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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: March 24, 1863

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Col. 1-4 ads. Entire page light and almost completely illegible.

For the Spectator
(Column 7)
Summary: John Mcgill thanks Miss Hanger for donation.
(Names in announcement: John McGill, Capt. R. C. Davis, Miss E. V. Hanger)
Trailer: John McGill
Negro Regiments
(Column 7)
Summary: Item reports that armed Negroes are doing guard duty in Kanawha.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Various battlefield reports. Telegraphic Dispatches of national news, North and South. Congressional Records col. 5. Col. 7 ads and notices.

Our Armies in the West
(Column 1)
Summary: Article asserts that the armies in the West are in fine fighting condition and able to withstand any Yankee attack.
Candidate for Congress
(Column 1)
Summary: John R. Baldwin announces himself as a candidate for re-election in the 11th Congressional District.
New Subscribers
(Column 2)
Summary: Item notes that the Spectator has a rapidly growing subscriber list.
A Word about Distilleries
(Column 2)
Summary: Article is critical of the renewed operation of distilleries that consume grain that could be used for the war effort.
The Swamp Dragons in Pendleton
(Column 2)
Summary: Article reports that two Augusta soldiers were wounded in a skirmish, Martin Hiner and Mr. Predland.
(Names in announcement: Martin Hiner, Benjamin Hiner, Mr. Predland)
The Concert
(Column 2)
Summary: Item reports that the concert at the Presbyterian Church will still take place.
Ball at the Odd Fellows Hall.
(Column 2)
Summary: Item advertises a ball at the Odd Fellows Hall to raise money for the support of soldiers' families.
(Names in announcement: J. M. Hardy, J. C. Marquis, D. C. McGuffin, N. K. Trout)
An Old Man of Experience
(Column 3)
Summary: Spectator attacks the Vidicator over political questions.
Full Text of Article:

We are satisfied that, as we grow older, we will improve in knowledge, provided we profit by our own and the experience of others, but the old man of the "Spectator" grows arrogant, when he says we will progress in knowledge if we "continue to take lessons from the Spectator."

Now we cannot recall in what single particular we have taken a lesson from the "Spectator," and we will say to our friend that we do not intend to follow his example in several things we wot [sic] of. In one thing it might be better for us, pecuniarily, to imitate him, if we would. He waits for the breeze of public opinion to indicate the direction his weather-cock shall point; at least, we conclude so, from his studied silence on subjects, deemed, by some of our wisest Statesmen, of vital importance at present. Not a line or selection, that we remember, does he commit himself in favor of, or in opposition to these subjects. Pray Mr. "Spectator" let us know, what are your opinions as to a re-construction of the Union? Are you in favor of offering inducements to the North Western States to unite in our Confederacy? We would like to gain some information from an experienced friend on these points, and as you so vauntingly boast yours, we know no one from whom we would be better pleased to hear--Vindicator.

The spirit manifested, in the above extract, by the "young man of promise" of the "Vindicator" does not disturb our equanimity in the least degree--we can easily forgive him, for he "knows not what he does." When he shall become older, it is hoped that "he will improve in knowledge," but his memory is so very bad that we apprehend he will not be able to retain much, for he seems to forget one week what he was taught the week before. He says:

"Now we cannot recall in what single particular we have taken a lesson from the Spectator."

He has forgotten in one week the important knowledge we communicated to him in reference to the comparative value of natural and artificial limbs, though he, at the time, frankly acknowledged his former ignorance, and "succumbed to our more mature judgment."

But this is not the only instance in which his memory is at fault. He says:

"Not by a line or selection, that we remember, does he commit himself in favor of, or in opposition to, * * * a reconstruction of the Union."

Was such a defective memory ever known to exist before? We have published editorial and selected articles upon this subject, time and again, from the beginning of the war to the present, and yet he gives this as a specification to establish his general charge that we "wait for the breeze of public opinion to indicate the direction our weather cock shall point."

There never were but two parties which favored reconstruction at any time, and we never concurred with either of them in their views upon that subject. The first was the secession party which maintained that the South should secede that the Union might be reconstructed upon different principles; and the other, the abolition party, which is now endeavoring to reconstruct the Union by force of arms. We have always maintained that the Union once broken, would never be made whole again. Though we expressed this opinion before the war, and a hundred times since, the forgetful editor of the "Vindicator" says that we have been "waiting for the breeze of public opinion." When the editor drew that picture, he must have been looking in a mirror. We will never need a weather-cock, to point the direction of the "breeze of public opinion" as long as we can have access to the views of the Editor of the "Vindicator," for they are so light as to be wafted by every "wind of doctrine," and like straws "show which way the winds blow."

