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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: April 19, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Column 1 contains a Prospectus of the Semi-Weekly Dispatch and advertisements.

The Union
(Column 2)
Summary: A poem that champions the Union, arguing that those who want to dissolve it are traitors.
Origin of Article: Waverly Magazine
The First Defeat of the Rebels
(Column 2)
Summary: Details the military strategy General Scott used to trick the "traitors" into concentrating their defensive efforts on Fort Sumter, while he sent men to fortify Fort Pickens and to blockade Charleston harbor. Thus, the rebels captured General Anderson at Sumter when he attempted to resupply the fort, but Scott accomplished these more strategically important tasks.
Origin of Article: Evening Post
Lieutenant Talbot
(Column 4)
Summary: The Baltimore paper complains that the secessionists have asked for a truce and are now using the time the U.S. government has granted them to build up fortifications and raise an army.
Origin of Article: Baltimore Clipper
Editorial Comment: "The refusal of the Sesessionist [sic] mob in Charleston, to permit the return of Lieut. Talbot to fort Sumter, was an outrage exactly in keeping with the general course of the Secessionists. The following, copied from an editorial of the Baltimore Clipper, will show that at least some persons South of the Mason and Dixon's Line hold the same opinion. Speaking of the understanding, that the condition of the forts should remain unchanged, it says:"
Full Text of Article:

The refusal of the Secessionist mob in Charleston, to permit the return of Lieut. Talbot to fort Sumter, was an outrage exactly in keeping with the general course of the Secessionists. The following, copied from an editorial of the Baltimore Clipper, will show that at least some persons South of Mason and Dixon's Line hold the same opinion. Speaking of the understanding, that the condition of the forts should remain unchanged, it says:

"As far as the administration is concerned, there has been no change in their condition; but in the meantime the secessionists of the South have been busy in concentrating troops around them by thousands. They have put up new batteries and fortifications at every available point. They have availed themselves of the armistice, if armistice it was, to fortify themselves in every respect, and have openly outraged all the rules of modern warfare. In fact they have acted in bad faith, and have most infamously and cowardly broken the pledges that were proposed. They have said to the United States, let us all allow matters to remain as they are until there can be a settlement, and in the meanwhile they have been levying armies and erecting fortifications, which in a state of actual war the forces of the United States would have been fully warranted in attacking. They have asked a truce and have themselves systematically violated it. They have prayed for an armistice, and under the cover of a white flag have been preparing themselves for operations of both offence and defence. They are as they have been from the beginning the violators of the public peace and the fomenters of a civil war, and now they insolently demand that the stars and stripes shall be struck to give place to their miserable Palmetto and Pelican flags, and that two-thirds of the people of this great nation shall SUBMIT to the dictation of a few disappointed locofoco spoilmongers or fight for the supremacy."

Privateering Threatened
(Column 4)
Summary: The New York papers have suggested that if war comes, a privateering operation will be created to interfere with Northern commerce on the seas.
Origin of Article: Baltimore Clipper
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Details the number of troops in Washington and speculates that 700 men in Washington are involved in an organized conspiracy against the Union.
Full Text of Article:

There are 1,200 men under arms in Washington, 700 volunteer and 500 regulars. The Volunteer force can be increased to 2,000 at a few hour's notice. All the approaches to the city are guarded. There is said to be an organized disunion conspiracy in the District, with 700 men enrolled.

The Action of the Government
(Column 5)
Summary: Excerpts nine articles from newspapers throughout the North. Each excerpt indicates strong support for the use of force to restore the Union.

-Page 02-

Our New Enterprise!
(Column 1)
Summary: Outlines the intentions of the new Semi-Weekly Dispatch to keep their readership better informed than weekly papers during a time when important events are happening at a rapid pace. Also argues that Franklin County should be able to sustain two Republican papers with no difficulty.
Full Text of Article:

To-day, we offer to the public a specimen copy of our new paper, and upon this, our first appearance, it will be expected that we present something respecting our movement. In order that any new enterprise be thoroughly successful, it must be of some public utility. Our present movement we believe to be not only of great public utility, but an almost universal necessity. In this County, there is not a single paper issues oftener than once a week. The rapidity of events, now transpiring in our country, the vast importance of those events to every citizen, and the deep anxiety everywhere manifested for early and reliable intelligence, all indicate the fact, that weekly newspapers are too slow for the times, and that there is a demand for dispatch in discrimination of the news of events as they transpire. To meet this demand, the publishers have resolved to issue their paper twice a week, and in order to meet fully every exigency, have put the terms at the extremely low price of TWO DOLLARS PER YEAR.

