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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: March 25, 1862

Go To Page : 1 | 2 |

-Page 01-

Description of Page: Many reports of battles and military maneuvers. Items of national (Federal and Confederate) political news.

Thousands Disabled
(Column 1)
Summary: Article alleges that many thousands of people in Virginia are stricken with disease. The article continues, however that the political disease of treason may also be taking hold in Augusta and Rockbridge as some citizens were seeking refuge behind enemy lines but are detained by Confederate pickets.
Full Text of Article:

In the performance of our duties as a journalist for a number of years we have had to record many disasters and unfortunate casualties, but though we have mentioned many that have been occasioned by cars running off the track, the explosion of powder magazines, the bursting of boilers on Steamboat and Railroad engines, the falling of houses, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and all the "moving accidents of flood and field," yet we have never been called upon to record such a number of persons disabled by any or all of these agencies combined as have been caused by an occurrence which recently happened in this State. The 10th of March marks an epoch in the history of this State, for on that day a countless host of disabled men were evoked from the bosom of this State, and it was made manifest that our good old mother had a vast number of weak, enfeebled, diseased, crippled, deformed, and sickly children--many shaky in the knees, weak in the back, and faint-hearted. If our weakness be our strength, and our host of disabled men our shield of defence, our State is indeed invincible. Some may think that Gov. Letcher is guilty of treason in giving "aid and comfort to the enemy" by exhibiting, by his proclamation of the 10th inst., the disabled condition of our people, but the "second sober thought" will convince them that he has doubtless deterred the enemy from advancing any farther into our State by showing them the danger of attempting to occupy a country which is so sickly as to have so many thousands of diseased and disabled citizens. If the climate be so unhealthy to native citizens, they will naturally and reasonably infer that it must prove fatal to unacclimated invaders, and will avoid its soil as they would a house of pestilence. We would not be surprised if the Governor would issue a proclamation publishing the number, (if the enumeration table could furnish a number sufficiently large) of disabled exempts, for the purpose of expelling the enemy from the State. We think if he would do so that the enemy would do what Lincoln commanded us to do--"disperse and go to their homes"--they would leave the State in "double-quick," and fly from it as from a city of the plague.

Some from the counties of Rockingham and Augusta not physically, but politically diseased, having, it is surmised, the plague spot of treason upon their souls, in very unpatriotic and unmilitary style marched of with the view of leaving "Dixie's land," where they should have taken their "stand," and getting within the lines of the enemy. Before reaching the lines of the enemy, however, they were taken in charge by the Confederate pickets and escorted to Staunton. As their cases were so bad, as to be beyond the skill of the rural disciples of Aesculapius they were sent on to the Metropolis where the proper treatment adapted to such desperate cases could be administered. It may be possible that they were more rash than brave, and patriotic beyond the limits of prudence, were too impatient to meet the enemy to await the word of command. They could not wait till they reported to Gen'l Jackson and then march to the conflict, but ran to meet the enemy at the nearest point.

The Enemy in Retreat - The Valley Safe
(Column 1)
Summary: Article reports the Union evacuation of Winchester and the upper valley, owing to, according to the article, the "prompt and timely arrival of the Augusta Militia."
Free Fighters
(Column 1)
Summary: Article calls attention to Kenton Harper's handbill appealing to the people of the valley to raise guerilla units of free fighters, governed by their own rules and supplying their own arms and food.
(Names in announcement: Gen. Kenton Harper)
Perifdy of the Month
(Column 2)
Summary: Article reports that Jeff Davis recommended that prisoners put on parole by the Yankee Government be released from this obligation so as to be able to bear arms for the South. This is suggested in retaliation for breaches of good faith by the Federal Government.
Union Prisoners
(Column 2)
Summary: Article reports that 72 persons of Augusta and Rockbridge counties were trying to "work their way" into enemy lines to avoid the levy and the draft. Those apprehended were members of the Tunker denomination and pacifists. The article assumes their action was an effort to avoid being participants in the war for either side.
Full Text of Article:

On Wednesday last, under charge of some of the members of the Churchville Cavalry of this county, seventy-two prisoners were brought to this place, and, on the next morning, sent to Richmond. These were persons who, to avoid the general levy as well as the draft, were attempting to "work their way" into the lines of the enemy when they were captured and brought here. The majority of them were citizens of Rockingham and the others were citizens of Augusta county. As most of them were members of the Tunker denomination and non-combatants by profession and practice, we suppose their conduct be attributable to a desire to avoid being participants in the war either on one side or the other. Unless we be mistaken, if they sympathize with the enemy, they are not true exponents of the great mass of the members of that church. They are good and harmless citizens in times of peace, and we cannot believe them to be traitors in times of war.

Col. Ashby's Cavalry captured eighteen of the same class of persons from Rockingham county whilst on their way to the lines of the enemy. They had 18 good horses and $6,000 in gold and silver.

Martial Law
(Column 2)
Summary: Article reports that many citizens have petitioned the President to declare martial law in Augusta as to cease the sale of ardent spirits. The article thinks this a rash desire.
Full Text of Article:

A number of our citizens have petitioned the President to proclaim martial law in this place, for the purpose of preventing the sale of ardent spirits, and to secure the arrest of persons who are disloyal to the Confederacy, if there be such in this community. We hope there is not a disloyal man amongst us, but if there be, he should be placed where he would be unable to do the Southern cause any injury. We do not believe there is a traitor in this community.

Many who signed the petition for martial law have doubtless done so without reflecting upon the character of it--they looked alone to the evils which they knew it would immediately remedy, without looking to the greater evils which it would inflict upon the community by the suspension of all civil law and the sacrifice of all personal liberty--it suspends the writ of habeas corpus which can only be justified in cases of the extremest necessity, and is a total surrender of all liberty into the keeping of whoever may be appointed Provost Marshal. It would be a re-enactment of the folly of the frogs in the fable when they exchanged King Log for King Stork, and we would probably rue it as bitterly as they did. Let the civil authorities perform their duties, and there will be no use for Martial law.

Success Within our Power
(Column 2)
Summary: Article argues that the South is comparable to other underdogs of history that overcame powerful aggressors.
The Ladies and the War.
(Column 3)
Summary: Article praises the ladies of the South for their valuable contributions to the war effort. Along with the article are several accounts of patriotic actions by Southern women.
Should Creditors Receive Paper Money?
(Column 4)
Summary: Article is critical of those who will not take Confederate Treasury notes for payment of debts.
Exemption Bill
(Column 5)
Summary: A transcript of the draft Exemption Bill.
An Act To Prevent The Unnecssary Consumption of Grain by Distillers and Other Manufacturers of Spiritous and Malt Liquors.
(Column 6)
Summary: A Transcript of the forementioned distillery act.
Headquarters, Army N. W.
(Column 6)
Summary: Letter from Lt. Col. Hauseborough's Battalion thanking ladies of Augusta for donations.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. D. A. Kayner, Mrs. Garber, Mrs. McCutchen, Mrs. McGaney, Miss N. Brown)
Tribute of Respect
(Column 7)
Summary: Resolutions adopted by the Augusta Grays on the death of Nirod Weses.
(Names in announcement: Capt. James W. Newton, Nimrod N. Weses, Christian Rubush, Lysander H. Plunkett, Lycurgus Grills)
(Column 7)
Summary: Death of James C. Floyd.
(Names in announcement: James C. Floyd)

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Description of Page: Remainder of page ads.

Save this Valley
(Column 1)
Summary: A patriotic poem praising the defense of the Valley.
Trailer: Augusta
The Old Union Men
(Column 1)
Summary: Article asserts that those who were Union men before Lincoln's call for troops are among the most ardent fighters for the Southern cause. The article makes an example of Mr. Janney, a former Union man who was imprisoned by the Yankees for his patriotic reply to their requests for aid.