Staunton Spectator: March 29, 1864Go To Page : 1 | 2 |
Description of Page: Poetry, fiction, and classifieds, columns 1-4
Lincoln's War Unpopular
(Column 4)Summary: Highlights reports in Northern newspapers that suggest the war is unpopular in the North.
Origin of Article: New York NewsFull Text of Article:For the Spectator
The New York News shows that Lincoln's war is not popular in the North, as the administration papers maintain, but, on the contrary, that the people "yearn for peace and will have it." To learn the true sentiment of the people of the North, "we must not go," says the New York News, "to the columns of the pensioned press of the dynasty at Washington; nor to the manufacturer of New England or New York, or elsewhere, who have grown fat on the carnage of better men; nor to the traders, or jobbers, or contractors, or place-men, or parasites--the myriad of jackals who feed on the bloody offal of the strife. We have only to contemplate the simple and naked facts, that with a population three times that of the States at war with us, and a fighting population proportionately much larger--with bounties proffered, such as never tempted cupidity, in any war before--we are compelled to seduce foreigners from their homes to fight our battles for pay, and are driven to the still more degrading necessity of committing the honor of our flag and the vindication of our manhood to the hands of negroes, bond and free. Not the relentless grasp of a most merciless and unconstitutional, conscription, nor the seduction of bounties large enough to make a poor man's fortune, can now drag or entice American citizens, except in numbers absolutely insignificant, to fight the battles of this war. It is insolent, as well as idle and absurd, to talk of the "popularity" of any war that can command no warmer support than this, from a brave and impulsive people. If the hearts of the people were in the war, they themselves would be in the field to fight to the death. If they sincerely believed it to be a war in which they ought to offer themselves as a sacrifice, they would crowd to the very horns of the altar, without threat or bribe. That they shrink from the contest--that they will devote all the little earnings of their lives to purchase exemption--that they cannot be tempted or forced into the ranks, while there is an escape--all these things tell the story. The people do not feel any longer that the war is their war. They may support a little while because the government is waging it and the flag is waved over it. Some of them may be willing it should continue, because it pays themselves or their friends large profits, or keeps up their influence or advances their party, or flatters their vanity or gratifies their rancor. But the great current of public feeling and opinion runs in its favor no longer. It has now no hold on public enthusiasm. Its popularity is dead!
If the Administration really believes that all this is false--if it is persuaded that the popularity of the war continues, let it abandon the conscription and the bounty system and make the experiment of volunteer enlistments for a single week. That brief space of time would suffice for the entire solution of the problem. If such an experiment, however, be deemed hazardous, let Mr. Lincoln and his counsellors make a still simpler one. Let them tell the people the truth for a single month, if the thing be possible, if not let them endeavor to do it for a fortnight. Let Mr. Chase give us the real amount of the public debt and of his means and provisions for its payment. Let him inform us of the amount of taxes which we must endure to avert the shame of repudiation now without increasing the debt a single dollar. Instead of see-sawing between greenbacks and bonds, which appears to be the substance of his financial policy, and concocting paltry schemes for jobbing in gold on Wall street, let him trust the people, if he dare, with the facts from which they may know their own solvency, or insolvency, and appeal to them to meet the issue, face to face. Let Mr. Seward try if he can write one solitary despatch without some intentional perversion of the truth, and confine himself to the legitimate purposes of diplomatic correspondence abroad, instead of loading the files of the State Department with claptrap and misrepresentation for home consumption and deception. Let Mr. Stanton, instead of flooding the country with false bulletins from irresponsible or fictitious sources undervaluing the strength and resources of the enemy, exaggerating their wants and sufferings, multiplying their reverses and our triumphs, give himself up, for ever so brief a space, to the dissemination of the truth, which the people are entitled to have in regard to a struggle for which they are taxed to the utmost in treasure and blood. With what face can he assert the war to be the people's war, when, after having caused the press to teem with telegrams, announcing the almost universal and enthusiastic re-enlistment of the veterans of the army, he has caused the President to refuse to give the House of Representatives any information on the subject, on the ground that it would be "prejudicial to the public interest?["] If the Administration will not venture to pursue the plain, straightforward course we indicate, let it cease to prate of its war policy as rooted in the confidence of the people. If the people uphold it, why conceal from the people what they uphold? Or, is it that the war can be maintained in its pretended popularity, only so long as the people are kept from knowing what it is and what it promises.