While there is not another County in the Commonwealth, of equal population or Republican strength, that does not support from two or three Republican papers, Franklin has but one. We are fully convinced that two sound Republican papers can and will be fully sustained. The Democrats have two here, and certainly, if they can be supported, we, as the dominant party, ought to do fully as much, and we have the fullest confidence in the ability, zeal, and we may say, intelligence of the Republicans of Franklin County, to believe that they will uphold us in carrying forward our enterprise to complete success.

The constant aim of the publishers will be, to give reliable information of the general news of the day, at the earliest moment; to present, twice a week, matter of a choice literary character; to uphold and advance the principles of the Republican party; to give a correct semi-weekly report of the prices current, both of Chambersburg and City markets, thus rendering the DISPATCH essentially requisite to every business man in the County; and an agreeable and welcome semi-weekly visitor in every family.

At the extremely low price of publishing, it is necessary to retain, for some time, our present size; but the intention is, as patronage increases, correspondingly to enlarge the paper. We intend using none but good material; our type are all new, and as respect the mechanical execution, our present issue may be considered the sample, and speak for itself. Respecting the matter contained, we will only say that, when our exchange list is perfected, we shall be able to present to our readers a much fuller account of the general news of the day, than in the present issue.

The publication of the paper semi-weekly, together with the low price of subscription, must secure such a circulation as will render the DISPATCH the best Advertising Medium in Franklin County; and we are sure our friends will not fail to appreciate the fact and look out for their own interests, by liberally patronizing us.

The Result of Vacillation
(Column 2)
Summary: Attributes the capture of Fort Sumter and any bloodshed that might ensue to the "vacillating and effeminate" administration of Buchanan.
Full Text of Article:

The capture of Fort Sumter is the first bitter fruit of the vacillating and effeminate Administration of JAS. BUCHANAN. What other results may flow from it, is not to be foretold. The imprecations of a blood-baptized land will, probably, yet be heaped upon his head. May GOD protect the Right, and avert all such horrors from us, or if the worst must come, enable us to meet the emergency with true hearts and willing hands.

[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Laments the capture of Fort Sumter by "traitors and perjured thieves."
Civil War Inaugurated!
(Column 2)
Summary: Argues that the news of Fort Sumter has "roused the spirit of Northern Patriots" and summarizes dispatches the paper has received about the fort's capture.
War Ahead!
(Column 3)
Summary: War appears inevitable, but such an ordeal as war is preferable to bringing ruin to the Constitution and to American society.
The State Defences
(Column 3)
Summary: Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania recommends that the legislature immediately remove the legal defects that prohibit the maximum efficiency and effectiveness of the state militia.
Full Text of Article:

As our readers are aware, the Militia Laws of Pennsylvania have ever been very defective. Heretofore no emergency has arisen, which has not been promptly and effectively met, but in the present uncertain aspect of affairs, it become [sic] our rulers to look well to our guards, and render efficient every means for the public defence. With such views, Gov. Curtin has issued a message, from which we extract as follows:--

I recommend, therefore, that the Legislature make immediate provision for the removal of these capital defects; that arms be procured and distributed to those of our citizens who may enter into the military service of the State, and that steps be taken to change the guns already distributed, by the adoption of such well known and tried improvements as will render them effective in the event of their employment in actual service.

In this connection, I recommend the establishment of a Military Bureau at the Capitol, and that the militia laws of the Commonwealth be so modified and amended as to impart to the military organization of the State the vitality and energy essential to its practical value and usefulness.

