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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: June 21, 1870

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-Page 01-

Our Dead
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper printed in full an extensive, dramatic and sorrowful tribute to the Confederate dead.
Full Text of Article:

For the Spectator

"The land which we were dreaming."


"A thousand glorious actions, that might claim

Triumphant laurels and immortal fame,

Confused in clouds of glorious actions lie,

And troops of heroes undistinguished die."

God has been good indeed in his distribution of beauty in nature. Here we are encircled with mountains, towering in their dignified tranquility, speaking alone in their language of beauty, and the heart, with clouds of insence offered in gratitude that they are of the sisterhood that was made holy by the temptation and transfiguration; the one showing the strength of the strong arm of deliverance, and the other showing the symbol of glory that awaits the faithful. Stretching out in their broad, expansive, verdure of spring are plains dotted with hills and forests as if reaching to tell to other lands their beauty and wealth. -- Water laughing in the sunlight as do happy thoughts in a beautiful soul, rippling joyously over moss-covered rocks, reminding one of life of heart with living verdure; sometimes gliding smoothly on, reaching out here and there, widening as does the influence of the good, silently but surely -- then again deep and still, all, all flowing on to the eternity of waters as we to the eternity of souls. Shadows, gliding over meadows as swiftly as sorrow over a little child's heart, when it has been soothed by its mother -- sunlight, gleaming as brightly as words of blessedness falling from lips of love to the burdened soul -- spring-life, echoing music over hill and dale, borne by breezes from Cuba's aromatic bowers -- all, all is life and joy in nature. Can there be such a thing as death amid such beauty.

Beautiful hopes were those that we anchored upon a nation's birth "in the land where we were dreaming" six short years ago, and when our faith was shipwrecked we felt there was nothing to live for. O! it went down, down amid the crash of bleeding hearts, mourning for those who died in vain -- its memories live in the maimed -- the wrecked in heart -- in life -- in fortune; we saw then with the vain human eye which looked only at the present with its utter desolation, we could not feel that the dying were the blest. Humanity will yearn for departed hopes and our hearts will ache for one more look from the death-sealed eyes of loved ones. There is something so holy in our thoughts of the dead, we do not mingle humanity's faults with immortality's perfection -- they have rights inviolably their own, and bad and cowardly is the heart that would reach into the defenseless grave to recall aught that would detract from its sacredness. We clothe the dead with mantles of charity and honor, but how much more closely do we wrap these habiliments around the forms of those who died for our defence -- died for what they believed to be right. Our conquerors have much to perpetuate in history of their dead who died fighting for a great nation's preservation, they fell for something, at least they conquered. -- Ours is the "Lost Cause." We sit down amid our tears, and hug to our aching hearts memories made sacred because there were beautiful dreams of what was to be. We awoke, found all chaos, and now our hearts take up the refrain "what might have been."

This beautiful valley boasts of the life, the home and grave of him whom immortality baptized "Stonewall Jackson" -- in its every hill, mountain and plain has been made sacred by the echo of his cannon's boom -- whose villages and towns and byways have been honored with his veteran's marches -- whose peoples' hearts have glowed with joy at his victories and whose eyes have wept at his defeats. Here lived, suffered and died the sad, courteous, knightly Ashby. His memory is immortalized in our hearts for we loved him because those we loved followed even to the grave. Manly hears groaned inward sorrow, and woman's tears fell thick and fast when from heart to heart the current passed that "Ashby is dead."

There are moments, yea, times in every life when we feel that we are powerless, when we reach out our arms for strength to battle with life, and when we gather them again to our hearts and find we have grasped a phantom. -- But Ashby sleeps well -- his own Shenandoah's waters murmur his requiem -- loving hands will cover his grave with immortelles, and in that "Far away land of the soul," he gathers his brother to his heart and they are one.

Here in this secluded spot where Tacite reigns Priestess, sleep those who followed Jackson and Ashby. No proud shaft rises to tell of the score who went out from amongst us -- but this is emblazoned on the record kept by hearts that knew them -- they did their duty. -- Collectively we know they were a band of heroes -- individually we embalm their names and memories with all that is holy. Some of these household bands sleep where Delaware's waters silently keep watch, laving their graves with her misty dew, as their loved ones here soothe their lonely hearts with tears shed for them. -- We know they fell for us even there, though they cannot sleep where Southern vines are dressed, yet their spirits can hover around us. -- Here lies one who died in the bosom of home -- who fell asleep calmly and quietly amid the sobs of motherless sisters and wifeless fathers. Another closed his eyes in a dreary hospital, with but one to bear messages home. Another with blessings upon wife and children, consecrating them to his God, leaving such wealth of faith and trust in the goodness of God that we know he was a man in Christ. -- To another, another, another death came, oh! so suddenly, it was but stepping across a narrow deep abyss, bringing such stunning grief to those who were left -- we reck but little of the strength imbedded in our hearts to suffer till death comes thus. Here is one whose sisters and brothers gathered in the far West to weep over him whose grave they will never see. Another, another lies here -- "somebody's darling." At this grave with fir and myrtle let us pause. We see carried back, back, by memory's breeze to a communion season, when Christ's children were gathered around Christ's table to receive comfort -- O! we needed it -- the cannon's boom was heard above the voice of prayer, offered that we might have power given us to bear any tidings from the battle -- the benediction pronounced amid sobs of minister and people, when above the cannon's roar, the thunder's roll, the rain's dash, there came a wail from a sister's aching heart -- another who had gone out from a happy home, cheered by woman's tearful smiles had been gathered with death's trophies.