(Column 6)Summary: Expresses gratitude on behalf of members of Company A, 25th Virginia Regiment, to the ladies of Augusta County for supplying them with food and clothing.
Trailer: RichelieuFor the Spectator
(Column 6)Summary: Authors express concern and disappointment about a recent case in which a widow of a 5th Infantry soldier was charged an exorbitant price for a coffin.
Full Text of Article:
Camp "STONEWALL BRIGADE,"
Feb. 20th 1864.
Allow me through the medium of your well known paper to direct the attention of the citizens of Augusta to one of the most hardhearted and mercenary acts that has been perpetrated in our county since the commencement of the war. The circumstances of the case are these--At the late battle of "Paynes Farm" on the 27th of November, one of the best and bravest soldiers in the 5th, Va. Infy., (Co. E.) fell mortally wounded whilst charging the enemy; his admiring and sympathizing comrades, out of their own small means, made up money enough to have the body taken from the battle field and sent to Augusta County for burial, that their gallant comrade might rest beneath the soil that he had so long defended so bravely and loved so well. The distressed widow of the deceased soldier, on the arrival of the body at home, took the twenty dollars which is allowed by the county to the wives of soldiers for their support, and wishing to pay the last sad rites to her husband in the usual manner, went to a prominent cabinet maker in Greenville, for a coffin, the usual price of which was twenty or twenty-five dollars, but he refused to let her have it on any terms unless she paid him forty dollars cash, refused to credit her for the remaining twenty dollars, and had it not been for the generosity of some kind neighbors in making up the money, this cabinet-maker, whose heart must surely resemble in durability one of his coffin plates, would have left the remains of our beloved comrade unburied yet.
On hearing of the above facts, many members of the company, although more accustomed to handling the musket than the pen, resolved, to try to show to their fellow citizens at home that there exists even in Old Augusta some men as mean and avaricious as even Yankee land can boast of. We do not mention the name either of the deceased soldier or of him who so cruelly treated his widow, as we hope he will take warning by this exposure of his degrading and disgraceful conduct and--"go and sin no more."
Many members of Co. "E." 5th, Va. Infy.
Trailer: Many members of Co. E, 5th Va. Infy.Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge
(Column 6)Summary: Recounts the "short but thrilling speech" given by Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge before Colonel W. L. Jackson's brigade at Camp Cameron.
Origin of Article: Richmond EnquirerTrailer: One of Jackson's MenFor the Spectator: A Sketch from Life
(Column 7)Summary: Suggests that it is the treasonous speculator, not the hard-working soldier in the field, who really deserves death.
Full Text of Article:
"In a deep vale, shut out by Alpine hills from the rude world," there once lived an humble dweller of the forest who earned his bread by the sweat of his brow and partook of the bounties of munificent nature beneath his own vine and fig tree, where there was none to molest or make him afraid. With "conscience void of offence" he lived at peace with his Maker and all mankind. But, alas! grim visaged war sent his agent into this Eden to bring forth this simple "child of nature" to do battle for his country. Without a moment's warning he was hurried away from his forest home and the dear little ones who were wont to climb upon his knee and make glad his heart with their ceaseless caroling. Unaccustomed to war, and knowing nothing of the privations to be endured he went forth without blankets or clothing, never thinking that he would have to sleep upon the cold wet ground with nothing to protect his shivering body from the wintry blast. After a few months suffering in the service of his country, he received the sad intelligence of the illness of his wife. When he thought of that loved one at home--the idol of his heart--lying prostrate upon her couch, the victim of insidious disease, and of those dear little ones who could not minister to her wants and who were likely to suffer from hunger, he lost sight of his duty to his country, and in one wild paroxysm of anxiety, threw down his musket, plunged into the dark wilds of the forest without thought of duty or danger. Onward he pressed day and night, all heedless of weariness and hunger, until he found himself by the prostrate form of his bosom companion ministering to her every want. After providing for his family, as best he could, he was about returning to his command, when the hand of disease laid him low. When he had partially recovered, he was again hurried off under guard to his regiment, where he was ordered to the guard-house; and after suffering as never man suffered for some three or four months, he was arraigned before that honorable (?) body--the court-martial, where he was sentenced to be shot to death with musketry.