We Have a Government!
(Column 3)
Summary: Argues that the new presidential administration has rescued the nation's capital from the political confusion and treachery of the Buchanan administration.
Full Text of Article:

With the deepest anxiety have the American people been watching the transactions of the Administration, since the inauguration of Mr. LINCOLN, with a view to ascertain our true position among the nations, and solve the question, "Have we a Government?" The conditions of affairs toward the close of Mr. BUCHANAN's career, rendered the question a most absorbing one. Treason stalked abroad in open day in our National Capital; plunder seemed to have become a ruling passion among our officers; he who could dive deepest in the robbery of the public treasury, and, and, in official acts, leave the treason of BENEDICT ARNOLD or AARON BURR furthest in the rear, seemed to enjoy the highest honors. Confusion reigned in Washington.

Since the new Administration has taken charge of the helm of State, in the short space of six weeks, order has been brought out of political confusion, the public offices have been filled with good and true men, a scattered army and a dispersed navy have been gathered together, the public defences have been duly cared for, and in every movement, our new President has thus far shown himself the man.

The consequences of all this firmness and manliness of President LINCOLN may be a war with the so-called Southern Confederacy; but it will merely be an earlier commencement that the end may be the sooner, and will, doubtless, under the Divine blessing, avert from our beloved land, those terrible evils of anarchy, toward which we were so rapidly and fatally drifting. There are worse evils than war. The question is solved, and the fact fully established, for which we nationally and individually should be heartily grateful to high Heaven. We have a Government. Let every patriot be firm in assisting to uphold and sustain it.

Requisitions of the President
(Column 3)
Summary: Details the number of regiments requisitioned for each state, including Tennessee.
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Announces organization of a company of light artillery under the direction of Capt. C. F. Campbell.
(Names in announcement: Capt. C. F. Campbell)
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports that over 50,000 men have responded to the call in Pennsylvania for 13,500 men.
King Street
(Column 4)
Summary: Remarks that King Street has been much improved within the last year or two. A large two-story brick building is now under construction on the property of the "worthy mechanic" David Croft.
(Names in announcement: Mr. David Croft)
Gone West
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports that the Reverend Mr. Bowman, pastor of the German Lutheran Congregation of Chambersburg for several years, left with his family for Fort Wayne, Indiana, a few days earlier. The editor wishes him well.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Mr. Bowman)
Chambers Artillery
(Column 4)
Summary: Offers sympathies and prayers to the Chambers Artillery company, which has set out for Washington.
The Right Spirit
(Column 5)
Summary: States that some Chambersburg residents who rent to volunteers have reduced or eliminated their rents.
[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: Announces that Deal has been appointed postmaster even though he was not one of the applicants for the job.
(Names in announcement: J. W. Deal)
Union Feeling
(Column 5)
Summary: Describes a town assembly where between 1,800 and 2,000 Chambersburg residents raised a large union flag, heard "The Star Spangled Banner" sung, and listened to a number of patriotic speeches.
(Names in announcement: Reilly, Stumbaugh, McClure, Brewer, Everett, Stinger, Welsh)
Full Text of Article:

On yesterday, our citizens raised a Union Pole in the Diamond bearing aloft "The Star-Spangled Banner of the Free." It is 128 feet high, surmounted by a golden ball, with a Streamer floating to the breeze. When the Pole assumed an upright position, one long, loud and tremendous cheer from the crowd (numbering from 1800 to 2000) rent the air and made the welkin [sic] ring.

After raising the National Flag, a company of Ladies on the veranda of the Franklin House sung "The Star Spangled Banner" in a style worthy of their patriotism. Then, in response to the earnest calls of the assembly, Messrs. Reilly, Stumbaugh, McClure Brewer, Everett, Stinger and Welsh successively appeared on the verandah, and spoke in a style so thrilling and animating as stirred the very souls of their auditors, and so great was the feeling exhibited that the faces of many stern men were seen bathed in tears. Our citizens are "not wild with excitement," but stern determination is visible in every countenance.

Numerous large National Flags are stretched across our streets, while small ensigns wave at the fronts of many a store and delight every exhibition of that patriotic feeling, which we are sure is felt in the hearts of the great body of our people.