Here at this one we are taught the lesson of patience through suffering; long weary days and nights, longing for day, when no shadow of sin will darken our visions of full redemption. And what of this one's history? We see a handsome manly form borne from battle, wounded to a hospital, cared for by one of that manly host of matrons, whom the living bless and whose names the dead have carried with them to Heaven where they are recorded "inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these ye have done it unto me." We see through a concourse of mourners a pale mother borne trembling to the grave of her boy. O! we felt -- "there is none in all this cold and hollow world, no fount of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within a mother's heart" -- but we must bow the head in silence, hush the heart's murmurs, when God calls for what we love.

And here is a group of graves. We feel we could linger long over this sacred spot -- three of them

"Grew in beauty side by side,

They filled one home with glee;

The same fond mother bent at night

O'er each fair sleeping brow;

They rest beneath the same green tree,

Whose voices mingled as they prayed,

Around one parent knee;

They that with smiles lit up the hall,

And cheered with song the hearth."

Must we tell of this other one in this group? He followed Ashby through winter's cold until he longed to pass over the cold river and live in the sunlight of the celestial city. He followed Ashby through summer's heat until he yearned for the land where cooling waters would bathe his aching brow in the beautiful shadow of the throne of God. When Ashby fell, he wept manly tears, for he loved him. -- He did his duty -- and what was duty? Ah, "in the land where we were dreaming," it was to be faithful even to death. "Wounded!" -- Oh! it looms in all its bitter, bitter, blackness -- the midnight carriage ride -- the railroad journey, where steam even seemed laggard, for what? "There are sacred moments, which like the wings of the butterfly, are injured by the slightest touch of the human hand -- words which no human ear ought to listen to -- tears which God alone should count."

"In his cherished valley we've buried him there,

Neath her skies so blue, 'mid her flowers so fair,

And her grand old mountains their vigils now keep

O'er the grave of the soldier, there, there, let him sleep."

Those graves have their lessons of brightness and of gloom. We know that some of them live as they never lived before. We know they have houses and peace, and crowns and love. We know that the life of nature this beautiful June morning, is but symbolical of the verdure in the Life-land that will burst upon us in the resurrection morn, when we will see gathered from prison grounds -- from name-less graves -- from battle-fields -- from city and rural burial grounds those who, living, gave joy, who, dying, left sorrow, but who are enshrined in every Southern heart -- Our Dead!

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Bishop E. M. Marvin, of St. Louis, Mo.
(Column 01)
Summary: Bishop E. Marvin, a bishop from the M. E. Church South in Missouri, delivered two speeches. The first concerned the importance of a holy life during youth while the second dwelt on the intimate relation between faith and the law. The editor highly praised Marvin as a first-class orator.
Full Text of Article:

In connection with the closing exercises of the "Wesleyan Female Institute," Bishop E. M. Marvin, of St. Louis, Missouri, preached in the morning and evening of last Sabbath in the M. E. Church South of this place. This commodious church was filled, floor and gallery, both in the morning and evening. In the morning, the text was: "Remember now thy Creator in the ways of thy youth." The chief object of the sermon was to impress upon the minds of the young the importance of spiritual and moral cultivation, -- that their thoughts should be occupied with subjects which tend to elevate and refine the spiritual nature -- that it was true that if a child be trained in the way he should go, when he became old he would not depart from it -- that it would be almost impossible for him to do so.

He dwelt with impressiveness upon the importance of spirit -- its superiority over matter -- saying that it was more substantial than matter, being the essence of all life and motion, without which matter was dead. He said that no satisfactory definition of faith had ever been given -- that it embraced more than belief and trust -- it was assimilation of man's spirit to that of Divinity. He forcibly applied his subject to the young, particularly to the pupils of the Institute by whom he was surrounded. He exhorted them to remember their Creator amid all the fascination and charms of earth, amid its prompt, pageantry, fashion and vanity to keep God, the highest ideal of human thought, always before their minds, to strive to conform their spiritual nature to his, to live to be like him, and finally to be with him and enjoy him forever -- this was Heaven.

