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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: October 18, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1 and 2; news from Louisiana and Virginia, columns 3 and 4; graph indicating the voting results for Franklin County from five companies stationed at Washington and Pittsburgh, columns 3 and 4; explanation of why Henry May went to Richmond, anecdotes, column 5

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Reports of skirmishes near Washington, report of a battle at Rolla, Missouri, column 3; reports from Fortress Monroe, Darnstown in Virginia, and Baltimore, column 4; advertisements, columns 4 and 5

Our Government
(Column 1)
Summary: Points out that the United States, in existence for eighty-five years has become one of the most profitable and greatest nations in the world. Argues that if the government compromises with the "thieving, perjured rebels" of the South, it would allow the strength of the nation to crumble. Asserts that the Union must be maintained at any cost.
Full Text of Article:

After an existence of eighty-five years as an independent nation--recognized by all Government as the peer of either; with a growth of population unparalleled, and a development of wealth and national resources which has astounded the world; with a future, upon which the nation was just entering with giant strides, that bid fair to place us, in point of influence, prosperity, strength, and power, if not in the lead, at least among the first nations of the earth; with a system of government the least oppressive, and the best ever devised by human wisdom, in which the rights of all were abundantly protected--to have such a picture, such a glowing prospect, marred by a few bad, ambitious men, is sufficient to arouse not only the wrath of men but the indignation of angels.

But deplorable as it is, the bright prospects of our country have been clouded by the rebellious spirits of the South, who have precipitated a revolution for the purpose of subverting the Government, which cannot but be regarded as the most wicked, the most unreasonable and the most unjustifiable that is found upon the page of the world's history.

Ours is, emphatically, the People's Government, and it is for the People to say, whether it shall be maintained intact, with all its advantages and blessings, not only for the present but for future generations, or whether the fair fabric shall be permitted to crumble before their eyes, shorn of its strength and beautiful proportions, resulting in anarchy and confusion, and productive of the worst evils which afflict any people anywhere.

We are in the war for the maintainance [sic] of the Constitution and the union, and having laid the hand to the plow, it will not do to look back--our watchword must be onward to victory. Any other course would but prove our people cravens, unworthy of their glorious inheritance. If we would command the respect of the world, the rebellion must be crushed out, though it should cost untold treasure and blood, and we must exhibit to mankind everywhere, at home and abroad, the ability of the Republic to maintain itself against the attacks of internal as well as foreign enemies. The time for compromising with the thieving, perjured rebels, has long since passed; and if the whole people have not already made up their minds to carry the war to a successful conclusion, it is time they would. It cost too much blood and treasure to secure our Republican Government, and we should be willing to spend an hundred times as much to maintain it. If the teeming millions of the North but put their shoulders to the wheel, the work will b accomplished in good time--the Constitution will be maintained, the Union will be saved, and peace will be restored--and our country will against resume her march on the road to prosperity and to her destined greatness and grandeur.

A Short Cut to Peace
(Column 1)
Summary: Mocks the Valley Spirit's solution to the current conflict, which is to eliminate the Republican party. Argues that if the Spirit really wanted to end the conflict and to eliminate all parties, they should have supported the Union party in the recent election.
Full Text of Article:

Our neighbor of the Spirit has discovered a panacea which is warranted to cure the ills of the country--"the remedy" that will be sure to restore Peace to our borders; and he is so confident in its curative properties that he asserts that our troubles "never will be settled until that is adopted." Now, reader, what do you suppose the balsam is that is possessed of such intense, double-distilled, concentrated Union-saving virtue?

Do you reply, it must be larger armies, more bullets, and heavier blows on the heads of the traitorous crew that are in revolt against our mild government. That is a reasonable and sensible idea, and one that a real Union man would suggest as not only practicable, but the only one that would seem to be possessed of those medicinal qualities and virtues demanded by a natural and sensible treatment of the disease. But even this is not "the remedy" proposed by the Spirit, and not to detain you longer, we will reveal the secret in our neighbor's own language, as follows:

"If the real Union men of the North, Democrats, old line Whigs and conservative Republicans will unite and crush out the Greeley and Beecher Black Republican party, the Union may yet be restored without much bloodshed."

This appears to be a very silly (simple we should have said) remedy for so terrible a disease; but to show the insincerity of the Spirit, and that it has no confidence in its own prescription, why did it not unite with the "real Union Democrats," old line Whigs and conservative Republicans," at the late election to "crush out" not only "the Greeley and Beecher Black Republican party," which seems to be so very heinous in its estimation, but all other parties that stood in the way, and consolidate a great Union Party on their ruins? No, no; that didn't come up to our neighbor's Union-saving idea. He only wants the "Black Republican party" "crushed out," judging from the manner in which he rejected the union proposed by the Republicans before the election.

The Republican party is the "Mordecai at the king's gate," and which so offends this Union-saving Haman; and as long as Mordecai is in the way, Haman will not save the Union. So grievous in the estimation of the Spirit, is the existence [sic] of the Republican party, that if it could save the Union by any other means than the one it suggests, the Union might go to the dogs, for all it cared, rather than use the other remedy.

High Prices
(Column 2)
Summary: Responds to reports that Southerners laugh at the idea that they could be defeated by starvation. Speculates that Southerners will not be able to survive very long on the food they produce themselves.
Southern Rumors
(Column 2)
Summary: Warns readers that they cannot believe the news of federal defeats that has been printed in Southern papers until those reports are confirmed.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 2-5; short article announcing that Colonel Geary has engaged in a fight with the rebels at Harper's Ferry.

Stumbaugh's Regiment
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Stumbaugh's regiment is presently at Pittsburgh, practicing "at the guns."
Second Crop
(Column 1)
Summary: Relates that a plum tree on the lot of Mr. A. Reinhart has put forth a second round of blossoms this season, and well-formed fruit hangs all over it. A plum tree owned by Mr. Joseph Frey is now full of blossoms, and Mr. J. S. Nixon is in the midst of growing a second crop of strawberries.
(Names in announcement: Mr. A. Reinhart, Mr. Joseph Frey, Mr. J. S. Nixon)
Governor Curtin
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Governor Curtin and his staff set out for Pittsburgh on the previous Wednesday, with the intention of presenting the regiments commanded by Brigadier General Negley with the state regimental colors.
A Regiment That Will Suit Everybody
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces the formation of a regiment in Lancaster, no members of which will be privates. Instead, all men who join will be commissioned officers.
Subscriptions to the National Loan
(Column 2)
Summary: Lists individuals and organizations who have made subscriptions to the national loan, along with the amount of each subscription. In Chambersburg, the Columbus Lodge has pledged $100, and the Bank of Chambersburg has pledged $20,000. None of the individual subscribers come from Chambersburg.

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Prices current, column 2; advertisements, columns 1-5

Flight of Breckinridge--A Historic Parallel
(Column 1)
Summary: Notes the parallels between John Breckinridge and Aaron Burr.
The President a Tired Giant
(Column 1)
Summary: Describes President Lincoln as tired and careworn, having experienced a drastic change in his physical appearance since his inauguration. Expresses pity for him.