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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: November 10, 1863

Go To Page : 1 | 2 |

-Page 01-

Description of Page: This page also contains a poem, and various advertisements and legal notices. Part of the page is illegible.

A Plan Of Financial Relief-Letter From A. H. H. Stuart
(Column 5, 6, 7)
Summary: Alexander Stuart reflects on the problems of the Confederate economy, in particular the devaluation of the currency and the inflation of prices. He sees the primary obstacle in dealing with the economic crisis being the inability to coordinate the policies of all the states of the Confederacy. In order to aid the economy, Stuart advocates a national program that will include the following steps: 1. stop issuing new treasury notes; 2. retire one-half to two-thirds of the present issue; 3. enact a specific export duty on all the productions of field and forest to pay the interest and principal of the debt; 4. obtain funds through the sale of bonds, not by the issue of treasury notes.
Acts Passed By The Legislature
(Column 7)
Summary: An article that lists the fourteen acts passed into law by the legislature during the previous session.
(Column 7)
Summary: A physician describes the symptoms and treatment of diphtheria. The paper urges readers to cut this article out and keep it ready for a time of need.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Also various legal announcements and advertisements

War News
(Column 1)
Summary: Discusses the state of various theaters of conflict. In Tennessee, it appears the Union forces are on the move, and a large battle is expected in Lookout Valley. In Virginia, a number of smaller engagements have taken place with mixed results.
Origin of Article: Richmond Dispatch
Editorial Comment: "The famous and immortal 'Stonewall Brigade' had just been relieved from picket by Hayes Brigade. If the enemy had succeeded in capturing that Brigade the Yankees would have burst every cannon and broken every bell in Yankeedom in ringing bells and firing cannon in honor of the event."
Grain Distilled
(Column 1)
Summary: Clarifying an earlier editorial, the Spectator reports that a local distillery is actually consuming thirty bushels of grain a day, rather than the one hundred bushels reported.
The Legislature--Good Bills
(Column 2)
Summary: While an earlier article argued that the previous legislative session hadn't passed any bills of importance, this article asserts that in fact three worthwhile bills were passed. These include measures to provide for the support of the indigent families of servicemen; the outlawing of gambling; and a measure to prohibit the production of spirituous and malt liquors. The bulk of the article is a defense of the last measure against charges that it represents an unconstitutional measure violating the prohibition against any law "impairing the obligation of contracts."
Full Text of Article:

The statement we made last week that the Legislature had not passed any bill of general importance save the repeal of a law of the previous session in reference to the currency, did not do full justice to that body of Solons, for they did pass three very good bills besides the one to which reference was made, to wit: The bill against gambling; the bill for the support of the indigent families of those in the military and naval service, and the bill prohibiting the consumption of grain by distillers and other manufacturers of spirituous and malt liquors. The following is an extract from the last bill mentioned:

"It shall not be lawful for any person hereafter to make, or cause to be made, any Whiskey, or other Spirituous or Malt Liquors, out of any Corn, Wheat, Rye, or other grain, or out of dried Fruit, Potatoes, Sugar, Cane, Molasses Cane, or Sorghum; and any person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined for every offence not less than one hundred dollars, nor more than five thousand dollars, and be subject to imprisonment in the county jail, not exceeding twelve months at the discretion of the court.

No person, firm or company shall execute, in whole or in part, any contract heretofore or hereafter made with the Confederate Government, or with any agent of said Government, for making, or causing to be made, any Whiskey or ardent spirits within this State; and all such contractors who shall violate this section shall be deemed subject to all the penalties imposed by this and other acts against unlawful distillation."

It will be observed that persons are not only prohibited hereafter to make, or cause to be made, any whiskey, or other spirituous and malt liquors, out of any corn, wheat, rye or other grain, or out of dried fruit, potatoes, sugar, molasses, sugar cane, molasses cane or sorghum, but that they are prohibited to execute, in whole or in part, any contract heretofore, or hereafter, made with the Confederate Government, or with any agent of said Government, for making, or causing to be made, any whiskey or other ardent spirits within this State; and any person so offending shall be fined, for every offence, not less than $100, nor more than $5000, and be subject to imprisonment in the county jail, not exceeding twelve months, at the discretion of the court.

Some persons erroneously suppose that this law violates that provision of the constitution which prohibits the enactment of any law "impairing the obligation of contracts." This law does not impair the "obligation of contracts," but merely prohibits the execution of certain contracts within this State. The validity of the contracts is not destroyed, but the execution of them, in this State, is prohibited. The contractors may execute them in another State.--This law does not relieve either of the contracting parties from any obligations imposed by their contracts. The Legislature is competent to pass such a law, or else this State has no power to protect itself. The Confederate Government might else have all the grain of the State distilled into whiskey, and the citizens of the State be left to starve.