The Editor of the "Vindicator" also asks this question:

"Are you in favor of offering inducements to the North Western States to unite in our Confederacy?"

What does he mean by the expression "unite" in our Confederacy?" As the North Western States do not constitute any part of "our Confederacy" we are unable to see how they could "unite in" it. We suppose he asks that question, as the other, for the purpose of showing that we have been waiting for the "breeze" about which he seems to feel so much interest. When the North Western States, as States independent of the U.S., shall apply for admission into "our Confederacy," then will be the time to discus [sic] the policy of admitting or rejecting them; but that time has not arrived, and, it may be, never will. How foolish then, to be discussing that question at this time! The discussion now can do no good, but may do, yes, has already done, much harm. The great re-action which has recently taken place in the North against the South, has been owing, in no small degree, to the course pursued by the Richmond Enquirer and other papers which have echoed the sentiments of that Journal. If the North West would show a disposition to cut loose from the U.S. and set up for itself we should not discourage and defeat such a purpose by the gratuitous declaration that we are now, and will ever continue to be, their enemies. If we can proffer them nothing but enmity, we should say nothing at all.

The inference the "Vindicator" draws, when an Editor does not discuss a question, is: That the Editor is waiting for the "breeze of public opinion." How would the "Vindicator" stand the test of its own mode of logic? Since its publication has been renewed, the "Spectator" has discussed the question of impressments, the property of investing in Government bonds, and several other subjects about which the "Vindicator" has been as dumb as an oyster. By the "Vindicator's" logic, we would be justified in charging that the Editor maintained a "studied silence" upon these subjects, because he was "waiting for the breeze of public opinion to indicate the direction his weather cock should point." (We have always thought that the weather-cock was designed to indicate the direction of the wind, and not the wind to indicate the direction the weather-cock should point). The Editor of the "Vindicator" digs pits, and falls into them himself.

[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: Item lists promotions in Capt. McNeill's company.
(Names in announcement: Capt. McNeill)
A Spectacle
(Column 5)
Summary: Article asserts that downfall of the United States as eveidenced by the call for Negro troops.
Origin of Article: Augusta (GA) Constitutionalist
For the Spectator
(Column 6)
Summary: Writer voices many opinions about the war, particularly attacking speculators and those who demand unreasonable prices for goods..
Trailer: A Citizen
For the Spectator
(Column 6)
Summary: Writer asserts that farmers are prepared to grow grains and vegetables for the war effort, but wish to see idlers made to work in the fields if they are to receive any food.
Full Text of Article:

Mr. Editor: Your excellent suggestions to the farmers, we trust, will be heeded; and that large crops of grain and vegetables of every kind will be planted in good time. That we will be under the necessity of giving our meat and flour to the army is becoming obvious. To supply the place of these in our families, we can substitute corn, buckwheat, molasses and vegetables. All of these may be raised yet, this Summer. Buckwheat is a very prolific crop and should be sown largely. Molasses, in the greatest abundance, can be made. With plenty of buckwheat cakes and molasses, no family will suffer. In advance then, let us make our calculations in sowing and planting, that we will give our flour and meat to the soldiers. Now is the time to prepare against coming want, if not relentless famine. "Providence helps those who help themselves," let us labor to secure His blessing. The season is still before us--let no hand be idle. "They who will not work, should not eat." Whatever may have been indulged in and tolerated in other days, the time has now come, when all must work or starve. Some useful employment must be followed by rich and poor alike. Let no food be sold to those who are able bodied and will not work, while any of the industrious and helpless are in want. We will have no surplus food for "dead heads" and vagabonds.

The farmers are in great need of help and the time is growing short for getting out the crops. Send out the idlers and loafers from the towns to the country, to toil with the farmers from day light till dark and help to make bread for all. This will be far better for them, than standing about the streets prating about the high prices of living. Help to supply the demand and prices will come down.

"Come and help to make a living," are the watch words of a


Trailer: A Farmer
An Act
(Column 6)
Summary: Transcript of the Tobacco Act that limits production of Tobacco.