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Valley of the Shadow

Waynesboro Village Record: April 17, 1863

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General Jackson and a Colored Soldiery
(Column 3)
Summary: A transcript of a speech reportedly delivered by Gen. Jackson to members of the "colored" militia in 1814. In the address, Jackson referred to the soldiers as "Americans," and urged them to fight the British as their patriotic duty. Jackson also declared that the colored soldiers were to be compensated on the same terms as their white counterparts.
Full Text of Article:

Headquarters, 7th Military District, Mobile, September 21, 1814.

"To the Free Colored Inhabitants of Louisiana: Through a mistaken policy you have heretofore been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle for national rights in which our country is engaged. This no longer shall exist.

As sons of freedom, you are now called upon to defend our most inestimable blessings,

"As Americans, your country looks with confidence to her adopted children for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government. As fathers, husbands and brothers, you are summoned to rally around the standard of the eagle, to defend all which is dear in existence.

"Your country, although calling for your exertions, does not wish you to engage in her cause without amply renumerating you for the services rendered. Your intelligent minds are not to be led away by false representations. Your love of honor would cause you to despise the man who should attempt to deceive you. In the sincerity of a soldier and the language of truth I address you.

"To every noble-hearted, generous, freeman of color, volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty in money and lands, now received by the white soldiers of the United States, viz: one hundred and twenty-four dollars in money, and one hundred and sixty acres of land. The non-commissioned officers and privates will also be entitled to the same monthly pay and daily rations and clothes, furnished to any American citizen.

"On enrolling yourselves in companies, the Major-general commanding will select officers for your government from your white fellow-citizens. Your non-commissioned officers will be appointed from among yourselves.

"Due regard will be paid to the feelings of freemen and soldiers. You will not, by being associated with white men in the same corps, be exposed to improper comparisons or unjust sarcasm. As a distinct, independent battalion or regiment, pursuing the path of glory, you will, undivided, receive the applause and gratitude of your countrymen.

"To assure you of the sincerity of my intentions, and my anxiety to engage your invaluable services to our country, I have communicated my wishes to the Governor of Louisiana, who is fully informed as to the manner of enrollment, and will give you every necessary information on the subject of this address.

Andrew Jackson,
Major-General Commanding.

At the close of a review of the white and colored troops in New Orleans, December 18, 1814, General Jackson's address to the troops was read by Edward Livingston. A portion of it was particularly addressed to the colored soldiers, which we append:

"To the Men of Color: Soldiers! From the shores of Mobile I collected you to arms--I invited you to share in the perils and to divide the glory of your white countrymen. I expected much from you, for I was not uninformed of those qualities which must render you so formidable to an invading foe.--I knew that you could endure hunger and thirst, and all the hardships of war. I knew that you loved the land of your nativity, and that, like ourselves, you had to defend all that is most dear to man. But you surpass my hopes. I have found in you, united to those qualities, that noble enthusiasm which impels to great deeds."

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Public Meeting
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces that a meeting will be held on Monday to organize a Union League chapter in Waynesboro. The message indicates that all are welcome, "irrespective of party."
A Copperhead Corns Pinched
(Column 1)
Summary: A rebuttal to an article that appeared in the Chambersburg Valley Spirit, assailing Capt. Barnitz, one of the Records's correspondents. The controversy was sparked by the captain's "abolitionist" views and his declaration that disloyal northerners should be "strung up to the telegraph poles along the railroad."
Full Text of Article:

A Copperhead's Corns Pinched.--The copperhead organ, of this county, the Valley Spirit, this week devotes almost a column of slang to Capt. Barnits, our New Berne correspondent. It appears that the Transcript recently published a letter from the Capt. in which he expressed the wish that disloyal men North might be "strung up to the telegraph poles along the railroad." This had the effect to raise the ire of the Spirit man, and hence his abuse of the Captain. The editor says the Captain is a "blatant abolitionist," and "wrote dirty, contemptible articles in the Village Record, assailing and villifying many of the oldest and most highly respected inhabitants of that vicinity." This is one of the many lies which the article in question contains. Captain Barnitz at no time assailed through our columns any person or persons, except "copperheads," like the editor of the Spirit--men who cheer for Jeff. Davis, declare that they are ready to shoulder their guns to fight against the government, swear that Jeff. Davis is a better Union man than President Lincoln, that Jeff. Davis' constitution is "shust the zame" as ours, that our government is a "tam tyranical government and ought to be proken up," and who have in various other ways given the most convincing evidence of disloyalty. These therefore are the parties whom the "copperhead" editor terms "most highly respected inhabitants."

Army Correspondence
(Column 2)
Summary: Another installment in the series of letters from W. T. B., member of the 158th Regiment. Writing from New Bern, N. C., the soldier celebrates the recent Union victories and their impact on the troops' morale. The soldier also discusses how runaway slaves amongst the troops have adapted to freedom, noting that as "soldiers, they evince the same traits, attentive, quick to learn, ambitious, and above all courageous."
Origin of Article: New Bern
Full Text of Article:

New Berne, N. C.
March 26, 1863.

"Good News from Home!"--The Union is safe!--Copperheads played out!--Things here away.

