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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: September 10, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1 and 2; news concerning Fort Harras and information about cavalry horses, column 3; anecdotes, column 4; brief news items from Washington concerning the war, column 5

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Union ticket, column 1; advertisements, columns 4 and 5

False Colors
(Column 1)
Summary: Argues that aside from such loyal Democrats as J. McD. Sharpe, the Democrats, who held a convention the previous Tuesday, harbored many men professing to be Unionists, but inevitably revealing their true colors as "traitors" to the flag.
Full Text of Article:

In several of the engagements which have taken place between the Federal forces and the Rebels, some of the Regiments of the latter, for the purpose of deceiving, marched under the Stars and Stripes, and thus obtained advantages over our troops and positions on the field, that they could not have done under their true colors.

This is precisely the position which the Breckinridge Day-Book Democrats of Franklin County, under the marshalship of the Valley Spirit, now occupy. In their Convention on Tuesday last, they adopted a Platform similar to that of the Union party, but from their down-cast and sullen countenances, it was plainly perceptable [sic] that they were making a virtue of necessity.

We understand that about a quire or quire and a-half of fools-cap was wasted by one or two of the leaders in vain efforts to draw up resolutions expressive of he sense of the Day-Book Democracy, with regard to the Government and the Rebellion, but all failed. What would please the traitors, displeased the Union men, and vice versa. A Preamble and Resolutions, advocating Compromise and Peace, and a prosecution of the war, at the same time was scouted by the few really true men of the Convention. J. McD. Sharpe, Esq., and several others would be satisfied with nothing less than an unconditional surrender of the Day-Book Democracy. He drafted a Plaiform [sic] of Principles, on which he and his friends were willing to stand, which he submitted to the Convention, and urged their adoption in a most thrilling and truly loyal speech, during the delivery of which the leading sympathisers with the Rebellion, quailed before the majesty of the truths he uttered.

Mr. Sharpe's political career is an evidence of the truth of the proverb, that "evil communications corrupt good manners;" but while we are sorry that his political morals have manifestly suffered much by his association, we are rejoiced that he has not yet become totally depraved, but that through his tattered political robes, evidences of "old decency" may yet be seen--evidences of the political virtue which he acquired in the old Whig school in which he was educated. The speech he delivered on this occasion, would have been creditable to him in the palmiest days of his opposition to the disunionists, and but for it, the Democracy of Franklin this day would have been pledged to the support of a degrading "Peace Policy."--When he resumed his seat, his resolutions came up, and one by one they were adopted, about one-third of the Delegates voting, the rest remaining silent and dumbfounded.

While Mr. Sharpe was thus successful in throwing the lion's skin over his party in this county, its ears protrude too far to deceive any one as to the species of the animal it covers; but if its ears are no evidence, the bray of the thing should satisfy all as to its true character. Now listen to the bray of the animal.

Augustus Duncan, the Democratic candidate for Associate Judge, when called upon to contribute to the fund for the relief of the families of the soldiers who had marched to defend the Capital of the country from the attack of the rebel hordes that were menacing it, and to lay down their lives, if need be, in defense of the Union, replied, in substance, as follows:

"I have no part in this war--have no sympathies with it--and will give nothing towards its support."

The lion's skin does not quite cover this Democratic candidate, and from the sounds uttered it is easily told whether he is "a man or a mouse," or, in other words, whether he is not marching under false colors.

Christian Lesher, the choice of the Peace Democracy of Franklin for the Legislature, asserted on our streets on the day he was nominated, that

"He was for compromise--for Peace; and would now favor the adoption of the Crittenden Compromise to secure that end."

If we judge Mr. Lesher by the standard set up by that noble and truly loyal old Democrat, Hon. Joseph Holt, of Kentucky, we must conclude that Mr. Sharpe's lion skin does not altogether hide his deformity either. In a speech in Boston, a few days ago, Mr. Holt said--"The word 'Compromise' now was only uttered by disloyal lips, or those in the interest of the rebellion." This being so, we must conclude that Mr. Lesher is before the loyal people of the District under false colors too.

One of the proprietors of the Valley Spirit, just before the outbreak of the rebellion, remarked:

"When it comes to fighting, I will be with the South."

Another gentleman, whose name was before the Convention as a candidate for Associate Judge, but was withdrawn before a ballot was taken, said--

"If there was any shooting to be done, he would go to the other side of the Line and would shoot North."

A prominent leader in the Convention, and who has recently filled a Court House Office, to show his colors, and which way his sympathies encline [sic], has remarked that

"All the patriotism, all the statesmanship, and all the religion was with the South."

As straws show which way the wind blows, these expressions of the Day Book Democracy go to show the real character of both the candidates and the leaders of that party.--They are fighting under false colors, and they should be unmasked--they have "stolen the livery of heaven to serve the devil in."

Death of Jeff. Davis
(Column 2)
Summary: Speculates that if Jefferson Davis indeed proves to be dead, the Confederacy may well be doomed. Points out that the South at present does not benefit from the optimistic circumstances it enjoyed when Davis took office, and that his death would only further demoralize the rebels.
True and False Union Men
(Column 3)
Summary: Asserts that there are two kinds of Unionists, ones that are devoted "heart and soul unconditionally" to the Union, and ones that are "for the Union, but!" The latter appear overly concerned about not violating Southern rights and about blaming both the North and the South for the present conflict. This type of "Unionism," the Democrat remarks, is detrimental to the federal cause.
Origin of Article: Winchester Democrat
Editorial Comment: "The following, from the Winchester Democrat, is so truthful and graphic, that we adopt it as our own."
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports information from the Shippensburg News that Orrstown is in communication with the South and expresses contempt for such activities.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1-3, 5; news from the war, including assurances that Jefferson Davis has died, columns 4 and 5

That Pistol
(Column 1)
Summary: Expresses the opinion that J. McD. Sharpe should not have exhibited a pistol at the recent Democratic convention, asserting that the weapon would constitute his answer to certain persons to whom he had alluded. The Dispatch points out that such a crime, putting aside law and order, would be more reprehensible than the murder of Frank Jones by a group of drunken soldiers. The Dispatch maintains that Mr. Sharpe is more law-abiding than this demonstration would indicate and was merely trying to make a point.
(Column 1)
Summary: Advises soldiers that they must "drill cheerfully and carefully," aiming for perfection, so that "we will hear of no more Bull Run follies."
(Column 2)
Summary: Mr. Jacob B. Hege and Miss Mary E. Vanderaw, third daughter of William Vanderaw, Esq., were married in Guilford township on September 5.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Jacob B. Hege, Miss Mary E. Vanderaw, William VanderawEsq.)

-Page 04-

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

Military Expenditures of the State
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Pennsylvania has expended $1,515,716.40 on the war to date.
Origin of Article: Harrisburg Telegraph