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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: August 9, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1 and 2; railroad summer timetable, column 2; Congressional proceedings, column 3; anecdotes, column 5

From the City of Washington!
(Column 4)
Summary: Notes brief items of news from Washington, including the report that Pennsylvania regiments will be placed under the command of General Cadwalader and General McCall. Reports that 50,000 men from Pennsylvania have enlisted, that their eight batteries of artillery have forty-eight cannons among them, and that one regiment will be cavalry. Comments that because of this "immense force" Pennsylvania deserves a Major General.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Articles concerning a battle in Missouri, the disorganization of the rebel army, and skirmishes near Sandy Hook and Harper's Ferry, column 3; reports from Philadelphia, New Mexico, Kentucky, and New York, column 4; advertisements, column 5

Gen. McClellan and the Press
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that in conjunction with a meeting between General McClellan and members of the press in the loyal states, the newspaper representatives formed a committee that resolved that editors should refrain from publishing information that might give aid to the enemy.
The Barbarities of the South
(Column 1)
Summary: Warns that, if Southern soldiers continue to perpetrate acts of "brutality," Northern soldiers will have no choice than to put into effect a "system of retaliation" that "may more than equal their acts of atrocity."
Full Text of Article:

For months past--long before the outbreak of the Rebellion of the South against the government--the country had been shocked by the recital of the most infamous and barbarous acts perpetrated by the Southern people upon persons of Northern birth who had taken up residence in their midst, or who were there, temporarily, on business or in the fond expectation of recruiting their shattered health, in the balmy breezes of the Southern mountains and valleys. We had always been taught to believe, that our 'southern brethern' [sic] were the beau-ideals of refinement, and the possessors of all the elements of the race that are found in the truly brave, the magnanimous, the honorable, and the real chivalrous! But the accounts of brutal violence inflicted upon our unoffending people--their northern birth affording the only justifying cause--together with the exhibition of all the hellish and brutal characteristics of the Commanche Indians, in their recent conflicts with the Federal troops, strips the Southern people of every single trait usually accorded to the true gentleman and brave soldier.

If anything were still wanting to complete the record of the total destitution of every honorable and refined principle among the large majority of the Southern leaders, it is found in the fact of their forcing [sic] their slaves into their entrenchments, and in the other fact, as we learn from Southern papers, of their tampering with the Indians and inducing them to aid their villainous and dastardly cause.

Thus far, our Government and troops have resisted them only with the modes known in civilized warfare; but if they, by a persistant [sic] course of brutality, arouse all the latent and baser passions of our soldiers, a system of retaliation will be induced that may more than equal their acts of atrocity.

Adjournment of Congress
(Column 2)
Summary: Applauds Congress for their recent work in the extra session.
Full Text of Article:

Congress adjourned on Tuesday last. A little more than one month has been consumed in Extra Session, in which an amount of business has been transacted which might well serve as a model in future times. Our Congressmen, at least a large portion of them, went to Washington, not for the purpose of retarding legislation in personal bickerings, party criminations and recriminations, and making long-winded speeches for buncomb, but for to legislate for the people and for the country. What few speeches of any length were made, were generally aimed at some conspicuous mark, and intended for some specific purpose. And what is the result? The country, which by the last Congress was left entirely defenceless, and at the mercy of Traitors, who would, had not our President been a man whose nerves quail not at the assumption of any responsibility, have crushed the vitals of Liberty, is now upheld by an army of five hundred thousand men, and five hundred millions of dollars at the command of Government for this purpose. Many other important measures have been passed; the whole country has been shown that the Government is entirely in earnest for its own preservation; and that if our present resources are not sufficient, either in men or money, they will be doubled, or trebled as the case may require. The People, the President, the Congress and the Army, are a unit upon this question. The Extra Session has developed the fact.

The Enemies of Peace
(Column 2)
Summary: Letter from a "Union-loving Democrat" complains about an article in the Valley Spirit that denounces "the adversaries of the peace of the country." Criticizes Democrats who prefer to compromise with the South rather than fighting.
Full Text of Article:

"At such a crisis whoever will stand by the Democratic party to resist the adversaries of the peace of the country, the integrity of the Union, and the stability of the Constitution, will be welcome to our ranks and will be reckoned our friends and allies."

Messrs. Editors:--The foregoing sentence, among others equally obnoxious, I find in an article in the last issue of the Spirit. Permit a Union-loving Democrat, a short space in your paper to submit a few thoughts upon the subject that occurred to my mind on reading it.

Who are "the adversaries of the peace of the country"? Are they the hundreds of thousands of citizen soldiery, now enrolled in the service of the country, who know no party "at such a crisis," and no political duty but the great one of maintaining the government of a free people and crushing out rebellion? Are they those members of Congress, of the several party creeds, who have, with such cheerful unanimity and patriotism, sustained the acts of the President, and voted immense supplies of men and money for the vigorous prosecution of the war? Are they the vast body of the people of the North, and the loyal citizens of the border States, who manifest such cheerfulness in sustaining the Government, and are willing to pledge both life and fortune for the maintenance of the "integrity of the Union and the stability of the Constitution"?