His able discourse in the evening was based upon the following text: "Do we then make void the law through Faith? God forbid: Yea, we establish the law."

His introductory remarks were designed to correct the misconceptions generally entertained concerning the offices and relations of the law and the gospel. The main postulate of his argument was, that the law and the gospel were one in nature and in design, and that the Law was as much an expression of Divine beneficence as the Gospel. This was shown by proving that the Divine law was the utterance of the Divine nature, and that the Divine nature was love, and the essence of God's nature was love -- infinite love -- and the keeping of the law was the perfect realization of sinless spiritual life and happiness. The law was not a mere arbitrary rule of God, but was, in the very nature of things, the only condition of sinless and blissful existence, and, as such, was as beneficent as the Gospel. The fulfillment of the law was the condition of moral purity and happiness -- its violation, spiritual ruin and death. The law was not responsible for man's sin or suffering, no more than was gravitation, a beneficent law, which only inflicts injury when violated. The sinner was saved in perfect harmony with the law. Christ had met all its claims, and in his atonement the law was satisfied, and the guilty pardoned. The law as the condition of sinless existence and the Gospel as the condition of the sinner's recovery to the law were one and the same. These sermons, (particularly the latter) were distinguished by profound thought, clear analysis, and faultless logic. The whole sweep of his argument was grand, and irresistible -- leading the minds of his vast auditory, while in close sympathy with him, directly to the main conclusion of his text. He evinces a mind of high cultivation, of vast philosophical grasp, with splendid imagination. He is one of the most natural, unaffected and spontaneous orators we have ever heard, and his sermon at night was regarded as a master-piece of pulpit eloquence. He is a peer among the first pulpit orator, of his church, and not only his church, but Missouri has reason to be proud of a son, so good, so great, and so gifted.

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A Man Shot
(Column 01)
Summary: Sheriff George W. McCutchen shot Benjamin Acors while attempting to arrest him for breach of the peace. Acors assaulted McCutchen with a club, and McCutchen fired in self-defense. Acors is about 50 years old and lives near Craigsville.
(Names in announcement: George W. McCutchen, Benjamin Acors)
Lutheran Female Seminary
(Column 01)
Summary: The Lutherans have made arrangements to open a female seminary in Staunton. A Stock Company purchased property formerly occupied by the Rev. Mr. Latane and hope to open the school in September. Rev. J. L. Miller, pastor of Staunton's Lutheran Church, will most likely be selected principal. The paper hoped the Baptists would learn from the Lutherans and open a school for women.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Latane, Rev. J. L. Miller)
Comic Pantomime By Deaf Mutes
(Column 01)
Summary: A group of students at the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institution gave a comedic performance accompanied by music. The amused audience was pleasantly surprised by the acting skills of the students.
(Names in announcement: Charles Ferebee, Charles Lumpkin, Samuel Atkins, Amos Holler, Willie Schonberger, J. W. Michaels, Alfred Kearny)
Confederate Dead
(Column 01)
Summary: After a service in which Confederate veterans tended to the graves of fallen Confederate soldiers, a meeting was held to establish an association for the maintenance of the cemetery. Officers were also elected.
(Names in announcement: Col. A. W. Harman, Capt. Charles D. McCoy, Col. James H. Skinner, Col. John B. Baldwin, Col. M. G. Harman, Col. A. W. Harman, Col. H. J. Williams, Col. John D. Lilley, Capt. W. L. Balthis, F. F. Sterrett, Capt. E. A. Fulcher, Lt. Silas H. Walker, Capt. F. M. Berkeley, Capt. Charles D. McCoy, Lt. Charles S. Arnall, Lt. Col. Bolivar Christian, Capt. James Bumgardner, Capt. John N. Opie, Capt. James H. Waters, S. Travers Philips, R. Mauzy)
Full Text of Article:

In accordance with the appointment by the committee of arrangements published last week, about a hundred Confederate soldiers and their friends, with shovels and hoes, assembled at the Soldier's cemetery on Saturday last to dress and repair the graves of the Confederate dead, and to organize an Association for the purpose of putting the Cemetery in proper condition and keeping it so. A good deal of work was done. Those engaged in this sacred work felt that it was, with them, a "labor of love." The ladies furnished the needed refreshments. A meeting was held to organize the permanent Association referred to above. The following is the official report of the proceedings of that meeting:

At a meeting of ex-Confederate soldiers and their friends, held at the Cemetery, Staunton June 18, 1870, Col. A. W. Harman was called to the chair, and Capt. Charles D. McCoy was requested to act as Secretary.

