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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: January 27, 1863

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Cols. 1 - 4 ads and notices. Col. 6 and 7 Confederate Congressional records.

Adjutant and Inspector General's Office
(Column 5)
Summary: Item reports findings of court regarding charges of graft levelled against Harman as Quartermaster. Harman was exonerated of all charges.
(Names in announcement: Col. M. G. Harman, A. H. H. Stuart)

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Various battlefield and skirmish reports. Cols. 3 and 4 legislative records. Bottom illegible. Remainder of page ads.

Signs of Peace - Speaking out in the North
(Column 1)
Summary: Article predicts that Northern sentiment against the war will continue to rise and eventually bring about Lincoln's downfall.
Full Text of Article:

For the first time since the signal of war was given by the booming of cannon at Fort Sumter, we discern some gleams of hope that there is a prospect for a termination of hostilities. Though Lincoln's army is greater now than at any former time, yet there are signs which indicate very plainly that his prospects for conquering the South were never so gloomy as at present. In various parts of the North, palpable signs of a coming storm, which will soon beat in all its fury upon the Lincoln Administration, have recently manifested themselves. The "pitiless storm" which beat upon the devoted head of King Lear was as a balmy and gentle zephyr from spice Islands, compared with that resistless storm of popular wrath which will soon beat with fury upon the head of the fiendish madman who is recklessly running the "machine" of the United States Government, and crushing beneath its wheels the liberties of his own people. Though he has an army of one million of men, yet he is quaking with fear and his knees are knocking together, like Belshazzar's at the feast, and for a similar reason, for he sees the handwriting upon the wall which denotes that he has been weighed in the balances and found wanting. He needs no Daniel to interpret--the characters are legible, and he becomes the interpreter of his own doom. He feels that he wields a barren sceptre; that his efforts have been vain; that he is disgraced in the eyes of the whole world; that he has gained nothing save an immortality of infamy; that he has destroyed the temple of Liberty, and acquired a more infamous fame than Erostratus for the destruction of the temple of Diana of the Ephesians; he feels that he cannot "escape history" which will present him in his true character as a monstrum horrendum, the slayer of Liberty, and enemy of the human race. Those whose mouths he would muzzle, if he were not afraid of arousing the sleeping wrath of his own people, are now speaking out in bold terms their condemnation of his policy. They are now holding him up to the derision and indignation of the people. They have placed him on the pillory of public scorn, where he remains the object of jeers and taunts--he is wounded to the quick, but dare not raise his hand to stay the scorpion lash of his pitiless criticisers.

In New Jersey, in New York, in Illinois, in Indiana, and even in Ohio, the people are beginning to speak as freemen in condemnation of the wickedness and crime of the war which the Lincoln Administration is waging upon the South. They are beginning to appreciate the fact that the South cannot be conquered, and that the continuance of the war will only have the effect of destroying all hope of liberty at the North. They now see that, whilst Lincoln is professing to emancipate the slaves of the South, he is making slaves of the freemen of the North. He cannot raise another army, and his present one cannot effect the purpose for which he summoned it to the field. Volunteering in the North is now dead, and the Western States will not submit to another draft. By next June, fifty regiments of the two years' volunteers, his best soldiers, will march back home, as their term will expire at that time. The Western States now see that it has been converted, on the part of the Administration, into a war for abolition, and not for the preservation of the Union as it was, and as they desire it to remain. Lincoln has built his house upon the sand, and the and the [sic] storm now rising will soon sweep it away, and the rainbow of peace will braid the brow of the storm cloud.

Congressional and Legislative Proceedings
(Column 2)
Summary: Article calls attention to the proceedings of the Legislature and Congress, as they are considering a widening of the draft and the repeal of exemption laws.
Inciting Insurrection.
(Column 2)
Summary: Article states that Union officers could face execution, if captured in the South.
Full Text of Article:

The passage in the President's Message in which it is stated that Yankee officers hereafter captured will be turned over to the Executives of the different States to be dealt with according to the laws thereof, is not the least important in that document. It will create a lively sensation in the Yankee army. According to the laws of every Southern State, the penalty for inciting insurrection is death by hanging; and there is no law on the Statute book which will be more promptly and diligently executed. Governors and people will all concur and co-operate in this. The Yankees, therefore, have fair notice of the fate that awaits them. If they come upon our soil and are taken, the officers know their doom. They will be certainly hanged.

