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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: January 7, 1862

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Various items of war news. Telegraphic dispatches reporting Federal and Confederate political/war developments. List of letters not yet picked up at the post office. Co. 7 Declaration from the Governor and transcript of the new State Constitution.

The New Constitution
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces the upcoming popular vote on the new constitution. The article states that adoption of this constitution will be the final step in throwing off Yankee rule. Also to be voted on is the extent of the franchise under the new constitution.
(Column 1)
Summary: A report from the jailor of Augusta County on the number of prisoners committed to the county jail in the past year: misdemeanors--179; drunkenness--178; felonies and larceny--30; murder--3; disloyalty (Union men from western Virginia)--69; prisoners of war--18.
(Names in announcement: William Marshall)
Public Address
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Rev. Hiden, Chaplain of the Wise Legion, will give an address at the Baptist Church in Staunton on January 9.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J.C. Hiden)
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the Confederate court for the western district commenced its session in Staunton.
News from the Northwest
(Column 2)
Summary: Letter from an Augusta County soldier to his father regarding the war in northwestern Virginia.
Full Text of Article:

We are permitted to make the following extract from a private letter addressed to a gentleman of this country, from his son, who is connected with the Quartermaster's Department:

Monterey, Jan. 4th, 1862

Dear Pa:--We have had quite an exciting time here for several days. I had just fallen asleep night before last, (Thursday night,) when I was aroused by the report that the Yankees were about to attack Monterey. Jumping up I found that a special express had just arrived from Alleghany [sic] with the news that the enemy was advancing in very large force (from 5,000 to 6,000) on Camp Alleghany; had come down that evening, and encamped at Greenbrier River, nine miles beyond, and an attack at daylight was expected. Goode's 58th Va. Regiment which had come this far from Fork of Waters en route for Huntersville, was ordered immediately to Alleghany, and started at half past one, A.M. The 34th Regiment, also, stationed at Hightown, was called and went, both reaching there about 8 o'clock; but, to the surprise of all, no attack was made, and at 10 o'clock General (late Col.) Johnson sent the 31st and 52d Regiments forward to reconnoitre, who found that the foe had retreated, leaving no sure sign of a superior force having occupied the ground, there having been a great number of campfires, lighted, which might have been done by twenty-five men, evidently a feint to cover some other ulterior design, whose development transpired yesterday in an advance on Huntersville. We had there only four small cavalry companies and parts of two infantry companies, in all about 250 men, under command of Capt. Alexander of Tennessee cavalry company. These were attacked yesterday at 1 o'clock by from 2000 to 2500 of the enemy. Two or three fires were passed. Three of them were killed, it was thought, and one of our men shot through the hand, when we retreated towards Monterey, bringing off everything except 700 barrels of flour and a large lot of salted beef, said to be 60,000 rations, which they attempted to fire before leaving, and think they succeeded in burning the flour, not certain as to the rest, as the enemy came soon enough, perhaps, to extinguish the flames. It seems to have been the strangest policy in the world to have kept so large a lot of supplies protected by so small a force. They had just finished salting away about 125 head of cattle, for whose consumption I know not, and a very strong temptation--a pressing invitation, in fact, for the thieving vandals. The retreating cavalry companies arrived here late this evening, leaving the infantry scattered along the road near here. They don't know whether they are pursued or not. I was mistaken when I said they brought all but their commissaries with them; they lost their tents and some baggage. There was a strong picket sent out from here to night to go 16 miles in the direction of Huntersville. We may be attacked here before morning, hardly probable so soon, however. Fortunately the 58th Regiment returned here to-night, which, with three companies of militia and two of cavalry, together with the fugitives, making in all from 1000 to 1200, could show them a little fight. The 44th likewise came back to Hightown, five miles across the mountain in Crab Bottom.

An approach towards Huntersville was anticipated, and Goode's regiment, as I said before, was this far on its road thither, but would not have reached there had it gone on, in time to have prevented the rout. Since night before last we have had some expectation of a rear attack on this place, (i.e. in Johnson's rear) and an attempt to destroy his supplies here and cut him off from Staunton. A simultaneous attack here at Alleghany is probable now. I felt and feel very little apprehension as to the result of an attempt on Alleghany, even by an overwhelming force, as our fortifications are thoroughly completed there, and the men are anxious and eager for an opportunity to use them.

