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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: October 01, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1 and 2; article describing the siege of Lexington, column 1; news from Kentucky, reports of skirmishes in Virginia, column 4; other war news, column 5

The End of Breckinridge
(Column 5)
Summary: Announces the news that John C. Breckenridge of Kentucky has gone over to the enemy.
Full Text of Article:

It is reported, we presume on good authority, says the N. Y. Tribune of Saturday last, that John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, has at length gone over to the enemy, and joined the Rebels who are seeking to destroy the Republic, and who, from the beginning of their treasonable movement have had his secret sympathy and countenance. To the country and to the Government his departure is no great loss. To the great majority of loyal citizens the name of John C. Breckinridge is the symbol, not of a great or eminently able man, but of a small and commonplace politician, a mediocre lawyer, and of a soldier who, while in service in Mexico, never faced any other enemies than the opposing counsel in the prosecutions which he assisted the redoubtable Gen. Pillow in bringing against his associate and superior officers.--Born with a gold spoon in his mouth, of one of the most opulent and influential families of Kentucky, of pleasing manners and appearance, and of insatiable ambition, he has been pushed forward in public life more rapidly than any other man in our history. Before the age of forty, an age earlier than which high public position is rarely attained in this country, he has been twice a Member of the House of Representatives, had been Senator and Vice President of the United States, and at length the candidate of a great party for the Presidency itself. In all these posts, with all these opportunities he has done nothing, literally nothing. Outside of his native State no man remembers, no man can recall a speech or an act of Mr. Breckinridge which was striking or important enough to take a hold, however feeble, of the public mind. The act by which he will be hereafter best known and longest remembered, is the act of open treason which he has just committed. In himself he is of no consexuence [sic], but the shameful defection of a man so petted and caressed by public favor will bring a pang of regret to thousands of honest Northern hearts, as they recall the delusion under which they were led to give him their suffrages in last November.

-Page 02-

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

Mr. Nill vs. Mr. Reilly
(Column 1)
Summary: Endorses Mr. Nill for the position of President Judge while questioning the loyalty of Mr. Reilly.
The Judgeship
(Column 2)
Summary: Describes the qualifications of James Nill to be President Judge without calling into question the qualifications of his competitor, Wilson Reilly, Esq., for the job.
Full Text of Article:

On the 19th ult., the Conferees, representing the Day Book Democracy of the Sixteenth Judicial District, composed of the Counties of Franklin, Fulton, Bedford and Somerset, met in Bloody Run, and placed in nomination Wilson Reilly, Esq., of Chambersburg, as their candidate for the President Judgeship.

On Tuesday last, the 24th ult., the Conferees of the Union Party of the same District nominated the Hon. James Nill, of Chambersburg, as Mr. Reilly's competitor.

The Conferees of Somerset failed to meet the other Conferees, but they acquiesced in the action of the Conference, and Mr. Nill and Mr. Reilly now stand before the voters of the District as candidates for President Judge for the next ten years, and it requires no prophet to foretell who will be the choice of the people.

We presume it is unnecessary for us to draw a comparison between these two gentlemen, as to their qualifications for the position for which they have been selected, or as regards their merits and demerits. They are so well known to the people of the District, and especially to those residing in Franklin and Fulton Counties, that an attempt on our part to do so, would seem almost as foolish as would the act be of introducing members of a community to each other who are in daily communication and engaged in daily business transactions.

The people are deeply interested in having the right kind of man to preside over their Courts. A President Judge is only chosen every ten years, unless a vacancy should be created by resignation, death, or otherwise, and to have a man fastened upon the Bench for the next ten years, who, in many ways, may be unfitted for the position, would be a blunder which the people might have great reason to regret.

Mr. Nill is a man of fine legal attainments, and is an experienced Lawyer, having had a most extensive practice at our Bar for the last thirty years. He possesses a cool head and a well balanced judgment, and is not moved to rashness and excitement by every trivial cause or obstacle. He is not capricious or whimisical [sic]. He is a man of dignified mien and of the most correct moral deportment. The Bench and other similar positions, should be filled by just such men as Mr. Nill. While the duties of the position would be ably discharged, there would be no detraction from the dignity that should be, and is, accorded by the people to the wearer of the judicial ermine.