Horrible Yankee Outrages
(Column 4)
Summary: Article alleges northern atrocities.
Lincoln and Milroy
(Column 5)
Summary: Gov. Letcher's response to the proclamations of Lincoln and Milroy denouncing emancipation.
Full Text of Article:

On Monday last, Governor Letcher sent a communication to the General Assembly relative to the Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln, and the more recent Proclamation of R.H. Milroy, Brigadier General commanding at Winchester, dated 5th instant. The Governor, after stating that he had transmitted a copy of the latter to the two Houses "for such action as may be deemed appropriate," proceed as follows:

Abraham Lincoln, in violation of all the principles of humanity and of the nobler and more generous impulses of our nature, in disregard of all social, moral and political obligations which should influence a just and wise ruler, and in utter destitution of all those virtues which should adorn a husband, a father and a citizen, and in wanton heedlessness of the peace, the happiness, and even the lives of thousands of innocent and unoffending women and children, has issued a proclamation bearing the date January 1st, instant, from which I take this paragraph:

[The paragraph quoted is that declaring the negroes free and ordaining that the military and naval authorities shall maintain them in any effort they may make for their active freedom.]

No public man in our country has exhibited such depravity; no statesman has shown such an abandonment of moral principle; no American citizen, save John Brown, has displayed so atrocious a spirit as is manifested in this proposition. This unscrupulous man, feeling that he cannot cope with the Southern Army in fair battle, aided with all the advantages that he has possessed in numbers, in improved arms, in supplies and munitions of war of all kinds, smarting under the munitions of war of all kinds, smarting under the numerous reverses and defeats that his army has suffered in a moment of desperation, seeks to excite servile insurrection and deluge Southern soil in blood.

The Governor comments further upon the atrocious proclamation, exposing the hypocrisy and malignity of its promulgator.

Referring to the proclamation of Milroy, the Governor says:

The proclamation of Milroy is a natural sequel to the proclamation of Lincoln, and is characterised by the same ferocious and malignant spirit. He is, in all respects, a suitable tool for the execution of so execrable a work. He follows the lead of his master, and therefore promises to maintain the freedom of the slave--urges a ready compliance with the proclamation of Lincoln, and admonishes our people that in case they manifest a disposition to resist its enforcement, "they will be regarded as rebels, in arms against the lawful authority of the Federal Government, and dealt with accordingly." The officers are ordered to act in accordance with said proclamation, and "to yield their ready co-operation in its enforcement."

This action on the part of Milroy violates, in the most positive manner, the provisions of our Act of Assembly which declares, "if a free person advise or conspire with a slave to rebel or make insurrection, or with any person, to induce slaves to rebel or raise insurrection, he shall be punished with death, whether such insurrection or rebellion be made or not."

The Governor next refers to the execution of John Brown and his guilty associates for the violation of this act of the General Assembly, and says that "the only difference between Brown and Lincoln consists in this: the former had a corporal's guard of followers to aid him; the latter comes backed with his thousands of hirelings. Their objects are the same and both are alike guilty of attempting to excite a servile insurrection, etc." The Governor quotes the statute prescribing the penalty for stealing and carrying away slaves.

The Governor quotes from the recent "able and excellent message" of the President his allusions to Lincoln's proclamation, and the announcement of his purpose "to deliver to the several State authorities all commissioned officers of the United States that may be hereafter captured," &c. The Governor closes as follows:

If these prisoners are turned over to the State for trial, as the President suggests, it will be necessary to amend our laws in regard to trials, so that any Circuit Court in the Commonwealth shall be invested with power to hear and determine all cases that may be brought before it--This suggestion of the President accords with my own views, and believing it to be right, I appeal to you to adopt such legislation as will ensure a fair and speedy trial.

I trust the General Assembly will, at an early day, give expression to their views on the subject I have presented for their consideration in this communication.

(Column 6)
Summary: Marriage of Presley Powell and Jennie Barnwell.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Joseph Wheeler, Presley N. Powell, Jennie A. Barnwell)
(Column 6)
Summary: Marriage of Samuel Cline and Mary Huff.
(Names in announcement: Isaac Long, Samuel Cline, Mary Huff)
(Column 6)
Summary: Death of James Crawford.
(Names in announcement: James Edward Crawford, Dr. W. M. Crawford, Rachael Crawford)
List of Deeds Deposited in the Clerks Office.
(Column 7)