Come with me poor, wayworn soldier, with your tattered garments--you who have stood by my side when the leaden hail fell thick and fast; let me take a stroll in the direction of yonder splendid mansion. See, the candles are lighted in the parlor and hall. Listen, there is a sound of music and revelry there. Let us go to the gate, Lazarus-like, that we may learn something of the pomp of this world. The bacchanalian song is struck up, the dance begins, and all moves on as "merry as a marriage bell."
Who is this man that can revel in luxury and riotous living, while every one else is mourning in sack-cloth and ashes on account of the great calamity which is now resting upon and devouring us? From whence all this luxury and grandeur? Go ask the poor widow and orphan children of him who poured out his heart's blood in defence of his country. They will tell you who it was, in the beginning of this war, that made loud professions of patriotism and persuaded their husbands and fathers to go forth and do battle for their country while he remained at home and wrung the last morsel of bread from them that he might "dress in purple and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day." With him swindling is not only one of the prerequisites of trade, but a virtue. With a smile upon his face, such as we might well imagine Satan wore when he approached our first parents, he meets the soldier and asks, "When are you going back again?"
Let us bring these two characters face to face that we may compare them for a moment. The one served his country until the sickness of his family requires his presence, when he left in order to rescue them from starvation, for which he was tied to a stake and shot to death.
The other never did a day's service, but on the other hand has done more to break down and destroy our country than the avowed enemy, and yet, strange as it may seem, he is permitted to go unmolested, unrebuked.
Fellow-soldiers, are you to permit the man to go unscathed? Are you going to stand like dumb brutes and see your fellow-soldiers shot to death, while your worst enemy--the Speculator--roams up and down the country at large? May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, and my right arm forget her cunning if I fail to heap upon him my maledictions! Come forth, you miserable recreant, you loathesome vulture who has been feeding upon the vitals of our country; take your place in the criminal box with this poor soldier and let the world judge between you and him.
He left his post to rescue his family from starvation. You avoided your country's call that you might remain at home and filch the bread from his poor starving children. He persuaded no one to leave his post of duty. You have caused hundreds to desert, by hoarding up the necessaries of life, so that their wives and families could not get them. He caused no dissatisfaction in the ranks. You have caused more croaking, more rebellious feeling than all other causes put together. He was guilty only of desertion, you of high treason.
I do not ask those high in office, who have screened this man from the beginning of the war and who had the other shot, to render a verdict in the case. But I ask those who shouldered the musket and marched to the "field of carnage and bloodshed," who have withstood the leaden hail of the enemy without flinching, whom they consider deserving of death in this case.
This man, with patriotic sentiments upon his tongue, and treason written in blazing characters upon his penurious soul, may go unscathed through this world; but I would just remind him that the Supreme Judge of high Heaven, He who passed sentence upon a certain rich man many years ago, shall be his Judge.
Co. F, 5th Va. Infantry.
Trailer: Justice, Co. F., 5th Va. Infantry
Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 5-7
(Column 1)Summary: Asks for anyone with good butter to come to the Spectator office and learn how to trade it for gold or currency.Details Should Be Liberally Granted
(Column 1)Summary: Suggests that soldiers from the Valley of Virginia be granted details more readily in order to take advantage of the soil there and provide food for soldiers.
