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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: July 19, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1-3; proceedings of extra session of Congress, columns 4 and 5

-Page 02-

Description of Page: End of Congressional proceedings, column 1; report of union victory at Huttensville in western Virginia, arrival of troops at Fairfax courthouse, column 4; other minor news items pertaining to the war, column 5

Free Speech and a Free Press
(Column 1)
Summary: Argues that free speech must not be curtailed in hopes of stopping public pronouncements of support for the rebellion in the North. The Dispatch maintains that it was not the exercise of free speech, but the poor choice of elected officials that led to war. To preserve the Union, it is necessary to protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press, not to "make words treason."
Rapid and Effective
(Column 2)
Summary: Predicts that, because of the great leaders the country has chosen in men like General McClellan, statesmen will meet in Congress as equals once the North has won the war and the Union has been preserved.
Full Text of Article:

The country is beginning to realize some of the good fruits of placing the right men in the right places in the rapid and effective movements of Gen. G. B. M'Clellan. Within less than one week he has met and vanquished, a rebel force of at least 10,000 men under Gen. Garnett, putting his detachments to rout in three several engagements, capturing at one time two or three hundred prisoner, forcing the unconditional surrender of about six hundred men under Col. Pegram at another, and winding up with an other engagement where Gen. Garnett heads the rebels, in person, in which Garnett is killed, over one thousand prisoners taken with all the cannon, camp equipage, besides a great number of horses, leaving not even the stump of an army remaining to the foe. His triumphant message to head quarters is, "Our success is complete, and Secession is killed in this part of the country."

Such are the men, and such the movements which are destined to re-establish, throughout the broad expanse of our beloved land, the sacred principles of Human Rights and Human Equality, and we verily, begin to feel more than ever confident that "when this war shall be brought to a close, that, no cause of war shall exist." After our army of Liberty shall have performed its mission, Statesmen from North and South shall meet in days past, but without the haughty insolence displayed, which for years past has been the wont of many Southern Congressmen towards the Northern, who scracely [sic] dared oftimes to call himself the peer of him whose servants said "my master."

These days are gone. The Northern Statesman no more shall bow his neck to such disgrace. They will henceforth meet as equals, acknowledged, and as such respected.

Push then the battle forward. Let no back step be taken until no traitor dares to pollute the common atmosphere with the poison of his influence--until the Snake, Secession, stings itself to death.

Apprehension of Danger to General Scott
(Column 2)
Summary: The Dispatch offers agreement with a prediction given by the Knoxville Whig that General Scott will be assassinated because he is so adept at military strategy. The Dispatch expresses little surprise that members of the rebel army might attempt such an action.
Origin of Article: Knoxville Whig
Are the Rebels Cowards?
(Column 3)
Summary: Disputes the idea that rebel soldiers are cowardly, even though they have run on a number of occasions when faced with the Union troops in battle. The Bulletin argues that a substantial number of Southern soldiers have been impressed or have enlisted for fear of sustaining injury if they did not, and therefore what seems cowardice may simply be their hidden loyalty to the Union.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Bulletin
Editorial Comment: "The above from the Phil. Bulletin, is full of truth, justice and common sense."
Full Text of Article:

The soldiers of the rebel army have run at Philippi, at Romney, at Falling Waters, at Rich Mountain and everywhere else. It really looks as if they were all cowards and not fit to fight with brave men. General McClellan was not far wrong when, in one of his proclamations, he expressed regret that his soldiers would not find "foemen worthy of their steel." It has been suggested here that the mystic letters of the Virginians, F. F. V., really mean Fast Flying Virginians.

But we cannot allow that the Southerners are cowards. It would be a reproach to our own blood, and to the race from which we and they have sprung. In a good cause they have fought and will always fight as bravely as any men in the world. Some of them are perhaps sincere in their faith in the excellence of their cause. But we know that many are not; that thousands of their men have been impressed, or have enlisted for fear of injury if they did not enlist. When an army thus composed finds itself face to face with a body of loyal troops, and is called on to fight against the glorious Stars and Stripes, is it any wonder that the hearts of the men fail them, and that the enormity of the crime they are engaged in is for the first time felt to such a degree, that they fly or surrender? Let us not jeer at the rebels as cowards. The weakness they show may be the first sign of returning loyalty.

The above, from the Phil. Bulletin, is full of truth, justice and common sense. History doe not write Americans as Cowards whether of Northern or Southern birth, and had it not been for the vainglorious boasting of certain braggadocio Southern papers, and speakers, their own bravery would never have been called in question.

Havelocks a Failure
(Column 3)
Summary: Includes an excerpt from the Harrisburg Daily Telegraph complaining that the head gear presently worn by Pennsylvania soldiers renders them conspicuous to the enemy and interferes with their hearing and their. The Dispatch adds that these "havelocks" are uncomfortable, and the wearer is "made to resemble an overgrown monkey." Suggests a hat with a stiff brim and ventilation holes are around as a replacement.
Revival of Trade in Philadelphia
(Column 5)
Summary: Outlines areas in which the economy has been seen to be prospering.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Evening Bulletin
Full Text of Article:

The leading editorial in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin of the 16th contains information of a cheering character, respecting the revival of trade in that city. The writer says:

"The signs of recovery from the paralysis produced by the first shock of war are multiplying. Business of every kind is reviving, stocks are going up; manufacturers are stirring themselves with a view to more active operations; some branches are more busily employed than ever, owing to the necessities created by the war; the farmers are all busy gathering in a splendid crop; there are signs of a pretty good fall trade in our mercantile circles, partly the result of this great crop--these, and the exhilerating [sic] news of victories to the Federal arms and demoralization and disaffection in the ranks of the rebels, are restoring public confidence, and, confidence once restored, half the mischief of a business panic is undone and repaired.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 2-5

Funeral of a Volunteer
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports the death on Tuesday morning of the soldier who had been lying sick of typhoid fever at the home of Mrs. Wolfkill. His name was George W. Cressinger of Derry, Westmoreland County. Due to the rapidly decomposing state of the body, he was buried in Chambersburg the following morning.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Wolfkill)
Got a Prize and Off for Home
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that an African-American man dressed in uniform passed through Chambersburg the previous Sunday. The man had been a servant to one of the officers of the Eighth Regiment and was on his way home.
Full Text of Article:

A uniformed individual, of the colored persuasion, passed through our place on last Sunday, riding a very fine horse and bearing with him a carbine and holster pistol, exciting considerable curiosity among our people. On being questioned it was found that he had been with the 8th regiment in the character of a servant to one of the officers; that when the "Chivalry" took prisoners those 43 Union men who mistook them for friends, he was about: and seeing a ready saddled horse with a carbine strapped to him, "lying around loose," concluded, a horse was no use without a rider, and so, jumped upon him and was making for home as fast as possible.

How the Rebels Obtain Information
(Column 2)
Summary: Denounces criticism made of Northern papers for publishing the "earliest intelligence" about the movement of Northern troops. The Dispatch argues that these papers are not the means by which rebels learn of Northern strategy. In fact, they learn through spying, as dispatches from Baltimore indicate.
(Column 2)
Summary: Mrs. Susannah Branthaver, aged 60 years, died near Jackson Hall on July 10.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Susannah Branthaver)
(Column 2)
Summary: Mrs. Barbara Diener, aged 47 years, died near Grindstone Hill Church on July 10.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Barbara Diener)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Anecdotes from the Chicago Journal and Harper's Drawer, column 1; prices current, column 2; advertisements, columns 2-5