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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: March 25, 1862

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1 and 2; anecdote concerning Mrs. Lincoln, column 4

The Rebel Buckner and George D. Prentice
(Column 3)
Summary: The Journal prints a letter from a Confederate general imprisoned in Massachusetts and adds a number of remarks ridiculing the general.
Origin of Article: Louisville Journal
Rebel Outrages
(Column 5)
Summary: Lists the kind of "outrages" that it alleges Southern troops to have committed and notes that these outrages indicate the unjustness of the rebellion.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Press
Full Text of Article:

The poisoning of wells, the wanton tearing up and destruction of railroads, engines, and cars, the employment of thousands of remorseless savages, the seizure and abuse of the possessions of their own friends--these are the characteristics of a rebellion which challenges the indignation and amazement of the civilized world. When we reflect that the men guilty of these excesses claim to be enlightened, and persist in charging upon the United States Government their own public and private crimes, we may well pause before the sublime spectacle of the moderation and magnanimity of our own moderation and magnanimity of our own soldiers. Who can doubt the object of the traitors when they began this war? It was not to secure their rights but to inflict irreparable injury upon the authority that had defended them, and nothing but the bravery of our troops has prevented the repetition of these barbarities on Northern soil. Is it not surprising that such marauders and ruffians should find men to sympathize with them in the loyal States--men who, while ignoring the vices and villainies of the traitors, openly rejoice over their victories and bewail their defeats?--Phil. Press.

Moving Day
(Column 5)
Summary: Notes that Jefferson Davis is planning to honor the custom of "moving day" in the Southern states by moving from Richmond to Raleigh. Also points out that he continues to move the "poor wearied rebels" from one place to another.
Origin of Article: New York Post
Full Text of Article:

All Fools' Day is approaching, and another trial of the patience of all careful and prim housewives, who do not fancy the excitement of moving day, consequent upon the general displacement and breaking up of certain household gods [sic], is also approaching. One day is too short a space of time for the laborious and tedious efforts of movers, and we would suggest to those families, who have piles of furniture and trash from garret to cellar, to occupy Friday and Saturday in their removal. The Sabbath could then be enjoyed in the absence of all dread of the succeeding Monday or Tuesday, and it would prove emphatically, in more than one sense, a day of rest and peace.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: News from Kentucky, column 4; advertisements, columns 4 and 5

War Taxation
(Column 1)
Summary: Denounces the Valley Spirit for criticizing the tax that has been established to pay the war debt in the North. Points out that the Southerners who, according to the Spirit, are responsible for the war consider themselves to be Democrats and argues that the amount of taxation necessary will mean no hardship for a country as wealthy as the United States.
Full Text of Article:

There is, perhaps, no debt so hard to the American people to pay as their taxes. Whilst this seems to be the case, the Spirit (which avails itself of every opportunity to put forth its secession proclivities, and thus aid indirectly in the cause of rebellion) attempts to poison the minds of its readers by holding up before them the most erroneous ideas of the national taxation which this hellish rebellion has rendered necessary for the government to levy. If the Spirit would pause and reflect a little, it might ascertain that the leaders in this rebellion have always acknowledged allegiance to its party, and have felt insulted when called anything else than Democrats. It might see, too, that where it finds a traitor it will find one who was formerly a Democrat, and that the most influential among traitors have been eulogized and puffed in its columns. It finds fault too with those in power, distorts, misconstrues, and perverts whatever is said or done by them. A message or proclamation may be so plain that the school-boys may understand it, yet the Spirit, true to its instincts, goes to work, and, if nothing else will do, most glaringly falsifies the whole affair. We could not occupy our columns with extracts from this secession sheet, but will only call attention to what we consider a correct view of the taxation, which we as loyal citizens must cheerfully bear. Those who have undertaken to destroy our Government have brought upon us a terrible civil war, which must be quelled. The loyal people of the North have put forth their energies to accomplish this purpose. The question naturally presents itself, how can the enormous expenditure which this will create be met? It is answered in a word, Taxation. Without this, our Government cannot succeed, and the Spirit well knows that its efforts to poison the public mind upon this question is going no loyal service to our cause.

