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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: May 26, 1863

Go To Page : 1 | 2 |

-Page 01-

Description of Page: Cols. 1 and 2 ads. Cols. 3 - 5 Governor's proclamations regarding the upcoming election. Page mostly light and illegible.

Further Particulars of the Last Moments of Jackson - His Religious Character.
(Column 7)
Summary: Item gives further information on Gen. Jackson's death.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Various battlefield reports. Col. 6 and 7 ads and notices, including previously tagged candidates' announcements. Previously tagged list of election officials col. 7.

Election Day
(Column 1)
Summary: A reminder the Thursday is election day.
A Card
(Column 1)
Summary: The Spectator questions Col. Harman's gift of a captured silver set given to his wife. The Editor recounts a conversation had with Col. Harman where Harman criticized the Spectator for bringing this to public notice. The argument ended in Col. Harman beating Mr. Mauzy senseless, breaking his arm.
Full Text of Article:

In the Staunton Vindicator of May 8, 1863, appeared an editorial notice of the recent expedition to North West Virginia. The tone of the article was friendly and complimentary to Colonel Asher W. Harman, of the 12th Virginia Cavalry, as was very natural and proper coming from a relative and friend. In the Staunton Spectator of May 12, I published an extract from this article with a brief editorial comment as follows:

"Beautiful Silver Set"--We saw a beautiful silver set, which was captured and sent as a present to Mrs. Col. A. W. Harman.--Vindicator.

We acknowledge that the above announcement contained in the Vindicator of last week surprised us. We had supposed that everything captured by soldiers in the Confederate service became the property of the Confederate States. Have we been mistaken in this supposition?--Spectator.

To this inquiry thus suggested no reply has been made and no further notice has been taken of the subject in either the Vindicator or Spectator.

On the 21st of May, soon after breakfast, I was upon the street, near the Virginia Hotel, when I was approached by Col. Asher W. Harman, who stated that he wished to have some conversation with me, and we stepped aside for the purpose.

He stated to me that I had made an allusion to him in my paper which he thought I had no right to make. I asked to what he referred, and he mentioned the article about the silver service. I told him I was not aware that I had said anything to which just exception could be taken; that I did not know by whom the present had been made or upon what authority, and that my inquiry gave fair opportunity for explanation, if the transaction was in fact a proper one. I also stated that if he had cause of complaint against any one it was against the Editor of the Vindicator by whom the matter was first brought to public notice. To this he replied that the notice was an act of youthful indiscretion on the part of Mr. Lynn, of which I had no right to take advantage, in order to make "a party fling" at him.

He then went on to say that the conduct of military officers was not subject to criticism and comment in the newspapers, and that he would not consent to have his conduct discussed by them. I stated that I thought he took pretty high ground, and he replied that he meant to maintain it, and that he wished me to understand that if I took any notice whatever of him in my paper I would "have to abide the consequences." I told him that such had always been my understanding of my position as an Editor; and that I always regarded myself as responsible for the conduct of my paper. I then went on to say that it was always my rule and purpose to avoid giving just ground of offence to any one, but that I could not consent to be influenced in my course as an Editor by threats or intimidation; that I desired no controversy with any one, but while endeavoring to do right I would always hold myself responsible for my conduct. To this he replied that he wanted no personal difficulty and that he did not desire to intimidate or to threaten me, but that he wished to warn me that if I made the least allusion to him in my paper he was determined to kill me. I told him I understood him perfectly, and that I wished him to understand me, that my course in the conduct of my paper would not be in the slightest degree influenced by anything he had said or might do.

I do not pretend to give the conversation in detail, but this is the substance of it.

Supposing the interview to be at an end I turned and walked away. I had gone perhaps eight or ten steps when he again confronted me and stated that he wished to impress upon me distinctly that if I ever again alluded to him in my paper, I must abide the consequences. I told him he had already told me that several times and that I thought we had fully understood each other on the subject; and I was again in the act of turning to leave him, when he suddenly seized me by the beard with one hand and struck me with the other. The joint effect of the jerk and the blow brought me to the ground--he falling with me. He was greatly my superior in strength and I could only endeavor by holding him close to me to avoid his doing me serious damage. In this attempt I seized him around the neck with my left arm, when by a sudden and violent effort he broke the arm above the elbow and strained the shoulder joint. I was at once helpless and in his power, and he continued to beat me until taken off of me by persons passing by.

The injuries I have received are such as to disable me from all business for some time and to confine me to my room.

I do not know that any commentary upon such a transaction is necessary in a community like this, but I wish to have some points connected with it distinctly understood.

1. I claim the right as the Editor of a newspaper and as a free citizen to make fair criticism and commentary upon the conduct of all public officers, civil or military and I will never consent to give up this right or to hold it in any respect at the will or by the forbearance of any man.

2. I hold myself at all times responsible for my conduct as an Editor or as a citizen, and I do not intent to be beaten or bulled out of what I regard as the line of duty and propriety. Violence may some time triumph over the right, as it has done in this case, but I rely with confidence upon the ultimate success of honest purposes and correct conduct.

The Path of Duty
(Column 2)
Summary: Article encourages citizens to vote as a matter of duty.
The Case of Vallandigham
(Column 2)
Summary: Article stresses the importance of the Vallandingham case.
Attorney for the Commonwealth
(Column 3)
Summary: Item reports Harman's resignation from the office of Attorney for the Commonwealth and his replacement by John Hendren.
(Names in announcement: Col. William Harman, John N. Hendren)
How Yankee Soldiers are Made to Vote
(Column 4)
Summary: Article alleges that soldiers are intimidated and punished for voting in opposition to abolitionist policies.
Staunton Gas Works
(Column 5)
Summary: Copy of a letter regarding the operation of the Staunton Gas Works.
(Names in announcement: Jos. A. Waddell)
Our Private Soldiers
(Column 5)
Summary: Item praises the contributions of the average enlisted men.
(Column 5)
Summary: Marriage of Jennie Straughan and Capt. Pennington of Hampshire Co.
(Names in announcement: Jennie Straughan)
(Column 5)
Summary: Marriage of James Bush and Lucretia Wright.
(Names in announcement: Rev. C. Beard, James Bush, Lucretia Wright)
(Column 5)
Summary: Marriage of John Mowry and Mary Susan Coiner.
(Names in announcement: Rev. C. Beard, John C. Mowry, Mary Susan Coiner)
(Column 5)
Summary: Death of Susan Wilson.
(Names in announcement: D. C. McGuffin, Susan Wilson, Capt. William Wilson)
(Column 5)
Summary: Death of William Ramsey.
(Names in announcement: William Ramsey)
(Column 5)
Summary: Death of Willie Hobbs.
(Names in announcement: Willie Hobbs, Elizabeth Y. Hobbs, James O. Hobbs)
(Column 5)
Summary: Death of Ira Hobbs.
(Names in announcement: Ira Thomas Hobbs, Elizabeth Y. Hobbs, James O. Hobbs)
(Column 5)
Summary: Death of Thomas M. Bell.
(Names in announcement: Thomas M. Bell)
[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: Sheffey defends himself against charges of graft.
(Names in announcement: Hugh W. Sheffey)
Trailer: Hugh W. Sheffey
[No Title]
(Column 7)
Summary: Article from a Northern paper praising the character of Stonewall Jackson.
Origin of Article: Washington Chronicle