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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: November 17, 1863

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Description of Page: This page also contains a poem and various advertisements. It is partly obscured and illegible.

The Malthus Doctrine
(Column 6)
Summary: A correspondent, W., takes issue with a statement in the Oct. 27th issue of the Spectator that the Malthusian doctrine is true. He argues for the primacy of the Bible as a source of truth, and focuses on the passage "Be fruitful and multiply" as a mandate that can inflict pain on mankind.
Trailer: W., Mt. Sidney, Va.
For the Spectator
(Column 6)
Summary: Argues against the practice of impressing horses from farmers. The correspondent instead advocates taking horses from bureaucrats and medical personal at state hospitals.
[No Title]
(Column 6)
Summary: A letter notifying the public of the organization of a Home Guard in Augusta County and the election of officers.
(Names in announcement: Captain Abney, S. Bell, Walters, J.W. Bell, Finley, Coiner, Balthus, Moorman, Preston, Crawford, Churchman, Hite, Cochran, Jewell, John B. Baldwin, Kenton Harper, J. Marshall McCue)
[No Title]
(Column 6)
Summary: Two correspondents for the New York Herald were captured in a raid last week near Meade's headquarters.
The Iron Ram At Nantes
(Column 7)
Summary: Six rams that were being built in Nantes for the Confederate government were stopped by order of the Emperor.
Prayer of the Extortioner
(Column 7)
Summary: Sarcastically imagines how an extortioner prays.
Full Text of Article:

We have sometimes wondered whether the extortioner ever prayed. We should like to hear his prayer, or rather to read the secrets of his heart, while ostensibly engaged in the holy exercise. His words, interpretated [sic] with his thoughts would be something like what follows:

Our Father who art in heaven--I wonder what will be the price of wheat this season. My crop is fine, very fine. I think that I might get at least four dollars for it. I should like to get ten--Hallowed by thy name--If the season continues I shall make a tremendous crop of corn, and as my crops are sufficient to last me two years, it will be a clear profit--Thy kingdom come--Chickens are a great institution. Before the war I used to sell them for ten cents, now I get two dollars. I can scarcely find it in my heart to pray for peace--Thy will be done on earth--I believe I will sell my corn to the soldiers' relief society. They dont [sic] give enough--as it is done in heaven. That old steer brought me two hundred dollars. Give us this day our daily bread--my poor neighbor who has a poor husband in the army, and six little children at home, must find it hard to get along.--The Lord bless her and hers. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us--my old friend Smith was rather hard on me when he said I gouged the poor, but I forgive him--and lead us not into temptation--I am afraid our pastor's prosperity will prove a snare to him. Why brother Jones sent him a cow and calf--but deliver us from evil. I wish our pastor would quit preaching on extortion. If he don't I will stop subscription, sure. He is really an evil. He won't let a body be at peace--for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever. I believe I will send some milk cows to Atlanta. I hear they are bringing tremendous prices. The merchants there do charge awfully for their goods. Lord have mercy on us, and save us from such extortioners.--Amen!

Stonewall Jackson And Religion In The Army
(Column 7)
Summary: In addition to noting the deeply religious nature of General Jackson, Rev. Lacy goes on to attribute a revival of religion amongst the soldiers of the army to the influence of Jackson.
Origin of Article: The Central Presbyterian
Editorial Comment: "The Central Presbyterian publishes a sketch of the remarks made by Rev. Mr. Lacy, from which the following is an extract:"
Full Text of Article:

After returning from our Chaplain's meetings, General Jackson would send for me, and in his manner would say, "Come in, Mr. Lacy, and make your report." In response to interesting statements he would say--That's good; we ought to thank God for that." When he saw Gen. Lee and other officers come to attend preaching, it gave him great joy. Among his liberal contributions of money, it may be mentioned that he gave $300 to publish an editon [sic] of the tract, "Our Danger and Our Duty," one of the most powerful productions that ever came from the pen of Dr. Thornwell. General Jackson was deeply impressed by it. After he was wounded in his last battle, his love for the word of Go seemed greater than ever. He (Mr. Lacy) would sometime a read eight or ten chapters to him.

