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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: July 9, 1861

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Brilliant Victory--Gallantry of the Augusta Volunteers
(Column 1)
Summary: Praises the 5th Virginia Regiment, composed of Augusta volunteers, for a victory against a superior force of Union troops.
(Names in announcement: Col. Harper, Lieut. Col. William Harman, William Baylor, George Roupe, Capt. Doyle, Jack Doyle, D.A. Kennedy, Phillip Maphis, James Brooke, Charley Turner)
Full Text of Article:

It is with very great pleasure that we announce a glorious victory achieved chiefly by the heroic bravery of the Augusta boys. On Tuesday morning last, a portion of the 5th Virginia Regiment, under the command of Col. Harper, with the Artillery Company of Capt. Pendleton of Rockbridge and a company (Continental Morgan Guard) from Winchester, numbering in all only 880 men, met the enemy, supposed to be about 9000, six miles from Martinsberg in Berkely county,--repulsed them three times, held them in check for two hours, killed between 150 and 200 of the enemy, wounded many more, and captured 54 prisoners. The loss on our side was only three killed, and 8 or 9 wounded. As our brave and gallant little force was so small as to be in danger of being flanked by the enemy, as they had such a very large force, our men retreated slowly, firing with deadly effect all the time. We have always felt satisfied that the Augusta boys would show, if an opportunity presented, that they were as brave as the bravest. We have not been disappointed--they have covered themselves with glory. Though encountering an overwhelming force, they were unawed, and fought with the calmness of veterans and the bravery of heroes. Our field officers, Col. Kenton Harper, Lieut. Col. Wm. H. Harman and Maj. Wm. S. H. Baylor were all in this action, and all behaved with remarkable coolness and bravery. If there be any fault at all with our officers or men it consists in want of a sufficient degree of that "rascally virtue--prudence," for we understood that Col. Jackson, who witnessed the heroic conduct of our men, remarked that it was with the greatest difficulty that they could be made to obey the most peremptory order to retreat. We lost but three men in this action--Geo. Rupe, of this county, a member of Capt. Doyle's company, and two--Farrish and Snapp--of the Winchester "Continental Morgan Guard."

Among the wounded, there were three from this town--Jack Doyle, a son of Capt. Doyle, D.A. Kennedy and Philip Maphis. Jack Doyle was wounded in the neck by a fragment of an exploded shell. D.A. Kennedy was shot in the breast, and Philip Maphis in the arm and side.

None of these are seriously wounded and will soon recover.

Geo. Rupe was shot in the thigh and bled to death.

Jas. Brooke, of this place, made a very narrow escape. He was at a fence firing away at the enemy, when a cannon ball took off two top rails. He stooped a little lower and continued to return the compliment with his minnie.

Little Charley Turner, a boy about 15 years of age, insisted so strongly on going with the Augusta Guards that his father finally yielded to his importunities and allowed him to go. The result shows that little Charley went to perform service, for he made one of the enemy bite the dust.

Our forces fell back and took position two miles from Martinsburg on the road to Winchester where they have been joined by all of Gen. Johnson's force.

Our Scout Fired Upon
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that a detachment of scouts from the Garnett camp went toward Rollsburg where the N.W. Virginia Unionists were holding elections for a new, anti-secession government and were ambushed.
(Column 2)
Summary: A large public meeting was held in Delaware and resolutions were adopted denouncing the policies of Lincoln's Administration.
Full Text of Article:

A very large meeting of the "friends of peace" was held at Dover last week, at which speeches were made and resolutions adopted, strongly denunciatory of the war policy of Lincoln. the resolutions declare that it ss impossible for the North to subdue the South; that it is better to recognize the Confederate States than attempt to subjugate them; that the effort, if not design of the war party, is to subvert the State Governments and erect on their ruins a consolidated Government; that the "Reign of Terror" shall not deter the people of Delaware from expressing their opinions; that Senators Bayard and Saulsbury be instructed to vote for a recognition of the independence of the Southern States, if peace cannot be obtained speedily by other means.

Half Sheets
(Column 2)
Summary: Announces that many newspapers in the state have suspended publication while several others have cut publication to half sheets.
Capt. Skinner's Company
(Column 2)
Summary: Item reports that Skinner's company will be mustered into service today.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Skinner)
Augusta Lee Rifles
(Column 2)
Summary: Informs readers that more volunteers will be accepted in the Lee Rifles.
From Laurel Hill
(Column 3)
Summary: Letter gives details of action around Phillipa.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Mauzy)
Trailer: Greenbrier Cavalry
For the Spectator
(Column 3)
Summary: Letter from an unnamed soldier that details the activities of the West Augusta Guard.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Waters, Jack Doyle, Kennedy, Maphis)
Full Text of Article:

Camp at Buckleysville

6 miles South of Martinsburg

July 4th, 1861.

