemarle, Page, Green, Madison, and Craig.

-Page 02-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The editorial argues that in addition to slavery, states rights, and secession, the war also overturned northern radicalism. The South, though failing to establish a "distinct nationality" can take consolation in the fact that northern politicians and military leaders are increasingly advocating a conservative approach to reconstruction.
Full Text of Article:

While the war has overturned the political doctrines of Slavery, States rights and Secession entertained at the South, it will have no less effect upon the politics of the North.

The intense radicalism, prevalent there for several years back, even now feels the effect of it. Those who have been the leaders of that party, forced by unyielding circumstances, are advocating conservatism. This is a source of gratifying consolation to the Southern people, since they have failed to establish a distinct nationality, and consequently must remain in the Union.

Politicians and Prominent Northern Generals, in the main, with the mass of the army favor a conservative policy. Perhaps no more striking instance can be given to illustrate this fact than that of Gen. Frank Blair, of Missouri, who has been an extreme radical for years. In a late speech at St. Louis he opposes governing the Southern States by military Governors and the unnecessary continuance of martial law. On the subject of controlling the right of suffrage in the Southern States, he holds that each State has the right to decide this question for itself. Rhode Island excludes many of Irish and German birth, no matter how much property or influence they may have, and "no one, says he, questions or has the right to question Rhode Island's right in this respect."

He says, "Andrew Johnson has put his foot on that proposition and he was compelled to put his foot upon it, if he was an honest man." This sentiment of the Speaker was vociferously cheered.

Upon the subject of confiscation and trials for treason he thus expatiates:

"I say there can be no justification for any execution which is not demanded by the safety of the State; because these men have already been afflicted by this war to such a degree that retaliation--why, if you talk of retaliation, follow in the wake of the army which marched from the Mississippi to the sea and thence to Washington. Who could then speak of retaliation after witnessing that scene of devastation necessary, it seemed to us, it seemed to those who inflicted this severe calamity upon those people; necessary even for their own safety that we should thus inflict or desolate them; but the desolation rests and broods upon them still. Their homes exist no longer, and the people are driven out, and therefore, to me, accustomed to look at things as I do, I can see no necessity of making treason other than it is already--odious.--(Cheers) No punishment that we could possibly inflict could equal the punishment already inflicted upon them, and justifiable by the great objects which we had in view of the re-uniting of our Government, and justifiable by no other reason and no other right; nor can its prosecution in any other shape or form be justified unless the safety of the Government is imperiled. Any policy, my friends, which proceeds from mere malice, comes from hell, and is at the instigation of the devil." (Loud cheers)

Since our political sentiments, fondly cherished for years, have been uprooted, it is, at least, gratifying, as foreshadowed by the remarks of such a distinguished radical as Gen. Blair, to look forward to a spirit of conservatism growing up in the North, kindred to that conservatism for which the South has been pre-eminently noted. It is conservatism which gives tone and character and dignity to a nation, and from the exhibitions daily given, and from unlooked for sources, we confidently expect to see the happiest results attend the growth of this exalted attribute of a nation--the great ally of its progress.

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that J. I. A. Trotter, "the indefatigable mail contractor," has established a daily stage line between Staunton and Winchester. The paper declares that Trotter "deserves well of the travelling public," and that the line, which departs both towns at 3 A. M. and arrives at 9 P. M., "has comfortable coaches and good teams" and should "receive a liberal patronage."
(Names in announcement: J. I. A. Trotter)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper endorses the sentiment contained in the letter to the editor signed "Vigilance," that urges the people to take the amnesty oath and the state oath immediately.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: This letter urges the people of Augusta to take both the amnesty oath and the oath of loyalty to the government of the State of Virginia. Doing so would confer suffrage rights, insure the election to office of the "best men," and prevent litigation and confiscation of property. Rev. James C. Wheat is the only notary in the county who can administer the oath.
(Names in announcement: Rev. James C. Wheat)
Full Text of Article:

For the "Vindicator."

Mr. Editor: It is important that you should impress on the minds of the people, the necessity of qualifying themselves to vote by taking the oath required by the Constitution, and recently modified by the Legislature.

Many seem to suppose that they are entitled to vote by reason of having taken the oath of amnesty. Such is not the fact. Every man is required to take an additional oath to support the government of Virginia before they can vote.

Rev. James C. Wheat, who is the only notary public qualified to administer oaths in the county, is the proper person, and probably the only person now competent to administer the oath. Let every man then come forward promptly and take the oath or, when the elections come on, he will find himself disfranchised. It is important in the outset of the new government that we elect our best men without reference to old party divisions.

The people should understand that it is necessary for the security of their persons and property that they should all take the oath of amnesty. Our best lawyers are of this opinion, and are all taking the oath. The prejudice against taking it is founded in ignorance and folly. It is right that every man who expects to live under the Federal and State Governments, should swear to support them.

The U.S. Court will meet here on 1st Oct., and those who neglect this warning may find themselves involved in expensive litigation if not more serious trouble. Any malicious person may instigate a proceeding for the confiscation of his neighbors property, and it will be too late then to take the oath. It is better to take it at once. Better err on the safe side. The old proverb says "a stitch in time saves nine." Call on Mr. Wheat at once.


[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: This letter, signed by "Many Voters," calls on Colonel George W. Imboden to run for Commonwealth's Attorney for Augusta County.
(Names in announcement: Col. George W. Imboden)