Your affectionate son,


Trailer: J. E. G.
Acts Passed by Congress
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports acts passed by the Confederate Congress. These include acts dealing with the payment of postage, naturalization for persons enlisted in the Confederate army, treaty stipulations with certain Indian tribes, employment of former officers of the U.S. Revenue service in the Confederate Revenue service, appointment of additional officers in eh navy, and appropriations for the expenses of government.
Burning of the Richmond Theatre
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that the Richmond theater and some surrounding buildings burned down the previous Friday.
Origin of Article: Richmond Dispatch
That's So
(Column 2)
Summary: The Banner recommends that speculators be "drawn and quartered and stewed into soup to sharpen the appetites of the men made poor by his extortions."
Origin of Article: Nashville Banner
(Column 2)
Summary: Commends a citizen of Lancaster County who made eight bushels of salt from sea water.
Origin of Article: Fredericksburg News
Gen. Floyd to his Army
(Column 3)
Summary: Gen. Floyd writes to the soldiers in the Army of the Kanawha that the campaign in western Virginia has ended. He praises them for their valor and commends them for withstanding so many hardships in their recent campaign.
Carrier's Address to the Patrons of the Staunton Spectator
(Column 4)
Summary: A pro-Confederate poem extolling the virtues of the Southern war effort and the Staunton Spectator.
Full Text of Article:

The old year has passed, and another begun,
We've bidden adieu to the year sixty-one,
And friends, new and old, and patrons so dear,
I've come back to wish you a happy New Year.
I welcome with rapture these holiday times,
Ever fragrant to me of HALF-DOLLARS and DIMES.
Virginians declare they'll avenge every wrong,
Their hearts are courageous their blades true and strong,
And they've plighted their word, with courage and might,
To stand up, forever, for honor and Wright.

Now nothing that ever appeared in the paper
Before, has been worthy of holding a taper
To the news of the war that Yankeedom wages
'Gainst the South, which this year has crowded my pages
I told you last spring of old Abe's "Proclamation,"
That insulted the South, and united our nation:
Virginia declared, tho' opposed to secession,
She'd never submit to a tyrant's oppression.
Since war is declared, no longer she waits,
But hastens to join the Confederate States.
Her sons were in armor, and ready to come,
At the sound of her bugle, the tap of her drum--
The preacher and lawyer, the stout mountaineer,
Men of all callings and trades volunteer,
To meet, with cold steel on Virginia's dear soil,
The legions who come to insult her and spoil.
The Boy bids adieu to his father and mother,
The maid, with a smile and a tear, to her lover--
'Tis glory to go, 'twere shame to remain--
Virginia ne'er called on her brave sons in vain!

Thro' the papers I've brought you, you weekly have seen
The Yankee exploits, both on land and marine--
The family jar 'twixt old Abe and Fremont,
And the story of Bethel, Leesburg and Belmont.
How we took at Manassas, the battery called Sherman's,
And routed whole legions of Yankees and Germans;
How Southern men won them bright chaplets of glory,
While their enemy slain made the battlefield gory.
Let the South, tho' she weep for her brave sons who fell,
Rejoice that they triumphed so nobly and well.

Through the "Staunton Spectator" the people have seen
Every week how exceedingly liberal they've been,
For we've chronicled daily each hospital box,
And frequent donations of blankets and socks.
And the ladies--God bless 'em!--we've praised 'em enough,
If there's value at all in a newspaper puff!
Your sisters and sweethearts; your wives and your daughters--
It pleased you I'm certain--so shell out the QUARTERS.
When times are so hard, a little hard cash
Is the best thing I know of to save a hard clash
'Gainst a world whose angles are turned rather sharpe;
And Besides, tho' never inclined much to harp
On trials that surely are but common lot,
Yet sometimes the weather has been very hot
When I've carried your paper, sometimes very cold,
And nothing adjusts these small evils like GOLD--
Remember how promptly I've carried your "Spec."
If you've got nothing better, just give me a "Peck."