Home Guard
(Column 5)
Summary: Reports on a meeting in Chambersburg to organize a home guard. Participants voted to form a home guard and to nominate a committee that would be responsible for receiving donations for the families of volunteers. The Honorable Wilson Reilly was appointed president of the home guard, and Mr. B. B. Henshey was appointed secretary.
(Names in announcement: Hon. Wilson Reilly, B. B. Henshey, J. A. EystenEsq., J. W. DouglasEsq., James NillEsq.)

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 4 and 5

Town Meeting
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports on a town meeting held to honor the members of the Chambers Artillery before they left town. The meeting adopted a number of resolutions denouncing the traitors of the South and offering their full support to cause for Union.
(Names in announcement: Hon. Geo. Chambers, Hon. Jas. Nill, D. K. WunderlichEsq., I. H. McCauleyEsq., Hon. G. W. Brewer, J. M'D. SharpeEsq., Rev. Mr. Nichols)
Full Text of Article:

In anticipation of the departure of the Chambers Artillery, a Town Meeting was called and assembled in the Court House, last evening. The meeting was organized by the appointment of Hon. Geo. Chambers, President, and Hon. Jas. Nill, and D. K. Wunderlich, Esq., Vice Presidents.

An eloquent and patriotic address was delivered by the President. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed, and the following preamble and resolutions, presented by I. H. McCauley, Esq., were unanimously adopted with tremendous applause:

WHEREAS, A band of traitorous spirits, regardless of their allegiance to the Country of their birth, have for years past been plotting the dismemberment of our glorious Confederacy, the hope of struggling Freedom throughout the World and the asylum of the oppressed and down trodden of all Nations:

AND WHEREAS, Their hellish efforts have resulted in inducing the people of seven of the Southern States of our Confederacy to declare that they will no longer continue under the same Government with us, and to establish a rebel Government, under the title of the "Confederate States of North America," which Government has stolen the treasure, seized the Fortresses, and taken possession of the National Vessels, Arms and Munitions of War, belonging to the Union, and placed in their midst for the defence of our common Country:

AND WHEREAS, The said "Confederate and Rebel" Government, without just cause has marshalled [sic] its Armies, and treasonably made war upon the Government of the Union, by attacking an unoffending but gallant soldier and servant of his Country, Major ROBERT ANDERSON, and his forlorn hope of 70 noble rank and file, and by the aid of starvation and exhaustion, has caused him to surrender his post, though not without honor to himself and those who so faithfully stood by his side, but yet to the great chagrin or all true lovers of the Constitution and the Laws:

AND WHEREAS, The Arch Traitor of them all--the Benedict Arnold of the South--Jefferson Davis--the President of the so called "Confederate States" has boldly ad openly threatened to march upon the Capitol of our Country at the head of 25,000 men, and drive out the Constituted Authorities of the land, and seat himself in the mansion and Chair of State, sanctified by those noble Executives who have presided in past times over the destinies of the Republic:

AND WHEREAS, The President of the United States of America, in vice of these undeniable facts, in view of the hostile attitude of the said "Confederate States" towards Fort Pickens and the other National Stations South, and in view of the wide spread treasonable sentiment that surrounds the City of Washington, has called upon the soldiery of the nation, who are faithful to their Countrr [sic], without respect to party feelings or predelictions [sic], to the number of 75,000 to rally in defence of the Constitution and the Laws, Therefore--

Resolved, by the people of Chambersburg, in town meeting assembled, without respect to party, That we cordially endorse the action of our National Executive, believing that the late and present national Government has been forbearing in the extreme, towards those traitorous spirits who have been plotting to overturn our beloved, and blood-cemented Institutions, paralize [sic] the arms of our national authorities, degrade the Flag of our affections, and deluge the land of our nativity or adoption, in the blood of its citizens.

Resolved, That the time has come for all men to sink the Partizan in the Patriot, to forego political principles and party animosities, until the danger that threatens our national existence is past, and to rally as one man, with one heart, one mind, and one purpose at the call of the constituted authorities of the land, for the maintenance of the Constitution and the Laws as they now are.