If all these be really "the adversaries of peace," Heaven save the contemptible minority of peace-loving Democrats! Their influence, on this side of "Dixie," towards the restoration of peace on the basis of a compromise with the rebels, will prove so vain and impotent, that all good and true friends of the Union, of whatever party, and especially of the Democratic party, will forget that these peace-lovers ever existed to disgust their fellow-citizens, and give indirect aid and comfort to the enemy. Recreant indeed must that man be who proclaims his duty to party as paramount to the magnanimous support of the Government in her present efforts to crush rebellion. Peace will eventually crown the efforts of freemen when rebellion shall have been suppressed; but the few, who are already "reckoned the friends and allies" of such men as Breckenridge and Vallandigham, will certainly fail in their efforts to form any very formidable political organization under such leadership. The constituencies of both these worthies are now prepared to discard them; but in this locality a few "friends and allies" are at the service of the Kentucky and Ohio leaders!

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 2-5

Beef for the Army
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that "quite a large drove of fat cattle" intended for the Union army encamped at Harper's Ferry passed through Chambersburg the previous morning.
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the roof of Seibert's Foundry in Chambersburg caught fire on Tuesday, but the sparks were extinguished before the engines could be brought into service.
Gone Back
(Column 1)
Summary: Relates that the Valley Spirit has gone back to weekly publication, leaving the Dispatch to serve as the only newspaper in the county published twice a week.
The Hot Season
(Column 1)
Summary: Remarks that "for some days past," Chambersburg has suffered from "intense hot weather." Comments that the effect of this weather has been "enervating and depressing" upon local residents and expresses the hope that the corn will not suffer for the heat and lack of rain.
The Hope
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the Hope Fire Company of Chambersburg had ceased to offer their services because an objectionable town ordinance was passed. However, when a fire broke out the previous Tuesday, many of their members returned to the job since the ordinance had been voted down in Town Council recently.
Still Prisoners
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Mr. J. Allison Eyster of Chambersburg and several gentlemen from Waynesboro continue to be held prisoner, now at Richmond.
(Names in announcement: Mr. J. Allison Eyster)
Full Text of Article:

Our townsman, Mr. J. Allison Eyster, and the several gentlemen from Waynesboro', whom we announced sometime ago had been seized while in Virginia and thrown into the Winchester prison--since removed to Richmond--as prisoners of war, are still detained. Efforts by influential parties, we understand, are being made to obtain their release, but with what prospect of success we are unable to say. As these gentlemen are but simple civilians, disconnected with the operations of our army altogether, what object is to be achieved in their detention, we are at a loss to know.--We would be pleased to hear of their liberation; but if this is peremptorily denied, then we trust the most determined and energetic measures of retaliation will be adopted by our people everywhere. This is a game two can play at, and the sooner it is commenced, the better.

Off at Last
(Column 2)
Summary: Reprints an article from the Harrisburg Telegraph announcing that the artillery regiment being commanded by Colonel Rush and Lieutenant Colonel Campbell left Camp Curtin for "the seat of war" the previous Tuesday.
Origin of Article: Harrisburg Telegraph
How the Enemy Get Information
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports from Harper's Ferry that the writer of a letter witnessed an exchange of newspapers--the Baltimore Sun and the Richmond Enquirer--between a rebel picket and a federal picket "midway in the river."
Infamous Outrage
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports the flogging of three men and a woman traveling to the Northern states from the South.
Full Text of Article:

Mr. John M. Collins, of Va., son of the celebrated Methodist Preacher, Rev. John A. Collins, has given the following narrative of his experiences, in the South, to the Washington Star of this evening:

"An accomplished young woman, named Anna Giernstein, a native of Maine, who had been engaged in school teaching, near Memphis, was informed that she was an object of suspicion to the Secessionists, and was advised to leave. On the 18th of May she left Memphis for Cairo.

In the cars she found three Northern men, named Tomlinson, Duffy, and McGregor, also en route to Cairo, and said to them, "Thank God! we shall soon be in a land where there is freedom of speech and thought!" The remark was overheard by a fellow named Firman, who immediately demanded to see her ticket and those of her fellow passengers above named. Finding they were all destined to the free States he at once caused their seizure by the vigilance committee. These gentlemen were then stripped naked and whipped, the strokes being administered by a negro with a gnout [sic] some twenty four feet in length, each stroke of which cuts the flesh in stripes an inch in width. Miss Giernstein, who had expressed some natural indignation at these inhuman barbarities, was then seized by the brute who conducted the whipping arrangements, one John Duvall (a native of Cleveland, Ohio!) who requested her to unfasten the upper part of her dress. She indignantly refused, when Duvall said he would do it himself, and laying hands upon her tore her dress away down to the waist. Her feet were then tied with straps and a person named Thomas McElroy (formerly of Syracuse, New York!) held her by the arms while Duvall administered thirteen stripes to her bare back. While submitting to this ordeal the brave girl did not gratify her persecutors by a single tear, but Mr. Collins noticed blood upon her lips, indicating that she had bitten them through in suppressing any outward indications of her agony. The right side of her head was then shaved, and, thus scarred and disfigured she was permitted to resume her journey towards civilization."

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Article from the Harrisburg Patriot reporting that cannon blasts from Manassas were heard 50 miles away at Somerset, column 1; article concerning the balloon launch at Fortress Monroe, column 1; brief article concerning the attempted assassination of the King of Prussia, column 1; prices current, column 2; advertisements, columns 2-5