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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: June 01, 1866

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-Page 01-

"Marching On."
(Column 07)
Summary: Responding to the assertion that "the columns of freedom march steadily on," the author responds that in the wake of freedom there is only devastation, destruction and death and asserts that ultimately "the columns of abolition freedom" will stop "at the feet of its father, the Devil."
Origin of Article: Democratic Watchman, Bellefonte, Penn.
Full Text of Article:

The columns of freedom march steadily on-

Yes, and in its wake is the graves of hundreds of thousands of our best men-the bleaching bones of our brothers-a soil reddened with the blood of our own kindred-solitary chimneys that mark the spots of desolated and destroyed homes-outraged women -beggared children-a people robbed of their liberty-plundered of their wealth-enslaved with debt and impoverished with taxation.-A country shorn of its strength-despoiled of its glory-pilfered of its greatness-its fields laid waste-its cities sacked-its towns destroyed-its prosperity blighted-its flag disgraced-its Constitution dishonored and its freedom made a mockery and its liberty a lie.-A race of being torn from happy and contented homes and cast upon the highways and by-ways of life to die. Yes, "the columns of freedom march steadily on," and close upon its heels, grasping with cold, clammy hands, as if to stay its onward progress, comes the corpses of the hundreds of thousands it has murdered and trampled down; and all around and about it, with disheveled locks, tattered garments and pleading looks, is the forms of outraged women, begging with tearful eyes to be spared the horrors they have been subjected to; yet it continues on, tramp, tramp, tramp--, crushing liberty, life and justice-leaving nothing in its trail but blighted hopes, sorrowing hearts and the blackness of despair. But it has about reached its end. A little while longer, and with the "soul of John Brown," the columns of abolition freedom will halt amid the smoke and flames of the infernal regions, at the feet its father, the Devil.-Democratic Watchman, Bettefointe, Penn.

-Page 02-

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports that Senator Trumbull has withdrawn the "Dews petition" from the Senate floor after receiving a letter from W. J. Dews which claimed that the signers of the petition were being pressured and intimidated into disclaiming their affiliation with it. The editor disputes Dews' account, arguing that those "who made public their statements did so voluntarily" and that Dews should display the original petition to the community to see if any of the signatures are forgeries.
(Names in announcement: A. H. H. Stuart, Joseph Segar, Jas. Todd, J. Frank Davis, John D. Sheets)
Full Text of Article:

Mr. Trumbull asked permission of the U S. Senate, on Thursday, May 24th, to withdraw the original Dews-Todd petition presented by him, leaving a copy of the same which was agreed to.

This strange course was pursued in consequence of a letter being written to him by Dews, of which the following is an extract:

"The rebels of this place through A. H. H. Stuart, of Staunton and Joseph Segar, as I learn, have gotten the names from Washington of the signers of the petition of the Union citizens of this county praying for troops, &c., which you recently presented to Congress. It was done for the purpose of injuring us in every possible manner, as events have proved. The rebels have even intimidated some of the signers, some six or seven, until they have actually signed cards in the rebel papers, denying that the signed the petition. I therefore respectfully request that you will cause to be forwarded to me immediately the original petition in order that those who procured the names may be relieved of this infamous charge against us of forgery."

Dews knew, when he was writing, that the object of obtaining the lists of signers was not to "injure us in every possible manner," even if Dews and Todd alone are intended to be meant by the term us , and events have not proved that the object, though the result of the republication of the names of signers has been to call forth charges against the circulators of that petition, which, unless done away with, may injure them, but not in every possible manner. He knew that those who made public their statements did so voluntarily and not from intimidation from any source.

The reason alleged for the withdrawal of the original petition is "to relieve those, who procured the names, of the infamous charge of forgery." The petition is again in the hands of Dews, and according to his letter, it is incumbent on him to exhibit the petition and show that the signatures of parties, who deny signing it at all, are genuine, and not forged by the circulators of it. It seems there were four circulators of the petition, each making affidavit to the list of signers obtained by himself, viz: W. J. Dews, Jas. Todd, J. Frank Davis and John D. Sheets. Each one of these parties swore that his respective list of signers were citizens of Augusta and signed in his presence. Now some of these signers say they did not sign this paper at all, and hence the necessity to show the petition and prove the signatures to be genuine.

