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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: July 26, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1 and 2; continuation of the address given by Joseph Holt at Louisville, Kentucky, columns 3-5; proceedings of Congressional extra session, column 5

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Particular incidents that occurred during the battle at Bull Run, taken from the Washington National Republican, columns 3 and 4; brief articles from Kansas City and Baltimore, column 5; advertisements, column 5

The First Reverse
(Column 1)
Summary: Points out that the battle at Manassas Junction on July 20 was not a defeat, but was the first time the federal army has been compelled to withdraw their forces. Commends federal troops for the small losses of men compared to those lost by the South.
Major General Patterson
(Column 1)
Summary: The Dispatch questions the wisdom, the bravery, and the loyalty of General Patterson for failing to cut off the lines of communication between General Johnson and General Beauregard at Manassas Junction.
Full Text of Article:

It appears to be rather unpopular in certain quarters, for newspaper editors to criticize the actions, or rather the want of action, of any of our Military gentlemen, and whenever one of the aforesaid know-nothing-about -war editors presumes to the audacity of venting his thoughts upon such subjects, some others who "acknowledge the corn," quickly open their batteries upon him. At the risk of being "blown up" we also must have our little say, and will preface it with a telegram which appeard [sic] in several of the Philadelphia papers, as follows:--

"It is vaguely reported that General Patterson's Division arrived in the vicinity of Manassas this morning, and commenced an attack on the rebel force. He was within twenty-five miles of the battle-ground yesterday, and the exhausted condition of his men prevented him from coming to the aid of General McDowel."

Now, we do not intend to contradict this nonsensical telegram, nor to ask why he was not there. The first has been done already, and we can answer the other by saying that he had no business there. But we do ask, why did he allow Gen. Johnson to go there? Is this the 'bloodless victory' he told his men he should achieve? Gen. Johnson left Winchester with 30,000 men leaving 5,000 behind. Why did not General Patterson harrass [sic] his retreat, as any good General could have done, and thus either so engaged him as to have compelled his presence at Winchester, or at least cut off the communications of a large portion of his army? A review of the pranks of this take-part-in-the-chase-at-Cerro-Gordo General, looks to us very much like either cowardice or sympathy with the rebellious cause. The Philadelphia Inquirer, a few days ago, asked its readers to look at what General Patterson had done, and then, in most bitter irony, we suppose, told them.

Had a written agreement, drawn up by Jeff. Davis himself, between Gen. Patterson and Gen. Johnson, been regularly signed, sealed and delivered, containing full stipulations respecting the method to be pursued by both, allowing Patterson the eclat of having served as a General in the Union cause, acted bravely in battle, retired at the expiration of his time with honor, &c., &c., and at the same time avoid cutting off Gen. Johnson's communications with Gen. Beauregard at Manassas Junction, and permit him to slip through his fingers and unite with Beauregard at the proper time, such an instrument could not have been drawn by Mr. J. Davis more to his own liking than the farce enacted by this forced-to-show-his-colors General. May the race of such Generals be very soon extinct.

The Breckinridge Journals
(Column 2)
Summary: The Dispatch defends itself against charges by the Valley Spirit that the Dispatch issued false statements with regard to Mr. Cessna and the Bedford Democrats.
Full Text of Article:

The Valley Spirit devotes nearly the whole of one of its columns to us, thirteen lines of which is original, and which we do not consider worth noticing, except to say that, if the Spirit had desired to make an honest statement it would, with our article of the 12th have quoted that of the 23d, having the same caption in which we quote part of a letter from Mr. Cessna himself, or not have published anything about it. After quoting our article the Spirit copies about half a column from the Bedford Gazette, another sheet of about the same calibre and patriotic sentiments, which, as their article appeared before our explanation, we will answer very briefly:

1.--The article in our columns was handed to us for publication, and was written by a reliable gentleman who received the information, respecting Mr. Cessna, from a Breckinridge Democrat of Fulton County, who, with curses upon Mr. Cessna, related the substance of the article, in the presence of this gentleman and several others.

2.--We love truth-telling, clean-worded journals, and of course the Gazette professes to belong to that class, and in "Nailing our Falsehood," has shown due zeal, f not any brilliant acquirement of knowledge. We profess to hold the principles of the Republican Party. We believe them right.

3.--The resolutions of that convention were strictly in accordance with the Breckinridge Party Platform, with the present views of Mr. Breckinridge, and just what Jeff. David & Co. desire all parties and conventions in the North to pass. They agreed with the doctrine of "Let us alone."

4.--Mr. Cessna was a member of the Democratic Party, and held to the doctrines of Mr. Douglas, honestly, we suppose; he was, therefore, right in supporting him.--We, as honestly, opposed those doctrines, and therefore, as rightly opposed those doctrines, and therefore, as rightly opposed the election of Mr. Douglas. Where mere opinions of political policy are concerned, we oppose the coercion of any man.