Here the Rev. Dr. Hoge being requested to state what was the impression made in England by his death, remarked, in substance, that it was in the highest degree solemn, deep and affecting; that he was not only admired there as a great General, but loved as a good man; and that his death was lamented with a sorrow like that which belongs a personal bereavement. Lord Shaftsbury said he considered Gen. Jackson the greatest man our country had ever produced.

Mr. Lacy then traced the progress of the revival after the death of this eminent man. About one thousand soldiers made a profession of religion in Gen. Jackson's corps while encamped about Fredericksburg, and before the army went into Pennsylvania. Amid all the hindrance of the campaign, there was still great interest on this subject, and when the army returned to Winchester it increased. More than two thousand have made a profession of religion within about two months.

Cheating Luck
(Column 7)
Summary: An attempt to change the procedure by which prisoners are exchanged has apparently back-fired on President Lincoln.
Origin of Article: Richmond Sentinel
Editorial Comment: "Lincoln, in the attempt to gain an advantage by a sudden expedient, has failed in his design, and has released the paroles of probably as many as ten thousand Confederate soldiers. He tried to cheat luck, and luck cheated him."
Losses Of Rosecran's Army
(Column 7)
Summary: A report on the losses recorded at Chickamauga by Union troops.

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Description of Page: This page also includes numerous advertisements and legal notices. There are a number of illegible areas.

The Fight In Greenbrier. Home Guards.
(Column 1)
Summary: On October 6th, near Greenbrier, a greatly outnumbered Confederate force under Gen. Echols and Col. Wm. L. Jackson fought heartily, but had to retreat in the face of a determined attack. The enemy troops under the command of General Averill next moved towards Staunton until their forces were blocked by Gen. Imboden near Covington. The presence of a large enemy troop in the area led to the mustering of the Home Guard units at Staunton. While the anticipated arrival of the enemy troops never materialized, it was, according to the author, "better to respond promptly every time the alarm may be given, for it would be better to come out ninety-nine times when there is no wolf, than to fail the hundredth time if the wolf should really come." The 3rd Battalion Valley Reserves suffered severe losses.
Origin of Article: The Richmond Whig
Full Text of Article:

We have been unable to learn the particulars of the fight in Greenbrier on Friday, the 6th instant, in which the forces of Genl. Kohels and Col. Wm. L. Jackson, amounting to only 1,700 men were forced to retire in some disorder before the combined forces of Genl's Kelly and Averill numbering 7,000 men, after a stubborn resistence [sic] of four hours.--Col. Wm. L. Jackson with a small force of cavalry and a section of artillery, was near Mill Point, in Pocahontas county, when the enemy marched upon him.--He despatched the fact, that the enemy in force were marching upon him, to Genl. Echols at Lewisburg, who immediately marched to his relief. Col. Jackson fell back in the direction of Lewisburg to Droop Mountain (28 miles North East of Lewisburg) where the reinforcements of General Echols met him, and where the engagement occurred. A correspondent of the Richmond Whig says:

"The battle was joined about eleven o'clock by our artillery firing at the enemy's battery as it came into position.--This was soon ended, as he was driven away by our well directed shots. The enemy now massed his whole force on our left and centre, consisting of about Four thousand Cavalry, under Averill, and three thousand Infantry under Kelley. To oppose this force we had seventeen hundred, of which eight hundred were cavalry. For four hours we contended against overwhelming odds.--The enemy, moving his forces beyond our left, wheeled his men, and thus obtained an enfilading fire.

Just at this time, our centre, which had been much weakened in reinforce the left, was attacked by a largely superior force and pressed back. Gen. Echols, seeing it useless to contend longer, gave orders to retreat; the enemy badly cut up, made only a feeble pursuit.--Our loss was necessarily very heavy, especially in killed and wounded. Maj. R. A. Bailey, of the 22nd Virginia regiment was wounded; [reported mortally] and captured. Of ten officers in 3 companies of this same regiment that fought on our left, but two escaped unhurt.

The 3d batallion [sic] suffered severely, but as reports of casualties have not been handed in, no accurate information can yet be obtained.

