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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: December 23, 1862

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements and notices, columns 1-4; proclamation by the governor, column 5; further account of the battle at Fredericksburg, sketches of the lives of Brigadier General Maxey Gregg of South Carolina and Brigadier General Thomas R. R. Cobb of Georgia (both died in battle), column 6

(Column 7)
Summary: Writer questions the method currently being used for apportioning salt.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Various battlefield reports, including Fredericksburg, columns 1-5; advertisements and notices, including a deserter list that was printed the previous week, columns 6 and 7

The Battle at Fredricksburg
(Column 1)
Summary: Alleges a Confederate victory at Fredericksburg. The author's evidence is that the Northern forces were not able to renew their attack according to plan, because the "army had been so badly whipped and demoralized that the officers and men would not agree to go into battle again at that place."
Full Text of Article:

The victory won by our gallant army at Fredericksburg, on Saturday, the 13th inst., was more decided and brilliant than the first accounts represented. It was known then that the enemy had been repulsed with great loss--much greater than they had inflicted upon us--but, it was not then known that they had been crippled to such a degree as to be unable to renew the engagement. Gen. Lee supposed the engagement would be renowned the next day, and was prepared to give the enemy as hospitable a welcome as he had done the day before. It is shown by the despatch of Gen. Burnside that he intended to renew the struggle on Sunday morning, but for some good reason the battle was not renewed, and, instead of fighting, his army was countermarched, and recrossed to the North side of the Rappahannock on Monday night. At 4 o'clock on Sunday morning Gen. Burnside sent the following telegram to President Lincoln:

Headq'rs. Army of the Potomac,
4 A.M., 14th Dec.

To the President of the United states:

I have just returned form the field.--Our troops are all over the river, and hold the Ridge out side of the town, and three miles below. We hope to carry the Crest to-day. Our loss is heavy--say five thousand.

(Signed) A. E. Burnside,
Maj. Gen'l Comd'g.

This despatch is brief, but it serves to reveal more than Burnside intended.--It shows that all of his troops were on the southern side of the river, and not a part only as had been supposed, and it shows, also, that, at 4 o'clock on Sunday morning, he intended to renew the fight, for he expresses to Lincoln his hope of carrying the Crest to-day (Sunday).--The "Crest" to which he alluded is still standing, but the crest of Burnside has fallen, and he is now in a fair way to follow all of his predecessors who attempted to reach Richmond--Scott, McDowell, McClellan, and Pope.--"Jordan is a hard road to travel."

It is very evident that Burnside was prevented from renewing the fight, by the fact that his army had been so badly whipped and demoralized that the officers and men would not agree to go into battle again at that place. "The burnt child dreads the fire." They were taught the day before the efficacy of the fire of Southern troops, and were not willing to take another lesson in the same branch of knowledge. Our loss will not exceed in killed and wounded, 1,800, or 2,000, whilst the loss of the enemy is supposed to be between twelve and eighteen thousand. Their loss is supposed to be eight times as great as ours.

A correspondent of the New York Herald, speaking of the casualties among the Yankee officers, says:

"Gen. Bayard was killed in the battle, and his body sent to Washington.--He was to have been married on the Wednesday following. Brigadier General Conrad F. Jackson, of Pennsylvania, was also killed."

It seems that Burnside took good care of No. 1 on the day of the battle. He was at the Phillip's House about a mile and a half from the river on the Northern side, beholding the death struggle of his troops by means of a large spy glass.--The fate of Fredericksburg is a sad one. The old town has been battered by balls and shells from 273 cannon--it has been sacked and plundered by the enemy, who wantonly destroyed everything they could lay their worse than Vandal hands upon. We hope it will not be long before it will arise from its ruins, like the fabled Phoenix from its ashes, revivified by the terrible baptism of fire through which, with such a heroic spirit, it has passed.

Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson, who many almost believe, leads a charmed life, had a very narrow escape. He was watching the battle, and standing at the time near an oak tree, when a bullet struck not more than two inches above his head. The Old Hero continued his observations, unmoved by the incident."

Since the battle, the question asked by every one is, "Where is Burnside?" He has disappeared as suddenly a the Sora. The Richmond Whig says the question is--

Burnside, oh Burnside, whither dost thou wander,
Since you left Fredericksburg and went over yonder?

Casualties in the 52nd and 5th Regiments
(Column 2)
Summary: Lists the casualties from the 52nd and 5th Va. Inf., which are comprised of mostly Augusta troops.
(Names in announcement: W. W. Hulet, Jonathan J. Zirckle, Andrew Mayfield, Ryland Drains, Capt. Dabney, A. B. Brooks, R. P. Shaver, T. J. Childers, Jonathan Gibson, Painter, William Rogers, Frank Wood, Shifflet, Capt. Robert, Col. M. G. Harman)
Organization of the Second Regiment of Partisan Rangers
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that another regiment consisting of ten companies has been organized under Col. Imboden. The regiment will be the Second Regiment of Partisan Rangers.
(Names in announcement: Col. Imboden)
[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: Announces that the draft for slaves will take place Wednesday at the Court House. Adds that "slave owners desiring to be present to witness the draft" may do so.
Full Text of Article:

We understand that the draft for slaves from this county will take place on Wednesday (to-morrow) at the Court House at 11 o'clock, and slave owners desiring to be present to witness the draft can do so.

[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports that Dr. Rucker's trial, being held in Fincastle for the past two weeks, will be concluded at the next term of Circuit Court.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Rucker)
(Column 4)
Summary: Uses scriptural arguments from the Bible to condemn speculators.
Wants of the 52d Reg't.
(Column 5)
Summary: Lists the men in the 52nd Regiment who would like their overcoats sent to them from home. Also mentions other items that citizens may wish to donate.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Robert C. Davis, James Connell, Wilford J. Hall, George Peters, Robert M. Simpson, Rudolph Yount, Capt. E. W. Dabney, Thomas J. Crutchfield, John W. Gibson, Martin J. Gochenour, William F. Landrum, Robert Loring, Jacob Palmer, J. A. Fauver, S. D. Elliott, A. W. Kersh, J. B. Nash, W. M. Ruebush, S. W. Wampler, Capt. John D. Lilley, John R. Messerly, Lt. Col. James H. Skinner, Maj. H. M. Bell)
(Column 5)
Summary: Jane P. Shultz died on December 9 at an advanced age. She was the wife of Adam Shultz, deceased.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Jane P. Shultz)
(Column 5)
Summary: Mollie Moore, age eighteen, died of consumption in Staunton on December 2. She was the wife of John R. Woodward and the grand-daughter of the late Samuel Shepphard of Richmond.
(Names in announcement: Mollie Moore, John R. Woodward)