5.--Respecting the minding of our own business, that is what we are trying to do; and part of that business is, to expose, and hold up for general condemnation, all traitorous acts and influences, of individuals, assemblies and public journals, within the limits of our knowledge, and to the extent of our sphere.

Gen. Patterson's Column
(Column 1)
Summary: Notes changes in the organization of General Patterson's column, which has been taken over by Major General Banks.
Full Text of Article:

In our issue of the 21st, we gave the organization of Gen. Patterson's column. Since that time several important changes have been made, as follows:

Gen. Patterson's term having expired, the position is to be occupied by Maj. Gen. Banks.

A 3d Division has been added, Maj. General C. W. Sandford commanding, comprising two Brigades, the 7th, Col. Stone acting Brig. General, consisting of

1st. Reg. N. H. Vol., Col. M. W. Tappan;
9th " N. Y. S. M., " G. W. Stiles;
26th " Pa. Vol. " H. S. Cake;
17th " " " (Artil.) " F. E. Patterson, besides a New York State Militia Battery, and one Company of Dist. of Columbia Volunteers.

The 8th Brigade, Col. D. Butterfield commanding, consisting of

5th Reg. N. Y. S. M., Lieut. Col. L. Berger;
12th " " " " " W. G. Ward;
19th " " Vol., Maj. Ladlie;
28th " " " Col. D. Donnelly;
2d " Mass. " Col. G. H. Gordon.

The 2nd Division, under Gen. Keim, has been reformed into three Brigades instead of two, as before, each Brigade comprising but three Regiments. The new Brigade is numbered 6th, Col. J. J. Abercrombie commanding, consisting of the 11th Pa., 1st Wis. and the 11th Ind., Col. Wallace. The 14th, 15th and 24th Pa. Regiments, form the 5th Brigade.

The Sabbath
(Column 2)
Summary: Criticizes the Union army for attacking the enemy at Bull Run on a Sunday.
Full Text of Article:

While we do not hold to non-resistance upon the Sabbath, or any other day, nor believe that, the Sabbath can be observed with the same quietude and in the same manner in the army as when in our own peaceful homes, we do believe, that the Sabbath might be observed as becomingly in the army as out of it, and that, but few circumstances can be found to justify an attack upon an enemy upon that day. Whether it necessarily follows, that the attacking party is generally worsted, or not, certain it is, that our forces attacked the rebels on Sunday at Bull's Run, and if not worsted, not only did they fail to gain their point, but lost the position they had gained the day before. We are not inclined to be superstitious, but we firmly believe in the overruling hand of a Divine Providence, who will not suffer iniquity to go unpunished. Our cause is just and righteous, and must finally prevail; but we shall be scourged for past national sins, and it behooves us to guard well, that the continued commission of others does not protract the scourge. God has said, "Him that honoreth me, I will honor," and upon this, we would have all; and especially all in authority, everywhere to reflect.

Latest News by the Mails!
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports on the battle as it continued on Sunday, July 20.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 2-5

Return of Troops
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that five or six Pennsylvania regiments have passed through Chambersburg in the previous day or two. They are on their way to Harrisburg because their three months of service has expired. Most are expected to re-enlist after a visit at home.
The Oats Crop
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that lack of rain will cause the early sown oats not to be over an average yield. However, the recent rain, according to the opinion of farmers, should make the crop heavier than usual in Franklin County. In addition, unless a sustained drought occurs, the corn should yield a fine crop.
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Passes the word from the Harrisburg Telegraph that the clothing recently furnished to Pennsylvania troops was of excellent quality. The Dispatch commends the improvement and expresses the hope that the state's volunteers will "go forth equally well equipped in all other respects."
Glad to See Him
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports the visit to the Dispatch office on Wednesday of Mr. James L. Gaff, who was previously reported to have been hanged by the rebels in Virginia. Gaff said that he had feared many times for his life while a captive in rebel hands.
(Names in announcement: Mr. James L. Gaff)
Extraordinary Yield!
(Column 1)
Summary: Estimates from the yield of one small farmer that wheat crops could yield the "astonishing quantity" of 201 bushels to the acre.
(Column 2)
Summary: Lillie Allice McElwain, aged 2 years and 6 months, died on July 23 after a painful and lingering illness. Lillie Allice was the daughter of Andrew and Mary Jane McElwain.
(Names in announcement: Lillie Allice McElwain, Andrew McElwain, Mary Jane McElwain)
(Column 2)
Summary: William Henry Sullenberger, aged 5 months, died on July 25.
(Names in announcement: William Henry Sullenberger)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1-5; prices current, column 2

John Brown and the Traitors
(Column 1)
Summary: A reader puts forth the theory that Southerners looking to unite the South against the North and overthrow the government put John Brown up to the raid on Harper's Ferry. The letter credits Henry Wise in particular for urging Brown's action to show the South that Northerners wanted to compel their slaves to rise up against them.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Evening Bulletin