The retreat had continued but a short time when Gen. Echols received information that the Yankees, several thousand strong, were marching on Lewisburg, by the Kanawha road, to cut him off. It was now all impotant [sic] to get our trains and artillery by Lewisburg and across the Greenbrier river before the new force could come up. This was done, and the enemy baffled with the loss of [illegible] of artillery and one wagon which was abandoned because the carriage broke down. Gen. Echols crossed the river early in the morning of the 7th instant, and after resting a few hours, continued the march towards Union, Monroe county."

After the failure of the enemy to capture the forces of Echols and Jackson at or near Lewisburg as they no doubt expected to do, Gen. Averill, with a cavalry force supposed to number 3,500, marched East in the direction of Staunton as far as Callaghans in Alleghany, 6 miles West of Covington, where he turned off north to Highland county. A foraging party of the enemy went within a few miles of Covington where they were fired upon by a portion of Genl. Imboden's force, when they took the back track at more than a double quick. As the enemy marched North on the North side of the Mountains, Gen. Imboden marched North on the South Side so as to be ready to prevent his coming to the Valley.

On Thursday morning a despatch was received here from Gen. Imboden which stated that from the information he had, he was led to believe that Gen. Averill would be reinforced at Monterey by a force of 300 under Col. Mulligan, and that their combined forces would attempt to reach Staunton. Upon this information, Col. Baldwin, as Colonel of the regiment of Home Guards, summoned the different companies of H. Guards in the county to get ready for duty and report as soon as possible at Staunton. On the next day (Friday) the town was thronged with hundreds of Home Guards who were soon armed and ready to march to the mountains to meet the foe. Gen. Averill seemed to know instinctively the kind of reception he would meet with on the part of the Augusta Home Guards, and marched in the opposite direction, so that there was no opportunity, for the Home Guards to phlebotomise the Yankees. The Home Guards reported for duty as promptly as regulars could have done, and they presented as fine an appearance as any regiment in the service, and those who knew the good material of which the companies were composed did not doubt for a moment that they would fight gallantly.

Though the "wolf" may not come every time the cry of wolf is made, yet it is better to respond promptly every time the alarm may be given, for it would be better to come out ninety-nine times when there is no wolf, than to fail the hundredth time if the wolf should really come. We have no doubt that the Home Guards will always do their duty, and their first duty is to respond promptly when called upon by their commanding officer. Should it be their fortune to be led against the invading foe, we cherish the hope that their heroic conduct will cause a halo of glory to

"Circle their armies with a charm against death."

Destructive Fire
(Column 1)
Summary: On October 6th at about 11:00 p.m., a large fire swept through the Flory estate, destroying the residence and a number of out buildings. The fire is believed to have originated in the kitchen when a spark escaped the cooking stove and fell upon some tinder.
Origin of Article: The Rockingham Register
The Doctrine of Malthus
(Column 2)
Summary: In response to an earlier letter on Malthus, the author argues against a strict interpretation of biblical scripture. Instead, he argues that "[t]hose who are continually in fear lest science may infringe upon the facts of Theology have, we fear, not too much faith in the validity of their creed...." In addition, the author goes on to defend the finding of Malthus against a strict biblical criticism.
Financial Relief--With A Vengeance
(Column 3)
Summary: A vehement rejection of an economic plan supported by the Richmond Whig. The author argues that this plan, if carried to fruition "would leave the currency for a long time to come, in its present lamentable condition, and bring ruin on the whole people."
Editorial Comment: "We were very much surprised to find in the Richmond Whig of 13th inst., under the heading 'Financial and Commercial', the following article:"
Full Text of Article:

"The plan of financial relief, copied into this paper a short time since from a North Carolina paper, originally appeared, we believe, in the Columbia South Carolinian, to which journal it was communicated by a citizen of South Carolina. The plan is attracting considerable attention from the press, and is generally regarded as the most effective yet suggested for restoring our finances to a healthful condition. The proposition is to levy a tax, one-half of which, or some other equitable proportion, shall be paid in SPECIE, or in the coupons of a new issue of six per cent. bonds. The theory is, that tax payers will invest in these bonds to an amount sufficient to secure the coupons required to pay a moiety [sic] of their taxes, and thus the redundant currency will be reduced, and, thereafter, may be kept within reasonable limits."