Full Text of Article:Cheering Signs
As the labor of the Valley is done chiefly by white persons, and as the conscription act, together with the repeal of the exemption of those who had employed substitutes, will abstract nearly all of the productive labor from this section, unless a very liberal system of details be adopted, and as supplies are needed as much as soldiers, and as the Valley of Virginia is entitled to be called the great granary of the State, the best thing, in our humble opinion, the Department could do would be to grant details to all those in the Valley who are engaged in agriculture, and who are not now in the military service. If the labor be withdrawn from the Valley, there will be some danger that there will not be sufficient supplies raised in this State to feed Gen. Lee's army, and as we cannot depend upon the limited means of transportation to ensure supplies from the South--even granting the supplies to be there--it might necessitate the withdrawal of that army from this State. The necessitated withdrawal of that gallant army from Virginia by any cause whatever would depress the spirits of the people, not only in this State, but in the whole South, more than all the defeats we have suffered since the war. We have no idea that anything else than the want of supplies can cause the withdrawal of that army from Virginia. It is altogether important that proper provision be made to ensure a sufficiency of supplies, and nothing would go so far to secure that result as the retention of sufficient labor in the Valley to cultivate its fruitful soil. Unless details be liberally granted to those engaged in productive labor, the fertile lands of the Valley will lie idle, and no crops will be raised where, otherwise, abundant harvests would be gathered, and a sufficient supply obtained to furnish the armies in Virginia. Details of this character should be liberally granted in all such sections as the Valley where the soil is fertile and slave labor scarce. What we have said of the Valley applies to most of the counties of Western Virginia.
(Column 1)Summary: Draws on reports of growing discontent in the North to suggest that the future of the Confederacy looks bright.'Camp Maryland' At Staunton
(Column 1)Summary: Reports on the establishment of a new camp in Staunton which will organize recruits from Maryland into companies.The Age
(Column 2)Summary: Encourages readers to subscribe to "The Age," a monthly magazine that the Spectator's editors consider one of the South's best publications.Four Per Cent Certificates
(Column 2)Summary: Announces that four percent certificates of deposit can be used to pay taxes.Exemption By State Authority
(Column 2)Summary: Reports that a recent letter written by Virginia's Governor Smith announces his intention to exempt from military duty anyone essential to the operation of the state government.Timely Alarm
(Column 2)Summary: Tells how George Myerley learned that his house was on fire when the flames set off a gun.Execution of a Deserter
(Names in announcement: Mr. George Myerley)
(Column 2)Summary: Reports that John Mick, Company C of the 62nd Regiment, was executed after being caught deserting the army.
Origin of Article: Rockingham RegisterOn To Richmond
(Column 3)Summary: Explains that Confederate troops will be ready to meet any attempt on Richmond by the Yankees.
Origin of Article: Lynchburg RepublicanYankees Recruiting In Ireland
(Column 3)Summary: Notes that the Yankees are openly recruiting troops in Ireland and questions Britain's claim to neutrality.
Origin of Article: DispatchPresbyterian General Assembly
(Column 3)Summary: Reports that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederacy will meet on the first Tuesday in May in Charlotte, North Carolina.[No Title]
(Column 3)Summary: Relays report from a Maryland man that there is considerable support for the Confederacy in that state.[No Title]
(Column 3)Summary: Informs readers of Yankee plans to launch another raid from western Virginia.
Origin of Article: Richmond EnquirerHard Fight--The "Stonewall Brigade" Defeated--The fight Renewed and The "Stonewall Brigade" Successful
(Column 4)Summary: Provides narration of latest come-from-behind success of the Stonewall Brigade.
Full Text of Article:
CAMP STONEWALL BRIGADE.
March 24th, 1864.
Thinking our friends [of whom I hope there are many] in Augusta, would like to hear what the boys of the old "Stonewall" are doing these snowy times, I thought I would tell you of a big fight we had yesterday.
Day before yesterday was one of the worst days we have had this year. It commenced snowing early in the day, and continued until late in the night, in consequence of which we found, on awaking in the morning, old mother earth covered with snow about fifteen inches deep. This was just what our boys wanted. We were beginning to think Winter would pass away without our having a snow-ball.