The exhibition of the petition may or may not prove the genuineness of the signatures but we are at a loss to see how the charge of false swearing against some of the circulators is to be done away with. They each make affidavit to the list of signers obtained by themselves respectively, in which it appears that they swear the names were signed in their presence and the parties "are citizens of Augusta County." Now we know that ten are citizens of Rockbridge, one or more of Rockingham, and we learn that as many as six are citizens of Pendleton County, West Virginia. Whether the charge made by some signers, that their names were signed to the petition without authority, will be proved or disproved by the exhibition of the petition remains to be seen, but we would like exceedingly to see how the party or parties, who swore that the six citizens of West Virginia, one or more citizens of Rockingham, and ten or more citizens of Rockbridge, are citizens of Augusta, will relieve themselves of the dilemma in which they are placed.

News Items
(Column 03)
Summary: Capt. John Avis, who served as Provost Marshal at Staunton during the war, was recently elected mayor of Charlestown, West Virginia.
(Names in announcement: Capt. John Avis)
Latest News
(Column 04)
Summary: Reports that the Senate passed the bill admitting Colorado into the Union over President Johnson's veto and struck a provision from the Reconstruction Bill that would have disfranchised Confederates until 1870. The House passed a tax bill that levies an export duty of five cents per pound on cotton and passed a bill to continue in force and amend the Freedmen's Bureau Bill.

-Page 03-

Local Items--Proceedings of County Court
(Column 01)
Summary: Summarizes the recent proceedings of the County Court, including the appointment of conductors to hold elections for militia officers and surveyors for the Middlebrook and Brownsburg Turnpike.
(Names in announcement: J. Givens Fulton, R. Turk, F. F. Sterrett, Jas. W. Newton, M. W. D. Hogshead, Jas. Henry, Samuel McCune, Thos. W. McClung, Jas. W. Patrick, Henry Woodson, Peter Ramsom, J. M. Lilley, Jno. Nunan, Wm. M. Bell, W. P. Cale, A. A. Sproul, J. F. Hite, John Miller, George W. Groiner, James W. Hudson, Leopold Loeb, Gabriel Hirsh, George Greaver, James E. Carson, Daniel Brown)
Full Text of Article:

The Court appointed the following conductors for holding elections for militia officers, viz: Captains and 1st and 2nd Lieutenants, under act passed March 2nd 1866, reorganizing the militia:

J. Givens Fulton, R. Turk and F. F. Sterrett, for 160th Reg't; Jas. W. Newton, M. W. D. Hogshead and Jas. Henry for the 93rd Regiment; and Samuel McCune, Thos. W. McClung and Jas. W. Patrick for the 32nd Regiment.

Henry Woodson and Peter Ramsom (Freedmen) charged severally with felony, examined and remanded to Circuit Court for trial.

Report of Commissioner J. M. Lilley, laying off Middle brook and Brownsburg Turnpike into precincts, received and confirmed and the following Surveyors appointed: Jno. Nunan, Wm. M. Bell, W. P. Cale, M. W. D. Hogshead, A. A. Sproul and J. F. Hite.

John Miller charged with petit larcery was fined $50 and ordered to be imprisoned for six months in county jail.

George W. Groiner and James W. Hudson, surveyors of road were ordered to rebuild bridges on old Staunton and Scottsville Turnpike, over mill race at Waynesboro' and Christians Creek, near Peck's Mill.

Leopold Loeb indicted for selling goods without license fined $20.

Nolle prosequis were entered in cases of Gabriel Hirsh, George Greaver, James E. Carson, and Daniel Brown on indictments found at former Grand Juries.

Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: The Abingdon paper praises Rev. William Harris, who is leaving Abingdon to take charge of the Wesleyan Female Institute in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Wm. A. Harris)
Origin of Article: Abingdon Virginian
Full Text of Article:

We copy, with pleasure the following extract from the Abingdon Virginian, which shows the appreciation of that community for the Rev. Wm. A. Harris, who has been for several years past a resident of that place, and will shortly take charge of Wesleyan Female Institute in Staunton. We trust Mr. Harris may be compensated for the change by the increased prosperity of the Institute under his charge.