In our poor judgment this is the most inefficient and mischievous proposition that has yet been suggested. Its adoption would leave the currency for a long time to come, in its present lamentable condition, and bring ruin on the whole people. To talk of collecting one-half the present large amount of taxes in gold and silver, is simply preposterous. Where is the gold and silver to come from? Specie is now worth 12 in notes for one in gold. If this be the case when there is but little demand for it, what would be the premium when a new demand was created for hundreds of millions of it? It would run up to 50 or 100 for one. There is not one-fifth of the required amount of gold in the whole Confederacy. But it may be said that people may relieve themselves by buying bonds of the new issue to such an amount that the coupons would be sufficient to pay the specie half of the tax. This may do for the wealthier classes, but how are men in moderate circumstances to get the money to buy the bonds? A shoemaker or other mechanic, for example, pays a license tax of $50 and commissions on his sales amounting to, say $100 more. One-half of his tax would be $75. Under this notable scheme, he would have to pay $75 in gold, or buy $1250 worth of bonds to get enough coupons! Where is he to get the money? All his stock in trade, including his tools, would not suffice to buy them, and he would be sold out of house and home for taxes. Of course, at the sales, nothing would be received in payment but coupons of those particular bonds or gold and silver! What would property bring sold on these terms?

This mild admonition to buy bonds reminds one of the wisdom of the Queen of France, who, when the people were clamoring for bread to feed their starving families, naively exclaimed: "How silly! Why don't they eat cakes?"

But suppose the scheme were adopted, and suppose the bonds bought, it would require six and twelve months for the coupons on the bonds to mature? What would become of the country and the currency in the mean time?

If Congress wishes to ensure the defeat of our cause, it could devise no more effectual means of accomplishing that end, than to adopt this scheme. National and individual ruin would be its inevitable consequences.

We are satisfied the editors of the Whig did not intend to endorse this scheme by giving it a place in its paper. But as it appears from the article that "the plan is attracting considerable attention from the press and is generally regarded as the most effective yet suggested," we wish to enter our solemn protest against it; and, if it be not trespassing too far on the kindness of the Whig, we beg that our protest be made known to its readers.

"T. S." Again
(Column 3)
Summary: In a previous edition, the paper refused to publish an advertisement by a T. S. that sought to defend the 18th Va. Cavalry against charges of cowardice at Charlestown. This was because T. S. had assailed the character of the editor of another paper. The Spectator's editor has now decided to publish extracts of the piece with the offensive parts deleted.
The Affair At Rogersville
(Column 4)
Summary: A clever ploy by Gen. William E. Jones succeeded in luring a large force of federal soldiers into a carefully staged trap. The entire affair cost the Southern troops only two men killed and ten wounded.
Origin of Article: The Lynchburg Republicans
Editorial Comment: "The Lynchburg Republican has learned the following particulars of the handsome affair at Rogersville, East Tennessee:"
Yankees In Woodstock
(Column 4)
Summary: A body of Yankees are alleged to have entered the town of Woodstock, Virginia. They carried off a number of citizens and looted a large number of supplies.
Getting Yankeefied
(Column 5)
Summary: A diatribe against the selfishness and greed of some members of Southern society. If the war effort is lost, it will be because of the immorality of the enemy within rather than the force of the enemy without.
Origin of Article: The Richmond Whig
(Column 5)
Summary: Bemoans the fact that hoarding is taking place.
Origin of Article: Lynchburg Virginian
Tripod Of Evil
(Column 5)
Summary: While acknowledging the severity of the situation facing the South, the author urges the reader to remember that "[t]he coming days are full of trials, but they are winter days--dark but brief. Courage! A fickle and uncertain spring will follow the winter, and then--the clear tranquil sunshine--type of peace!"
Origin of Article: The Richmond Whig
Editorial Comment: "The Richmond Whig says that the tripod of evils on which the Confederate cause appears to rest, may be defined thus--Yankees, Repudiation, Starvation."
Full Text of Article:

The Richmond Whig says that the tripod of evils on which the confederate cause appears to rest may be defined thus--Yankees, Repudiation, Starvation. With the first we are familiar, and have been these two years or more; the other two are new foes, whose power we have not yet encountered, and need not, if we manage rightly. At all events, we do not intend to succumb to them any more than to their parent, the detested Yankee. Our Revolutionary sires overcame the last two; be ours the task to overcome them all. The coming days are full of trials, but they are winter days--dark but brief. Courage! A fickle and uncertain spring will follow the winter, and then--the clear tranquil sunshine--type of peace!

The Troops Mustered In By The Yankees
(Column 6)
Summary: Based on official sources, the number of soldiers fielded by the North are compiled. Pennsylvania supplied 200,336 men; Illinois supplied 185,440; Kentucky 43,908; Missouri 37,947; and New Jersey 30,214.
Trailer: "The above statement has been compiled from official sources, and may be relied on as being correct, up to January 1st, 1863."
The Presidential Question
(Column 6)
Summary: Reports that the number of potential challengers to Lincoln is now down to two; "Chase in the Cabinet, and Banks in the field." This small number is attributed to the fact that these two are the only ones with the organizational support to challenge the President.
Origin of Article: The New York Herald
Editorial Comment: "A Washington telegram to the Herald says:"
Prisoners In Richmond
(Column 6)
Summary: An analysis of the prisoners currently held in Richmond distinguishes prisoners by type and further breaks the military totals down by rank. It also mentions that 700 prisoners each day will be transferred to Danville, until a total of 4,000 is reached.
Mrs. Lincoln's Mother
(Column 6)
Summary: Mrs. Todd, the mother of Mrs. Lincoln, has arrived in Richmond on her way to visit her daughter Mrs. Helm, the widow of Surgeon General Helm who died at Chickamauga. The article notes that "all her daughters [are in the South] except the wife of Lincoln, who is in Washington, and Mrs. Kellogg, who is at present in Paris."
Sixty Deserters
(Column 6)
Summary: It has been discovered that about sixty of the prisoners captured recently by General W. E. Jones at Rogersville, Tenn. were deserters who had joined Carter's (Yankee) regiment. These men are to be tried by court martial for deserting the army.
Origin of Article: The Lynchburg Virginian
(Column 6)
Summary: Announces the recent wedding at the Old School Presbyterian Church, in Harrisonburg, of Captain Marshall A. Dangerfield, of the 11th Va. Cavalry, and Miss Henrietta H. Gray, daughter of Colonel A. S. Gray, of Harrisonburg.
(Names in announcement: Captain Marshall A. Dangerfield, Miss Henrietta Gray, Colonel A. S. Gray, Rev. Mr. Lucas P. Latane)
(Column 6)
Summary: Mr. Samuel W. Patterson of Augusta County and Miss Hetty Jane Bear of Rockingham County were married by Rev. T. D. Bell on November 5th.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Samuel W. Patterson, Miss Hetty Jane Bear, Mr. David Bear, Rev. T. D. BellEsq.)
(Column 6)
Summary: On November 12th, at the residence of Col. W. D. Anderson, Mr. Cyrus M. Parkins, of Frederick County, and Miss Julia A. Van Fossen, of Augusta County were married by Rev. Wm. E. Baker.
(Names in announcement: Col. W. D. Anderson, Mr. Cyrus M. Parkins, Miss Julia A. Van Fossen, Rev. Wm. E. Baker)
For Sale--Iron Works, Slaves, Mill, &c.
(Column 7)
Summary: Advertisement for the sale of Alexander Patterson's property, which consists of an iron works on the South River, the adjoining land, three slaves, and all personal property left by Patterson.
(Names in announcement: Alexander Patterson, H.H. Peck)
Public Sale of Mount Torry Furnace
(Column 7)
Summary: Advertisement listing the sale of the Mount Torry iron works and the adjoining 8,000 acres.
(Names in announcement: Lorenzo Shaw, D.S. Young)