Mr. Nill is the man for the place, and the voters of the District should see to it that he is elevated to the Bench beyond a preadventure. The people have a deep interest in the kind of man who is to dispense Law and Justice in their Courts the next decade of years, and while we would not detract from his opponent, we feel assured that the people will very readily indicate by their votes on next Tuesday, that James Nill is the man of their choice for President Judge.

Voters Should Remember
(Column 3)
Summary: Reminds voters that the ballot for President Judge must be placed in a separate box. Relates that the Dispatch has printed the ticket with the name of judge at the bottom so that it may be easily detached.
Under His True Colors
(Column 3)
Summary: Points out that Breckenridge, who defected to the South, was the candidate endorsed by the Valley Spirit for President in the previous election. Expresses little surprise at Breckenridge's defection.
Next Tuesday
(Column 3)
Summary: Reminds voters that Tuesday is election day and urges them to vote for the Union ticket.
What Are We Waiting For?
(Column 3)
Summary: Offers answers to those people who ask what the government is waiting for to unleash its military forces.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Inquirer
Full Text of Article:

Many among the uninitiated--and this class is in the great majority--echo the question which we use as a caption. In view of the great armies sternly regarding each other at Washington, the Rebel progress in Missouri, and the movements in Kentucky, the curiosity becomes sharpened almost to madness; the suspense lies like an incubus upon the mind. What are we waiting for? Why is not some movement made from Washington?

Let us give a few answers to this manifold question. We are waiting to recover entirely from the disaster of Manassas; to re-inspirit the new troops there panic-struck, and to try them in affairs and reconnoissances, such as that of Lewinsville, before they are again subjected to the "leaden rain and iron hail" of a great battle. "We must have no more Bull Run affairs."

We are waiting to discipline a vast army, before improperly organized, lacking bone and muscle; lax for want of a system of army-corps, divisions and brigades, with permanant [sic] commanders. This is to be done, now that the proper appointments have been made, by constant drills of the company as skirmishers; of the battalion, by the new and rapid French system embodied in the United States Infantry Tactics; by the army corps, under the Brigadiers, in evolutions of the line. This is being done, silently but vigorously, everywhere, under the immediate direction of experienced and indefatigable Generals.

We are waiting to increase our artillery and and [sic] perfect the practice; to place heavy guns in the beautiful chain of forts stretching from Alexandria to the Chain Bridge; and to multiply light batteries until they literally swarm in the battalion intervals.

We are waiting for cavalry--at first under-valued--at all times requiring toil, time and expense to provide. We were without that expense to provide. We were without that arm; McClellan's eye saw at once the great disparity and the great want. The Rebels abound in a superior cavalry--a true modern Centaur, intelligent men on superb horses; Manassas told the story of their value. We must have cavalry equally good, as soon as possible. We are waiting for it.

We are waiting to let diversions on the Southern coast operate magnetically in Virginia. They are now being felt; and those secretly projected on a greater scale, with the blessing of Providence, shall echo like thunderbolts between the Rappahannock and the Potomac. Add to this the coming frosts, with the rigors of a Northern winter; their want of supplies--Virginia is nearly eaten up--their want of clothing; their home-sickness, which will be another evil laid at the door of States' Rights;--we are waiting for these, and we see the incipient signs already. In a word, we are using every moment of the passing time with the utmost diligence; and those who cannot see the workings of the intricate machinery must be content to hope and to put their faith in the genius, industry, valor and endurance of General McClellan, whose plans are forming and formed, and who will move when we need wait no longer, with secrecy, celerity and success.--Phila. Inq.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 2, 3, and 5; war news from Washington, column 4