Quite early in the morning, the 4th and 5th formed and started to storm the camp of the other three regiments. We succeeded in routing them after some very heard [sic] fighting. But this was not enough to appease our desire for fun, so a part of the whole brigade, together with some Louisanians, and commanded by a Louisana Col. drew up in line in front of Dole's, Georgia brigade, and challenged them to combat, which they were not at all loth [sic] to accept; but quickly forming, charged for a small bridge across a ravine which divided the contending parties and led by Gen. Dole in person. Here occurred one of the most stubborn fights of the kind ever known.
Gen. Dole tried several times to force his horse over, but in vain. He was at last knocked from horse, and, supposing him badly hurt, both sides ceased firing. We then agreed to let them cross over and have half of the field.
It may be well here to state, that a great many of our side, thinking the fight over, and hearing that the 3rd Gen. Stuart's brigade, was in posses[s]ion of our Camp, left the field. By this we were considerably weakened. In the mean time Gen. Dole was bringing out every man.
Well, all the preliminaries being arranged, the fight soon became general. First one party would charge and then the other, and the tide of battle ebbed and flowed without either gaining any decided advantage. Thus things continued for some time; but after a while our boys had to give way. We would rally every few paces, and stand for some moments, but finally they proved to[o] many for us. We wished very much for Gen. Walker, but no one apprised him of it. They continued to drive us until we reached our camp, where they halted and went back exulting over their victory. Nothing could please them more than to say that they had whipped the "Stonewall brigade" for it has ever been a source of envy to many brigades that any one should take the name of him who, when living, they loved to follow to fields of glory, and whose memory, now that a kind of Providence has taken him away, they revere and hold most sacred.
Hostilities now ceased for a while, but the mortification of a defeat, a thing unknown to the army of Northern Virginia, much less the "Stonewall brigade," was rankling in the bosom of every man.
About this time, Gen. Dole and Staff undertook a raid through our camp. They were greeted on all sides with showers of ball, during which two of the party lost their hats. They claimed that it was as successful as Kilpatrick's. Gen. Walker now rode out and formed the brigade, determining to fight to the last, but such was the enthusiasm of our boys, when led by our gallant Brigadier, that we broke their line the first charge, and drove them through their camp in complete rout. After giving three cheers for Gen. Walker and the "Stonewall Brigade," we returned to camp entirely satisfied with our day's work.
I write this account of our snowball battle hoping it may entertain some of our friends, and also to correct some of the rumors which reach our homes that we are all depressed and in low spirits about our affairs. I assure you these are all false. Our boys are all in fine spirits and look forward to the coming campaign with anything but feelings of despondency, and hope, ere the beginning of another year, with the blessing of the God of battles, to free Virginia's soil from the presence of our unscrupulous and blood-thirsty foe.
Trailer: PrivateFor the Spectator
(Column 4)Summary: Offers correction to an announcement which erroneously stated that Lieut. Wilfong had gotten married.
(Names in announcement: Lieut. E. Wilfong)Trailer: E. Wilfong, Lieut. Co. G, 31st Va. Vols.A Wife!
(Column 4)Summary: Explains to young men what they should look for in a wife.
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
What a sacred name, what a responsible office! she must be the unspotted sanctuary to which wearied men flee from the crimes of the world, and feel that no sin dare enter there. A wife! she must be as pure as spirits around the everlasting throne, that man may kneel to her in adoration, even in adoration without abasement. A wife! she must be the guardian angel of his footsteps on earth, and guide them to Heaven; so firm in virtue that should he for a moment waver, she can yield him support and place him upon its firm foundation; so happy in conscious innocence that, when from the perplexities of the whole world, he turns to his home, he may never find a frown where he sought a smile. Such, my son, thou seekest in a wife; and reflect well ere thou choosest. Open not thy bosom to the trifler; repose not the head on the breast which nurseth envy, and folly and vanity. Hope not for obedience where the passions are untamed, and expect not honor from her, that honoreth not the god that made her.