Resolved, That we cordially endorse the recommendation of our Executive and the prompt action of our Executive and the prompt action of our Legislature, in placing the Old Keystone State on a proper war footing, as one of the surest and most certain means of "conquering a peace," and restoring our lately happy land to prosperity.

Resolved, That we hail, as one of the most unerring evidences that we have a Government, and that that Government possesses the confidence and affection of the people, the fact that the gallant soldiery of our noble State and the Country generally, have so speedily and so cheerfully responded to the call of their Country, in numbers far over the aggregate desired.

Resolved, That our gallant and patriotic fellow citizens, the members of the Chambers Artillery and other Volunteers of our County, who on tomorrow's morn, are to go out from our midst, and from their families and friends at the call of their Country, have our most sincere and heart-felt wishes for their individual preservation from death or grevious [sic] in jury during their absence, and our ardent prayers that they may each and all be speedily restored to the arms of those who so patriotically part with them at the call of duty.

Resolved, That we hereby pledge to each one of these our friends, our sacred honors, that we will see that their wives and children, and whoever elsewhere is dependant [sic] upon them, shall not, during their absence, lack for any thing temporal that money and willing hearts can provide.

The meeting then adjourned, and the volunteers were ushered into Franklin Hall, where a sumptuous banquet was prepared for them by the citizens of our town.

After supper, the Hon. G. W. Brewer, in a neat and appropriate address, presented a very handsome sword to Lieut. John Doebler, which was responded to on behalf of the lieutenant, by J. M'D. Sharpe, Esq. The Rev. Mr. Nichols was then introduced, and after a short but impressive address, closed the exercises with a fervant [sic] prayer in behalf of our noble soldiers and the cause they are about to defend.

The exercises of the evening were enlivened by music performed by the Chambersburg Brass Band.

Departure of the Volunteers
(Column 1)
Summary: Describes the scene in which volunteers "bid adieu" to their loved ones.
Proceedings of Court
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Barnard Evans, William Evans, John E. West, and C. Snider were convicted of assault and battery and fined. Jason Johnson and Benjamin Moore pled guilty to larceny, were fined, and were given time in the Eastern Penitentiary. William Flory was convicted of rape, fined $500, and imprisoned in the penitentiary for five years. The court returned the children of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Christ to the custody of their mother. Rufus K. McLellan was found guity of keeping a gambling house and sentenced to six weeks in the county jail. The other cases fell under the heading of common pleas.
(Names in announcement: Barnard Evans, William Evans, John E. West, C. Snider, Jas. Johnson, Benj. Moore, Wm. Flory, Mrs. Michael Christ, Michael Christ, Rufus K. McLellan, Sarah Jordon, Leonard Frederick, Addison Imbrie, P. A. Rice, George A. Poole, Matthew Gordon, Samuel McDonald, George Roemer, John W. Taylor, Philip T. Doyle, Mrs. B. Doyle, John M'Dowell, John Reilly, Magdalena Swartz, Frederick Smith)
Military Appointments
(Column 2)
Summary: Lists the men that the Pennsylvania governor has appointed as major generals and brigadier generals.
Military Force and Arms of Pennsylvania
(Column 2)
Summary: Recounts the number of volunteers and companies in Pennsylvania and catalogues the number and conditions of the weapons available for their use in the state.
Latest by Telegraph
(Column 3)
Summary: Telegrams from Harrisburg report that Virginia has seceded.
[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: Asserts that loyal Americans will stay with the Union.
Origin of Article: Buffalo Express
Proclamation of the President
(Column 3)
Summary: Lincoln calls forth the state militias to put down the rebellion and commands the rebels to "disperse and retire peacefully to their homes." Then he summons Congress to meet on the fourth of July.
State Apportionment
(Column 3)
Summary: Details the congressional districts that have been apportioned for Pennsylvania.
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Declares that if civil war must come, "let us . . . prosecute it with such vigor that our children shall never be cursed by such a calamity."
Origin of Article: Boston Atlas
(Column 4)
Summary: Died at his residence, aged about 93 years.
(Names in announcement: Mr. John Stewart)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Poem, advice to farmers, column 1; anecdotes, advertisements, columns 2-5