"The removal of Mr. Harris will be a great loss to this community, and however his services may have been estimated heretofore, they will be more fully appreciated after he shall have left us. As an instructor of young ladies, and as a high-toned christian gentleman and scholar, and he has but few superiors; and as the manager and master-spirit of a school of comprehensive grade, he has fully established the reputation which preceded him here. He took charge of Martha Washington at its opening the year before the war, and when the enterprise was an uncertain and rather unpromising experiment. It opened successfully, and before the war cloud burst upon us, no college in the South had more brilliant prospects, nor has greater satisfaction ever been given as to the proficiency of pupils. * * * * * *

"We congratulate the people of Staunton in securing his services, and if unremitting industry, through scholarship, and a conscientious discharge of duty can resuscitate and put in successful operation the Wesleyan Female Institute, Mr. Harris will do that thing."

Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports the results of elections held May 24 for constables and sheriff, where Samuel Paul was elected.
(Names in announcement: Samuel M. Paul, Thomas Marshall, William Craig, William M. Bush, G. M. Apple, E. J. Bell, A. Rusmisel, H. G. McCausland, A. J. Grooms, John H. Heizer)
Full Text of Article:

AT the election held on Thursday, May 24th a very small vote was cast. Samuel M. Paul was elected Sheriff.

The following gentlemen were elected Constables: Thomas Marshall, 1st (Staunton) District; William Craig, 2nd (Staunton) District; William M. Bush, Waynesboro' Dist.; G. M. Apple, Greenville Dist.; E. J. Bell, Mount Solon District; A. Rumisel, Middle brook Dist.; H. G. McCausland, New Hope District; A. J. Grooms, Mt. Sidney District; and John H. Heizer, Churchville District.

Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that the Spring House of John Engleman was broken open and robbed of various food items and opines that "such thefts are getting too common in these times and should be put a stop to, even if it is necessary to resort to shooting."
(Names in announcement: John B. Engleman)
Full Text of Article:

SUNDAY night last the Spring House of John B. Engleman, of this place, was broken open and robbed of milk, butter, CROCKS, buckets, lot of soap and half barrel of vinegar. Such thefts are getting too common in these times and should be put a stop to, even if it is necessary to resort to shooting.

Local Items
(Column 02)
Summary: The president of the Churchville Oil Company has returned from the oil regions of West Virginia and is confident in the success of the company. The Directors will meet in Staunton next Saturday and hope begin operations immediately.
Full Text of Article:

WE learn that the President of the Churchville Oil Company has returned from the oil regions of West Virginia. His examination and conference with experienced oil men there have tended to increase his confidence in the success of the company. He has employed an experienced auger man, and bought an engine and necessary tools. The Directors will meet in Staunton, Saturday next, and desire to make arrangements to commence operations immediately. About 20 shares of stock remain to be taken. The books will be closed June 5th. Those who desire to take stock in this promising enterprise can do so by leaving their names at this or the "Spectator" office.

Local Items
(Column 02)
Summary: Edward Hess, second son of William Hess, fell 35 feet from a tree last Saturday, breaking his back. He is expected to recover.
(Names in announcement: Edward Hess, Wm. Hess)
Local Items
(Column 02)
Summary: Martin Roher denies ever signing the "Dews-Todd petition" that has caused a local controversy.
(Names in announcement: Dews, Todd, Martin Roher)
(Column 02)
Summary: Mollie Bear, of Rockingham, and Henry Cease, of Staunton, were married on May 17 by Rev. J. W. Howe.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. W. Howe, Henry P. Cease, Mollie A. F. Bear)
(Column 02)
Summary: Elizabeth Engleman and Peter Frenger, both of Augusta, were married on May 16 by Rev. J. D. Shirey.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. D. Shirey, Peter Frenger, Elizabeth Engleman)
(Column 02)
Summary: H. B. Dickinson, of Charlotte County, and Julia Crawford, of Augusta, were married on May 29 by Rev. W. E. Baker.
(Names in announcement: Rev. W. E. Baker, H. B. Dickinson, Julia A. Crawford)
(Column 02)
Summary: Amanda Hunter, wife of W. L. Hunter, died on May 19. She was 37 years old.
(Names in announcement: Amanda J. Hunter, W. L. Hunter)

-Page 04-