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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: May 31, 1861

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

Description of Page: List of national, state, and local officeholders, column 1; prospectus of the Semi-weekly Dispatch, column 1; advertisements, columns 1 and 2; poem, column 3; anecdote about Benjamin Butler, article about the destructive properties of the conical balls fired from Minie rifles, column 4; the chronology of secession, column 4; article about the case of John Merriman, charged with treason in Baltimore, column 5

Fun Among the Soldiers
(Column 3)
Summary: Prints a comical letter, supposedly written by a soldier stationed in Washington. His letter emphasizes the rustic sleeping conditions and the constant false alarms that the capital is in danger of being attacked.
Drill! Drill!
(Column 4)
Summary: Urges soldiers who have not yet been sent into battle to remain patient and to continue to drill. Points out that only troops experienced in drilling would have the discipline necessary to fight effectively.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Short articles giving news from Washington, North Carolina, Mechanicsville in New York, Cincinnati, and other locations, columns 3 and 4; advertisements, column 5

The Attitude of England
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that England will most likely "remain a neutral spectator of American affairs." The editor applauds this decision because, in his opinion, the United States should be allowed to demonstrate its ability to keep the country together without outside assistance.
Virginia Affairs
(Column 1)
Summary: Reprints an article from the Press that predicts Virginia will return to the Union without blood being shed. This prediction was based on the strong vote against the secessionists in many Virginia counties the previous Thursday, as well as on the difficulties Virginia is experiencing due to the federal blockade of its ports.
Origin of Article: The Press
Horses and Wagons for the Army
(Column 3)
Summary: Notes that four hundred horses and about seventy baggage wagons are stationed in Harrisburg. They are reportedly be moving toward Chambersburg within the next few days.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Prices current, column 3; advertisements, columns 3-5

[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the Sixth Regiment, led by Colonel Nagle; the Twenty-third Regiment, led by Colonel Dare; the German Rifles, led by Colonel Ballier; the Irish Regiment, led by Colonel Owens; and the Scott Legion regiment, commanded by Colonel Gray arrived in Chambersburg the previous day.
Shot Himself
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Mr. John Fisher, the owner of the Southern Hotel, accidentally shot himself with a revolver. Though he wounded himself seriously, he now seems to be doing well.
(Names in announcement: Mr. John Fisher)
Another Arrival of Troops
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that 12,000 to 14,000 more troops are expected within a day or two to arrive in Chambersburg. Those who arrived the previous day are encamped near town.
Buried at Last
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that about twenty-five soldiers stationed in Chambersburg buried the beef that was to be their food rations, as it "was entirely dead."
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that several nights earlier, four soldiers entered a local hotel and were refused liquor. They then proceeded to rob a woman sitting in the hotel of a gold watch and chain she wore. The soldiers have not been apprehended.
Relief Fund
(Column 1)
Summary: Calls for Chambersburg citizens to be generous with their gifts to the relief fund designated for the families of the Chambersburg volunteers.
Quarters of Troops
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that members of the Second and Third Regiments are quartered in the various churches and public buildings of Chambersburg, while some are staying with friends.
Death of a Soldier
(Column 2)
Summary: Recounts the story of how troops from Company G of the Second Regiment conveyed a the body of a dead comrade to the railroad station to be taken back to his home. The soldier had died of brain fever.
Full Text of Article:

On yesterday morning the body of a soldier, named Samuel Hoin, Company G, 2d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, was conveyed to the railroad station to be taken to his friends. The company of which the deceased was a member followed the corpse to the station, another company with the regimental band preceded it, the band playing a dead march. The whole was conducted in a very solemn manner, and we noticed as the procession passed that some of his comrades in arms were in tears. The disease, we understood, was brain fever.

(Column 2)
Summary: Recounts the story of a soldier who masqueraded as an officer to force his way into the house of a local resident, where he passed through without doing any damage. The editor admonishes disorderly soldiers like this one who, he says, take advantage of their position to disturb the local citizens who have given them nothing but kind treatment.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Christ)
Full Text of Article:

On Monday night a soldier went to the house of Mr. Christ, and represented himself as an officer, sent to search the house for a man whom he named. He was told that no man of that name was there, and was denied admission. He threatened to break the door, when he was admitted, and after passing through the house, went away without doing any damage. What his object was is not known, but such conduct is not to be tolerated. If the soldiers stationed here cannot be kept in order by their officers, some other means must be devised. The citizens here are ever ready to do all in their power for the comfort and kind treatment of our soldiers, and we are glad to record that nearly all the soldiers are well behaved, and appreciate the kindness of the people. We hope the few disorderly ones may see the necessity of maintaining order and conduct themselves accordingly.

Soldiers Letters to be Franked
(Column 2)
Summary: Reprints a letter from C. H. Van Wyck declaring that he will, to the best of his ability, try to ensure that letters from soldiers stationed in Washington are sent without their having to pay postage on them. The editor comments that something must be done to allow soldiers to send letters free of charge, particularly since the government has as yet paid them nothing for their service.
Pennsylvania Secessionists
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports an attack on some men employed in peeling bark near Shade Gap in Huntingdon County. These attackers are alleged to have been Pennsylvanians harboring a disloyalty to the union.

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Poem, column 1; excerpt from an article written in Richmond by a correspondent of the New York Tribune about the state of Southern troops, column 1; advertisements, columns 2-5