Friend Mauzy:

Having a leisure moment this morning, I thought I would give you a short sketch of our engagement with the enemy on Tuesday last, six miles below Martinsburg. Our Regiment, the 5th, marched from our old encampment (Camp Stephens) at 8 o'clock on Tuesday morning, and had advanced about 2 1/2 miles when the advance guard, consisting of the West Augusta Guard, Capt. Waters and the Rockbridge Rifles, Capt. Letcher, came in sight of the enemy only a few hundred yards from, and advancing towards us. Our advance companies were under charge of Col. Baylor, who immediately deployed the West Augusta Guard on the right of the main road, who were the first to open fire on the enemy. Capt. Letcher's Company was deployed in the rear of the West Augusta Guard. Our fire was a very hot one, and the enemy's deploying column was forced to fall back to the main body. We then advanced upon them from some distance--Col. Baylor in the meantime had thrown Capt. Letcher's Company on the right of us, who immediately took a position behind a fence parallel to and one field distant from the main road, when the enemy made another advance, but fell fast from the well-aimed guns of our Companies. The other Companies were now thrown into fine attacking positions, but I was so busy that I am unable to give you a description of their position or their effect. Our men were fighting under a heavy fire all the time, and it is wonderfully remarkable that our loss was not much greater, only two killed and three or four missing. The balls were whistling all around us, and shells bursting over our heads all the time. We had three of the West Augusta Guard slightly wounded--Jack Doyle, Kennedy and Maphis--who were sent to Winchester. The boys fought like Trojans, and never fell back till commanded two or three times to do so. Much of our efficiency id due to Col. Baylor, under whose immediate command we (the W. A. Guard) were. He was all the time in the thickest of the fight, encouraging and commanding the deploying companies. We were engaged nearly two hours, but really we had no idea it was more than 80 minutes. Cols. Harper and Harman, who were directing the other Companies, are reported to have conducted themselves very coolly and bravely. The loss of the enemy is reported to be at least 100, besides upwards of 50 prisoners we took from them. We expect a big fight to-day at Martinsburg. I have not time to write more. All is excitement and confusion in Camp, and all are eager for another fight, which we will be into in a few hours I suppose.

Truly yours,

Letter from Jamestown Island
(Column 4)
Summary: Letter from a soldier who recently left Staunton. He reports on the activities of the 14th Regiment of Virginia Volunteers, including their celebration of the 4th of July.
Trailer: Pen.
Letter from Col. J.M. Heck to Major M.G. Harman
(Column 4)
Summary: Letter from Camp Garnett that includes details of a skirmish and a report of the "Augusta boys" under the command of Capt. Lilley and Capt. Sterrett.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Lilley, Capt. Sterrett)
Full Text of Article:

Camp Garnett, July 2, 1861

Dear Major:--I suppose you have heard ere this time that my command was sent to this point. We have in this regiment about eight hundred men--have fortified ourselves in the mountain, and are preparing to meet the enemy, who are reported to be advancing in numbers of from three to five thousand. Our men are eager for the fight. I do believe that they will fight when the enemy comes. Three hundred of us went out as far as Buchanan last week (a distance of 24 miles) to procure provisions. We succeeded in loading about twenty wagons with such articles as we needed. Among other things, we found in the town of Buchanan about 2700 lbs. of mess pork, and other articles left there by the Federal forces, which we brought away with us, giving Uncle Abe credit for this and the other things taken on the Phillipa account. While on this trip our scouts (the Churchville Cavalry) were fired at by different parties in ambush (one numbering twice the number of our scouts.) On one occasion one of our horses was wounded. No men killed on either side--the enemy escaping by being in a thick wood in a position entirely unapproachable by Cavalry, particularly on a dark night. Our men all conduct themselves like gentlemen--men who are fighting for fighting for principles dearer than life itself. The Augusta boys under my change, (Capt. Lilly's and Capt. Sterrett's companies) without a single exception, have endeared themselves to the officers and men of this command. Capt. Lilly is one of the most willing and efficient officers in the command. Capt. Sterrett's company has been badly misrepresented to your county. I never saw men more willing to obey commands and occupy posts of danger than they. But why particularize [illegible] I might name Capt. Curry, Moorman, Hull, Adjuvant Hoover, and a host of others, both officers and privates, but suffice it to say that the regiment for the time it has been in service, is all that could be desired and more than could be reasonably expected, and is well worthy's better command than your humble servant. We are greatly in need of tents, Hospital Stores, (bandages and like articles,) shoes, & c. Mrs. Harman and the other ladies of Staunton, will please accept the thanks of this command for their promptness in making and forwarding to us about five hundred pairs of pantaloons. The ladies of Old Augusta are fast winning imperishable laurels, and they well deserve to be the daughters, wives and sisters of brave men from that county who are now in the field to fight, and die, if needs be, in this great struggle for liberty.

Very respectfully,

J.M. Heck

Lieut. Col. Commanding.

P.S.--Gen. Garnett had the confidence of everybody. He thinks and acts with promptness and decision, and withal is prudent. He is the very man for the Northwest, or I am very much mistaken.


Hospital at Beverly
(Column 4)
Summary: Letter from Price, a Volunteer Chaplain of the troops in Northwestern Virginia. He states that they are very poorly equipped and have suffered greatly from exposure. He asks the ladies of Augusta, Rockbridge, Highland, Pendleton, Pocahantas, and Randolph counties to send supplies to the Beverly Hospital.
(Names in announcement: William T. Price)
(Column 6)
Summary: Four children of William and Elizabeth Bosserman died of diptheria. James died on June 3 at age 4, Henry on June 12 at age 2, George on June 13 at age 9, and John on June 19 at age 10.
(Names in announcement: James Luther Bosserman, Henry Frederick Bosserman, George Levi Bosserman, John Franklin Bosserman, William Bosserman, Elizabeth Bosserman)
Augusta Fencibles!
(Column 6)
Summary: Announces that the Augusta Fencibles has been organized and will be mustered into service after the harvest.

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