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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: July 12, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, column 1; poem, column 2; proceedings of Congress, columns 2-5

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Report of a "desperate battle in Missouri," column 3; brief articles of news from Baltimore, Washington, and Georgia, columns 3 and 4; advertisements, column 5

Hon. John Cessna
(Column 1)
Summary: Criticizes the recent nominating convention of the Bedford County Democratic party for failing to make clear declarations of loyalty to the Union. The Honorable John Cessna, reports the Dispatch, was voted out of the party after introducing resolutions that tried to breathe "a spirit of patriotism and loyalty to the Union" into the convention. The Dispatch commends Cessna for being a "patriotic and honest man" and denounces the convention for voting down his resolutions.
The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Secretary of War
(Column 1)
Summary: Rebukes the Philadelphia Inquirer for reporting incidents of corruption in the War Department. The Dispatch remarks that Breckenridge Democratic papers have quoted these charges as true without questioning them.
Gov. Pierpont's Message
(Column 1)
Summary: Summary of the message of Governor Pierpont of Virginia, in which he "takes high and patriotic ground" by promoting the war against the rebellion. Pierpont maintains that there has long existed a secret organization in the South whose object was to overthrow the federal government. He suggests that "the cry of danger to the institution of Slavery has been a mere pretext to rouse and excite the people."
Our Army Not Marauders
(Column 2)
Summary: Announces new orders issued by General Patterson that prescribe death to any soldier "who shall quit his post or colors for the purpose of plunder and pillage."
(Column 2)
Summary: Chastizes the Valley Spirit for printing an article criticizing the Lincoln Administration.
Full Text of Article:

Under the above caption the Valley Spirit copies, and thus endorses, a very dirty little article from the Carlisle Volunteer. We do not refer to this fire-cracker article because there is any common sense in it, but merely to show the kind of mental food the readers of these papers are supplied with; and, if possible, induce the publishers to issue something a little more edifying and truthful. We could not think of inserting the whole piece into our columns, but, as a sample, give the following comments upon a quotation from Mr. Forney, who is able to take good care of himself:

"Good lick, John--'cute,' and no mistake. We think this will secure you a re-election. But what malignancy! Mr. Buchanan--a man with more patriotism in his big toe than is possessed by the entire Lincoln Administration, the 'Kitchen Cabinet' included--to be accused of having entertained a design to destroy the Government he loves so well!"

The traitor we despise, the dupe we pity; but whether most to despise or pity the authors and circulators of such consummate hypocrisy and spleen, is rather undecided with us. Under ordinary circumstances, we could make allowance for the blinding effect of party zeal, but when such flings are uncalled for by any consideration and entirely out of place, we feel indignant at the malevolence it betrays. And when we reflect that our present political troubles have been brought upon us by the intimate friends and advisers of this same Buchanan; winked at and screened by him until a whole nation were ready almost to seize him and drag him by force out of the Presidential chair; who, while sworn to preserve inviolate the public property of the United States, permitted State after State to proclaim their withdrawal from the Union, steal forts and arsenals, mints and treasuries; and whose damning guilt is now proclaimed over the entire civilized world;--we then realize how stupid the intellect or how base the designs of such rodomontadors.

The publication of such articles is insulting to the common sense of the readers of these papers, and afford a very strong commentary upon the suspected patriotism of the authors as well as retailers of such miserable twaddle.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 3-5

More Troops
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that two more regiments passed through town the previous Wednesday night, on their way to "the seat of War."
A Noble Harvest
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that farmers in and around Chambersburg have been harvesting the heaviest wheat crop in memory.
Chambersburgers Visiting Washington
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the men from Chambersburg listed above are on a trip to Washington and are visiting various camps around the city. They plan to follow the army into the interior of Virginia if the troops depart on a campaign before the men return home.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Wm. McLellan, Mr. I. H. McCauley, Mr. T. B. Kennedy, Mr. Wm. Chambers, Mr. A. D. Caufman, Mr. W. R. Reilly)
Habeas Corpus
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the counsel for George Heckerdorn filed and lost a writ of habeas corpus before Judge Kimmel the previous Tuesday. Heckerdorn was charged as a principal in the killing of "the negro Jones" some time ago.
Camp Followers
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that "certain" people, some "from our own neighborhood," have been following the Union army into Virginia. The Dispatch passes on the information that these people are being closely watched and will be "dealt with" according to the standard procedures of war if they are caught stealing anything.
Knights of the Golden Circle
(Column 1)
Summary: Reprints a portion of an article from the Harrisburg Telegraph that repeats a rumor claiming that a lodge of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a "treasonable order," exists in Harrisburg. The Dispatch urges an inquiry throughout the state into whether there are members of this order in communication with Southern "co-conspirators."
Our Troops
(Column 2)
Summary: Describes the condition of Chambersburg troops stationed at Martinsburg as "excellent." Reports that the troops have enlisted for three months and would like to return to Chambersburg after that time, but will probably re-enlist for three years after a short stay at home.
The Contrabands in Fortress Monroe
(Column 2)
Summary: Excerpt from a letter written from Fortress Monroe giving an account of the presence of slaves who have run away to the fort, referred to as "contrabands."
Full Text of Article:

A letter from Fortress Monroe says: "The ebony 'contrabands' are everywhere to be seen, and make themselves generally useful. General Butler has seventeen to wait upon his table (so the story goes), and they are liberally attached to the various departments. The one to whom skill my boots owe their extravagant polish says his master left him, and he had no alternative but to come to the fortress. He thinks the cause of the North eminently just, and agrees with one of his dark companions in expressing an earnest desire that Jeff. Davis may be roasted alive. The contraband women and children occupy an old house near the fortress and laugh and sing away the long warm days in blissful ignorance of the magnitude of the contest of which their race is the innocent cause."

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Proceedings of Congress continued from page 1 printed in column 1; prices current, column 2; advertisements, columns 2-5