I have told you, this year, of many a pair,
The bridegroom so gallant, the maiden so fair,
When together have stood a short time at the alter,
While the preacher arranged the connubial halter.
In some cases, perhaps, they both have repented,
The bride has declared, she ne'er had consented
Had she known but one-half of the worrysome ways
Of the spouse she so honors and loves and obeys.
The bridgeroom, astonished, to quiet his fears,
And to see how angelic she looks when in tears,
Says softly, "my dear, you'd be happier far
If I should enlist and get killed in the war."
"Since you mention it, dear, I don't know but I might--
They are looking, just now, every day for a fight,
And I should remember with triumph and pride,
How noble and brave for your country you died."

How oft we've recorded, in words of deep gloom,
How loved ones have gently been laid in the tomb--
The sweet smiling face that forever is hid
Beneath the green turf, and the close coffin lid--
The best, aged form, and the deep-furrowed brow
That know not of sorrow or suffering now--
The solder so gallant, so young and so brave,
Who died for his country, and sleeps in the grave,
For these, how the sign and the fast-falling tear,
Will sadden full many a merry New Year!

But the news from old England is better by far,
Then even the best you have heard of the war,
The proud British Lion sleeps tamely no more,
And Lincoln and Yankeedom quake at his roar.
Uncle Sam is most certainly in for a fight
With England, by insult aroused in her might,
Unless an apology, abject and ample
Declares his late conduct will not be a sample
Of his future behavior, so far as respects
The flag that old Britain forever protects!

For items like these, you are surely my debtor,
And the wider you open your purses the better,
But even a little is better than none,
Just to make me remember old friend, sixty-one.
Unclasp your porte-monnaies, and may sixty-two
Shower blessings upon you all the way through,
Will be the kind wish by day and by night,
Of yours, ever truly and gratefully,

[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports that an open house at the President's Mansion was held for those who wished to greet President Davis.
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on December 26.
(Names in announcement: Rev. John Hutchens, Geo. W. Gillespy, Mary Ellen McClure)
(Column 5)
Summary: Serena Johnson, daughter of William Ruff, died on November 30, 1861 at age 29.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Serena F. Johnston, James Johnson, William Ruff)
(Column 5)
Summary: William Ruff died on December 29 at age 69.
(Names in announcement: William Ruff)
(Column 5)
Summary: Lieut. Dyer died on December 19 on Allegheny Mountain from wounds he received in a battle on December 18. He was 24 years old.
(Names in announcement: Lieut. Zeb. Dyer)
(Column 5)
Summary: Lt. Davis died on January 3 at age 29 of a disease he contracted in camp. He was a member of the Augusta Lee Rifles.
(Names in announcement: Lt. Columbus Greene Davis)
(Column 5)
Summary: Margaret Saupe died on December 29 at age 31.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Margaret Saupe, Chas. H. Saupe)
(Column 5)
Summary: Willis B. Kayser died of diphtheria on December 22 at age 4.
(Names in announcement: Willis B. Kayser, Wm. B. Kayser, E.S. Kayser)
(Column 5)
Summary: Died on December 17 at age 98.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth Pilson)

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Remainder of State Constitution, columns 1-6; advertisements, columns 6-7

To the Tax-Payers of the Confederate States
(Column 6)
Summary: Grills and Harper report that they were "laboring under a misapprehension" when they informed tax payers that all persons owning less than $500 worth of property were exempt from taxation. In fact, everyone owning property that comes "within the list prescribed by law," except for the heads of families owning less than $500 worth of property, is required to make a tax return. The advertisement lists the dates that they will meet taxpayers in the Donoho's district (Stuart's Draft, Waynesboro, Sherando, Greenville, Midway, Middlebrook, Newport, Swope's Depot, Deerfield, and Craigsville) and the Stover's district (New Hope, Waynesboro, Mt. Meridian, Mt. Sidney, Spring Hill, Mt. Solon, Parnassus, Churchville, Fishersville).
Trailer: John Grills, Samuel C. Harper