The Fast Day
(Column 1)
Summary: Comments that the day of fasting declared by the President for the previous Thursday was "universally observed" by residents of Chambersburg, who refrained from conducting business and attended church services.
Terrific Storm
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that a "terrific" wind and rain storm passed through Chambersburg the previous Friday evening, causing a chimney and a tree to fall on the property of Mr. Jacob Daum.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Jacob Daum)
More Troops
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces the arrival in Chambersburg of more detachments of troops, which are to be incorporated into Colonel F. S. Stumbaugh's regiment.
(Names in announcement: Colonel F. S. Stumbaugh)
J. Allison Eyster, Esq., Released
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that J. Allison Eyster was released from prison in Richmond, where he was being held by the rebels under suspicion of being a spy, and returned home the previous Saturday.
(Names in announcement: J. Allison EysterEsq.)
Full Text of Article:

We have the gratification to announce, that our respected townsmen, J. A. Eyster, Esq., whose arrest by the rebels we announced at the time it occurred, and who has been held a prisoner at Richmond, Va., ever since, during the early part of last week was released, and arrived at home on Saturday last.

While in Richmond he was imprisoned in a large Tobacco Warehouse for some five weeks, with Messrs Kurtz, Walker, McCumsey and Brotherton, of Waynesboro', whose capture we also announced. He was then removed to the County Prison, where he was detained up until the hour of his release.

Mr. E. looks about as natural as ever, but somewhat thinner in flesh. He says he was treated kindly, as are all the prisoners, as far as his knowledge goes, that are detained at Richmond, of whom it is supposed, there must be some 2500. Many of them are now being transferred to points farther South.

Mr. Eyster was arrested and detained as a spy, and would have been discharged long ago could he have obtained a hearing before the proper authorities. It was a mere accident that he finally did succeed in having his case brought up, and no evidence being adduced against him, he was discharged on the spot. He was furnished a pass to Norfolk, from whence, under a flag of truce, with a number of other discharged prisoners, he was sent to Fortress Monroe. From there he embarked for Baltimore, and is now at home, where he has received the congratulations of hundreds of his fellow-citizens, at his fortunate escape from the philistines.

The other parties we have named above, were not so fortunate as Mr. Eyster. It appears they are charged with furnishing the federal troops with supplies while on the "sacred soil" of Virginia, and they, doubtless, will be obtained until the close of the troubles.

I. O. O. F.
(Column 2)
Summary: Announces the election of officers by the Chambersburg Lodge of the I. O. O. F. W. S. Everett will serve as Representative to the Grand Lodge, as Secretary, and as Lecture Master; Jno. Monat was elected N. Grand; T. J. C. M'Grath will serve as V. Grand; Assistant Secretary will be G. W. Bitner; Treasurer is John Earhart; Hall Keeper will be William Robison; William McClenegan was appointed Conductor; and William Kennedy, Esq., serves as the Sitting Past Grand of the Lodge.
(Names in announcement: W. S. Everett, Jno. Monat, T. J. C. M'Grath, G. W. Bitner, John Earhart, Wm. Robison, William McClenegan, William KennedyEsq.)
Bad Orthography
(Column 2)
Summary: The Dispatch editor defends the paper against charges by the Times of bad spelling by arguing that spelling is not very important.
(Column 2)
Summary: Mr. William B. Michaels of Chambersburg and Miss Ann Catharine Thompson of Williamsport, Maryland, were married in Chambersburg on September 18.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Willliam B. Michaels, Miss Ann Catharine Thompson)
(Column 2)
Summary: Mr. William Keller and Miss Annie Ward were married on September 4.
(Names in announcement: Mr. William Keller, Miss Annie Ward)
(Column 2)
Summary: Mr. Adam Yost and Miss Elizabeth Kahler, of Cumberland County were married on August 26.
(Column 2)
Summary: Mr. Tilman Talbert and Miss Rosanna Bohn, both of Franklin County, were married on August 26.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Tilman Talbert, Miss Rosanna Bohn)
(Column 2)
Summary: Mary Alrick Fletcher, aged 8 months, died on September 27 in Chambersburg. She was the daughter of Mary V. and J. W. Fletcher.
(Names in announcement: Mary Alrick Fletcher, Mary V. Fletcher, J. W. Fletcher)
(Column 2)
Summary: Mr. Daniel Knepper, 70 years of age, died in Quincy township on September 20.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Daniel Knepper)

-Page 04-

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