We have good men in the field and on "the wave," with able generals and admirals, but that will avail nothing unless our Government sustain its credit. The present generation should not be required to meet the heavy expense of this war, and as posterity will be benefitted [sic] as much and more than the present generation, then they in justice should be compelled to bear a pat of this burden. How can this be done? The answer is, by Taxation.

But what will be the extent of this taxation? The amount expended in this war alone may amount to six hundred millions. This is indeed a large sum, but to a country like ours it is small, and should not occasion a murmur. Let the loyal people of the North pay the interest annually, which amounts to thirty-six millions, and less than one-third of what our Government cost the people a year, when James Buchanan was President. The Secretary of the Treasury says, that the real and personal values in the States loyal to the Union are eleven thousand millions of dollars, and the yearly surplus earnings of the loyal people are estimated at more than four hundred millions of dollars. Now a tax of nine per cent, on this surplus, would pay the interest on six hundred millions. This, when properly considered, is not so alarming after all, and in times like these, and for objects like those which now claim the attention of our Government, any man who refuses to pay nine per cent. of his surplus earnings does not deserve the protection of a good government. And the man who will misconstrue these facts, and endeavor to excite the public mind to a misapprehension of this matter is not a loyal citizen, nor is the Spirit in this respect a loyal paper.

Our honest farmers and laborers have nothing to fear from taxation; it will not be so burdensome as they at first blush might suppose. Even should it prove burdensome, is it not better to lie peaceably under a good government, with heavy taxes, than to be compelled to submit to a worse government with still heavier taxes. The blessings of a government like ours are invaluable, and cannot be estimated by money.

The Spirit talks and prates about the flood of paper money that will flow over our country. This, however large the flood may be, will injure no man, if the credit of the Government be sustained and the interest of the national debt promptly met by taxation. We must not become frightened because the country suffered from the vast amount of paper that was issued during the Revolution. It is true that this paper became worthless, but is was because there was no limit to its issue, and no provision for its redemption or the payment of interest. The Congress of that day had no power to lay a tax, and the States being entirely without resources, and acting without any material understanding, became at variance with each other. There then was no taxation, no provision for the payment of interest, and no redemption, and consequently the paper money which was issued wholesale, rapidly sank to its proper level of worthlessness. The people know something of the history of this paper currency, and therefore dread it. Let them, however, consider the peculiar circumstances of our Government at that day, the character of that paper currency, and the condition of our Government now, its vast resources and power, and the legislation upon taxation, and no one can have the least apprehension, but cheerfully unite in aiding the Government by the payment of their full share of taxation.

The War on the Mississippi
(Column 2)
Summary: Provides further details of the fight at "Island No. 10" in the Mississippi River.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: advertisements, columns 3-5

An Arrival
(Column 1)
Summary: Relates that the late President Judge of Chambersburg, Francis M. Kimmel, Esq., moved to Chambersburg from Somerset last week.
(Names in announcement: Francis M. KimmelEsq.)
See to Your Chimnies!
(Column 1)
Summary: Urges residents who intend to move from their homes to employ a "sweep" to clean their chimneys.
Snow and Mud
(Column 1)
Summary: Points out that the recent snow and mud, mixed with occasional rain, have put the streets and sidewalks of the town in bad shape. Suggests that the authorities in Chambersburg should consider having the streets paved or else having them scraped as soon as possible.
Who are Entitled to Pensions
(Column 1)
Summary: Explains that all disabled soldiers are entitled to pensions, but that the law does not provide pensions to children and widows of soldiers who have been killed in the present war.
Moving Day
(Column 2)
Summary: Remarks that the first of April is approaching, the traditional day for moving.
Substitutes for Coffee
(Column 2)
Summary: Presents three different substitutes for coffee, since the price of real coffee and tea is very high.
Methodist Conference
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that the East Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church has ended, "after a stormy session" and lists the new appointments for Carlisle District. A. Brittain was appointed to serve at Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: A. Brittain)
Election in North Ward
(Column 2)
Summary: Announces that the Republican candidate, P. Hamman, Esq., won the election in the North Ward for Justice of the Peace.
(Names in announcement: P. HammanEsq.)

-Page 04-

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

General McClellan
(Column 1)
Summary: Argues that McClellan should be given time to make his move against the South and that his critics should be patient if they cannot be sympathetic.
Origin of Article: North American