The chairman stated the object of the meeting to be the organization of a permanent society for the purpose of taking proper care of the graves of our comrades buried in this Cemetery.

On motion the chairman was directed to appoint a committee of five to report officers for the permanent organization. This committee having retired, returned and submitted the following report:

The committee appointed to report permanent officers of the Association recommend the following:

For President, Col. Jas. H. Skinner, 52nd Infantry.

For Vice Presidents, Col. Jno. B. Baldwin, Col. M. G. Harman, Col. A. W. Harman, 12th Cavalry; Col. H. J. Williams, 5th Infantry; Col. Jno. D. Lilley, 52nd Infantry; Capt. W. L. Balthis, Staunton Artillery; Capt. F. F. Sterrett, 14th Cavalry; Capt. E. A. Filcher, 10th Cavalry; Lieut. Silas H. Walker, 1st Cavalry; Capt. F. M. Berkeley, Adj't. Imboden's Brigade.

For Secretary, Capt. Chas. D. McCoy, 25th Infantry.

For Treasurer, Lieut. Chas. S. Arnall, 5th Infantry.

For Central Executive Committee, with instructions to appoint associate Committees throughout the county, and to draft articles of association for the government of the society, Lt. Col. Bolivar Christian, Chairman; Capt. Jas. Bumgardner, 52nd Infantry; Capt. John N. Opie, 5th Cavalry; Capt. Jas. H. Waters, 5th Infantry; S. Travers Phillips.

The Association will assemble at Staunton to receive the report of the committee on the articles of association, and to perfect the organization on such day as the President and Executive Committee shall appoint and publish.






After several motions to amend, which were all rejected, the report was adopted.

The meeting then adopted a resolution requesting the Staunton papers to publish these proceedings.

On motion the meeting was adjourned.

A. W. HARMAN, Chairman.

Charles D. McCoy, Secretary.

Augusta Female Seminary
(Column 02)
Summary: The Augusta Female Seminary held closing exercises. The day included prayers, addresses, and music.
(Names in announcement: Rev. W. E. Baker, Prof. Ettinger, Prof. Turner, Dr. Brown, Fultz, Crawford, William Frazier, M. J. Baldwin, Maj. Robert Stiles, Josephine Moore, Lizzie Kirkpatrick, Nannie McElwee, Flora Welch, Rachel Williams, Minnie Fatio, Emma List, Nannie Colquitt, Maggie Cushman, Bettie Dickinson, Sallie Armstrong, Maggie Stuart, Emma Hill, Jennie Mayse, Gage Winston, Annie Denny, Nellie Hotchkiss, Kate Willcox, Mary Hadden, Mattie Bozeman, Florine Smith, Kate Downing, Emma Frazier, Annie Woods, Jennie Perry, Mattie Jones, Bettie Dickinson, Allie Bell, Gage Winston, Maggie Cushman, Kate Skeen, Jennie Kent, Annie Wilson, Lizzie Harris, Jennie Mayse, Emma Grove, Phoebe McCue, Bettie Shelton, Annie Sherrard, Cortie Smith, Sarah Teabo, Florence Dexter, Elva Evans, Dorcas Hamrick, Mary Donnan, Florence Pew, Lizzie Harris, Mary Venable, Jessie Wing, Rilla Oliver, Emma List, Nannie Colquitt, Mary Hull, Nannie McClanahan, Mec McIntyre, Emma Wills, Bettie Dickinson, Fannie Welch, Mattie Jones, Lucy Clement, Sallie Harman)
(Column 04)
Summary: James A. Kooglar and Miss Elizabeth C. Cale, both of Augusta, were married on June 7th by the Rev. J. M. Shreckhise.
(Names in announcement: James A. Kooglar, Elizabeth C. Cale, Rev. J. M. Shreckhise)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mrs. Henry Harrison died at the residence of her husband three miles from Staunton on June 19th. She was 46 years old.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Henry Harrison)
(Column 04)
Summary: Willie Matheny, infant son of William M. and Cornelia Matheny, died on June 14th. He was 4 months old.
(Names in announcement: Willie Matheny, William M. Matheny, Cornelia Matheny)
(Column 04)
Summary: Andrew A. Stuart, formerly of Augusta, died in Rockbridge on June 3rd.
(Names in announcement: Andrew A. Stuart)
(Column 04)
Summary: David Zine died in Augusta on June 1st. He was 75 years old. "His complaint was affection of the heart, though the immediate cause of his death was hemorrhage, which occasioned suffocation. For three days previous to his death he was speechless, and at times unconscious. Suffering was intense but was borne with great patience and submission. He was an honest, industrious, and quiet member of society, and leaves an affectionate wife and devoted family to lament his death and mourn their loss."
(Names in announcement: David Zine)

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