(Column 4)Summary: Relays report from an officer who visited West Virginia that almost all of the Virginia soldiers there have refused to reenlist.For the Spectator
(Column 5)Summary: John Watts acknowledges the encouragement he has received to run for clerk of the circuit court but suggests he would not be a successful candidate.
(Names in announcement: John B. Watts)Trailer: John B. Watts[No Title]
(Column 5)Summary: Reports that William S. H. Baylor, Acting Brigadier General commanding the Stonewall Brigade, was shot while riding in the last charge.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: William S. H. BaylorActing Brigadier General)
(Column 5)Summary: Notes that one thousand Confederate prisoners have been sent from Camp Chase, Ohio, to Fort Delaware.A Card
(Column 5)Summary: William L. Balthis announces his candidacy for office of sergeant of the Corporation of Staunton.
(Names in announcement: William L. Balthis)Trailer: Wm. L. Balthis[No Title]
(Column 5)Summary: Announces candidacy of John W. Hanger for magistrate in the New Hope District.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: John W. Hanger)
(Column 5)Summary: J. C. Matheny announces his candidacy for clerk of the circuit court.Religious Notice
(Names in announcement: J. C. Matheny)
(Column 6)Summary: Announces that Rev. Mr. Stirewait will preach in the Lutheran church next Sabbath.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. Mr. Stirewait)
(Column 6)Summary: Rev. R. Smith married Michael Ramey of Rosser's Brigade, Co. A, 12th Regiment, and Lucy F. Fitch, on March 23 near Rockland Mills.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. R. Smith, Mr. Michael Ramey, Miss Lucy F. Fitch)
(Column 6)Summary: Rev. John Brower married John T. Hester, Company I, 12th Georgia Regiment, and Mary Via, on March 24.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. John Brower, John T. Hester, Miss Mary Via)
(Column 6)Summary: Rev. William S. Baird married David W. Price of Washington County and Ann E. Fuller on March 24.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. Wm. S. Baird, Mr. David W. Price, Miss Ann E. Fuller)
(Column 6)Summary: Rev. W. T. Richardson married Lieut. Col. W. P. Thompson, 19th Virginia Cavalry, to M. Lina Moffett, daughter of the late Henry Moffett Esq., of Pocahontas County, on March 22 at the Augusta County home of Mrs. L. S. McCue.Died
(Names in announcement: Mrs. L. S. McCue, Rev. W. T. Richardson, Lieut. Col. W. P. Thompson, Miss M. Lina Moffett, Henry MoffettEsq.)
(Column 6)Summary: Mrs. Mary Catherine Woodward, consort of S. M. Woodward, died on March 17 at age 66.Died
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Mary Catherine Woodward, S. M. Woodward)
(Column 6)Summary: Mrs. Elizabeth Dinkle, wife of Jacob Dinkle, died of paralysis on March 21 at age 61.Died
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Elizabeth Dinkle, Mr. Jacob Dinkle)
(Column 6)Summary: Announces death of Charlie Wilson, infant son of Samuel C. and S. Kate Wilson, who died of dysentery on October 11.
(Names in announcement: Charlie Wilson, Samuel C. Wilson, S. Kate Wilson)Trailer: FriendTribute of Respect
(Column 6)Summary: Prints copy of resolutions made by members of Company E, 5th Virginia Infantry, honoring their comrades who died in the past year: Captain Lycurgus Grills, Robert Blakely, John H. Golladay, John Armentrout, Robert Steele, Thomas H. Brand, Joseph H. Thomas, and John H. Bradley.
(Names in announcement: Lieut. David Echard, Lieut. J. N. McFarland, Robert Blakely, John H. Golladay, John Armentrout, Robert Steele, Thos. H. Brand, Joseph H. Thomas, John H. Bradley, Capt. Lycurgus Grills)Trailer: David Echard, ChairmanAdjt. & Insp. General's Office
(Column 6)Summary: Announces that the Bureau of Conscription will begin enrolling all persons between ages of 17 and 18 years, and between 45 and 50 years, to serve in the war.
Trailer: S. Cooper, Adj't and Insp'r General