Mr. Stuart's Financial Scheme
(Column 2)
Summary: While declaring themselves insufficiently knowledgeable to judge the merit of Mr. Stuart's financial plan (printed on page one), the Spectator urges the General Assembly to consider the measures recommended and, if deemed beneficial, to adopt the plan.
Dr. Rucker's Escape Through Allegheny
(Column 2)
Summary: Provides further details on the escape of Dr. Rucker. This report describes his narrow escape from authorities outside Covington. At the present time, it is not known if he has managed to reach the enemy lines.
Origin of Article: The Fincastle Express
Aiding and Abetting Deserters
(Column 3)
Summary: Ten men from Rockingham County were arrested on charges of aiding and abetting deserters. After three days of deliberation, Judge Halyburton of the Confederate State District Court determined that the offense was not committed in his district, and he ordered the prisoners discharged. The men were then arrested and transported to Staunton for trial.
Origin of Article: Enquirer
Full Text of Article:

For the past three days the Confederate States District Court, Judge Halyburton presiding, has been engaged in the examination of ten men, from Rockingham county, charged with aiding and abetting and piloting deserters from the Confederate army to the Yankee lines.--These men, known respectively as Geo. Yates, Samuel Wheelbarger, George Cooper, David Cooper, (father and son) George W. Ramsey, George Hume, Samuel Boman, William Coffman, John D. Keiser and Rev. Wm. Dunlap, have long been suspected, but have hitherto managed to elude the vigilance of the authorities.

At the commencement of the investigation a message was received from the Secretary of War, stating that the parties were subject and ought to be tried by military authority.

To this the counsel for the prisoners objected, alleging that they were citizens, and were, therefore, subject to only jury trial.

The evidence elicited, showed that the prisoners had been guilty of harboring Confederate deserters, and that they had used language that showed their antagonism to the Southern Confederacy and in favor of the Yankee Government.

The Judge, yesterday, after hearing the evidence in the case, decided that the offence was not committed within his district, and consequently discharged the prisoners.

Commissioner Watson then had them arrested, and they will be sent to Staunton for trial.

Working Well
(Column 3)
Summary: A recent measure that provides every non-commissioned officer and soldier with a furlough of not less than forty days if he secures a recruit and causes him to be mustered into the army has been a success.
General Morgan
(Column 3)
Summary: A recounting of the exploits of General Morgan during his career.
Lincoln And Mexico
(Column 3)
Summary: During a recent interview with a representative of a South American republic, President Lincoln conveyed his reluctance to intervene in Mexico until the war is concluded.
The Confederate States A Nation
(Column 3)
Summary: A recent decision by the French judicial tribunal recognized the Northern states and the Southern states as "two nations in a state of war."
Origin of Article: The Mercury
France and Russia
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports that Prince Maximilian has decided to accept the Mexican throne despite rumors from Europe to the contrary.
American Affairs In Europe
(Column 3)
Summary: A recent editorial in the London Times asserts that an analysis of the latest intelligence indicates "no progress whatever on the part of the North."
Origin of Article: The London Times
[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: A short piece noting that the women of Georgia have contributed 11,818 pairs of socks for the soldiers.
General Bragg
(Column 4)
Summary: An account of President Davis's decision not to replace General Bragg of his command. It is noted that when the President visited the general, Bragg's behavior was exemplary.
Origin of Article: The Richmond Sentinel
Well-Timed Advice
(Column 4)
Summary: Calls for self-sacrifice in support of the soldiers and the cause to which they are committed.
Origin of Article: The Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel
Editorial Comment: "The Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel says:"
Gigantic Campaign
(Column 4)
Summary: A correspondent associated with Bragg's army predicts a battle in Tennessee and Kentucky that will dwarf earlier engagements and will compare with the complexity of Napoleon's most ambitious efforts.
President Davis, General Bragg, and General Polk
(Column 4)
Summary: The Advertiser reports that President Davis disagrees with General Bragg's decision to arrest General Polk. Davis would prefer that Polk return to the army of Tennessee. However, General Polk does not want to assume that command and desires a full investigation of the charges brought against him.
Origin of Article: The Montgomery Advertiser
(Column 4)
Summary: It is alleged that the "Yankee commander at Murfreesboro, Tennessee" has issued orders prohibiting the grinding of any grain for the wives and families of those who are enlisted in the Southern forces. Those violating this prohibition are subject to confiscation of their property, while the offender faces capital punishment.
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: Discusses the relish with which Northern papers report the escalating cost of food in the Confederacy, but reminds readers that the British did the same and yet failed in their attempt to subjugate the colonists.
(Column 5)
Summary: Announces the marriage of Mr. Simeon E. Miller, of Barnwell, S. C., and Miss Maggie A. S. Hawpe. Miss Hawpe is daughter of Mr. Adam M. Hawpe of Augusta County.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Simeon E. Miller, Miss Maggie A. S. Hawpe, Miss Adam M. Hawpe)
(Column 6)
Summary: Mr. George W. Marshall died on October 3, 1863 at the residence of his father in his 26th year.
(Names in announcement: Mr. George W. Marshall, Benjamin CrawfordEsq.)
$250 Reward
(Column 7)
Summary: Advertisement for a runaway slave named Osbert who was owned by Thomas Reeves of Mt. Solon.
(Names in announcement: Thomas Reeves)