Like the tocsin-peal of victory, the news of the resurrection of Northern patriots, broke upon us a few days ago; and oh, the enthusiasm that burst out in every camp! every face beamed with gladness, every heart was lightened of its despairing weight; no victory, however great and splendid, even to the taking of Richmond, could have occasioned such universal joy and mutual good feeling among the patriot soldiers. Here and there, to be sure, some sneaking whelp, having foisted himself upon the government, in order to have the opportunity of breeding discontent among the soldiers, but more especially to get his rations, would skulk along, with hang-dog look and sullen mien; discovering his vicious heart and traitorous feelings; but generally there was joy, open beaming joy, and from ten thousand hearts went up a thankful prayer for the final awakening of the Patriots so long dormant, or who had been looking on with a morbid indifference, while the fabric of the Union was shaking on its foundation, and almost ready to totter to ruins. Since Beauregard's proclamation exhorting his hosts to call all Union men abolitionists, his allies in the North, seeing that thus they could deceive the masses and array them against the government, spreading discontent and sewing disaffection, broadcast, took up the cry, and every true patriot, every one who dared to raise his voice in behalf of the government, every one who favored the vigorous prosecution of the war, the confiscation of Rebel property or the subjugation of the Rebels, the only means of crushing the Rebellion was trumpeted forth an abolitionist, and execrated as an enemy to liberty. Indeed, so utterly blinded were many of their followers, so utterly and hellishly deceived and betrayed and belied, that they would have seen our armies annihilated, and rejoiced; and would have thrown their garments in the way, for that arch-traitor, Jeff. Davis to ride over in his triumphal entry to our Capitol!

But thank God, the film has fallen from their eyes, in good time, the bubble of black corruption has burst, and clearer, brighter skies glow around us, and was it not wonderful, that men of substance, self-deluded, tarried so long upon the mine, that threatened every day to explode and engulf them and their all in an abyss so deep that all the energies of posterity for ten centuries could not resurrect them! We do not realize the terrors and calamities that Anarchy spreads, when a nation falls under her rule; neither can we appreciate the difficulties attendant upon the organizations of new institutions, else these hell-begotten miscreants who are plotting the destruction of this fabric of liberty established and defended by our illustrious forefathers, would now be hanging from tree-tops, objects for the execration and loathing of patriots all over the civilized world!

Let the fires of Liberty, re-enkindled, be kept steadily burning; let that patriotic association, the Union League, be established in every city, town and township, throughout the North, gathering together men of every name and party, where sentiments fresh from the fountains of truth and loyalty may be interchanged, and, where, like Murius, they may renew their oaths of allegiance, and swear to live or die for their country. Then may the traitor-demons howl and plot, and lie and hiss, as they see their hopes of agrarianism, dissolution and anarchy scattered to the winds; the army of the Union; inspirited, encouraged, increased, jubilant, will march on from victory to victory, annihilate the last stronghold of Rebellion, and show to the world that a Republic has within itself a self-sustaining power, that princes were not born to rule and nations only to obey.

Last night our pickets were again driven in; our brave boys dashed off after the Rebs; but, inasmuch, as we have heard no firing, we presume they have vamosed as usual.

There are about 8000 contrabands here, working on the R--R--cutting wood for the government, and raising a regiment. Schools are established for the youth, and it is surprising to see the avidity and ease with which they study and learn; how their eyes glitter with every new [unclear], with what satisfaction they enter the school-room, how attentive, as if they feared they might miss something; it makes one feel humble to see the efforts these youth put forth to attain knowledge, and it is a grand omen for the amelioration of the race. As soldiers, they evince the same traits, attentive, active, quick to learn, ambitious, and above all courageous; and I will guarantee when put upon the field they will surprise even the cowardly copperheads! The Union is safe! The Rebellion will be crushed in six months! and these unchained people, fierce under the stings of recent goads, will dash down before them the nabobs, who would have kept them in eternal bondage, ignorance and degradation, for their own gratification, to administer to their own selfish wants. What a fearful retribution will be visited upon these traitors who, like Satan, dissatisfied with prosperity, with a government the most benignant ever known, with evil immunities and privileges, unknown to the people of other nations, and with an enslaved race to produce the necessaries of life, to jump at their bidding, to fan them while they sleep and tremble when they wake,--who thus favored, thus pampered, attempted at one fell blow, to dash down the government, and establish one, exclusive as China, proscriptive as Spain with nigger heads for foundation--stone, pillar and dome!

Our regiment the 158th, is in high good spirits and health, though deploring the absence of our gallant Col. D. B. McKibben, who on the night of our search for the Rebels, near White Oak river, while riding through the forest broke the fibula of his right ankle; his horse having gotten his leg into a post-hole, and fallen upon him.

W. T. B.

Trailer: W. T. B.
To the Loyal Men of Washington Township
(Column 5)
Summary: A letter from Solomon Bittner expressing his gratification to local citizens for the "unbounded kindness and sympathy" they showed his family during its time of need. While Bittner was away "putting down" the rebellion, tragedy struck his family when his wife and children contracted a fatal illness. Having spent thirty days recovering from his grievous losses, Bittner relates that he will be returning to his unit to continue the fight to preserve the country.
Full Text of Article:

When I was drafted to assist in putting down this Rebellion, I left my wife and little ones in your care; and went forth to do battle for my country, relying upon your benevolence and generosity.

I have not been deceived. While enduring the scorching rays of a Southern sun by day, and the damp dews of heaven by night, the weary march, the lonely post, and drenching rains, Death,--the King of Terrors--visited my fatherless household, and bore the partner of my bosom and two of my little ones, unresisting captives to the Spirit land. Upon receipt of this heart-rending news, I went to my commanding officer and obtained a furlough for thirty days; to visit my death-stricken family. I arrived just in time to witness the last moments, and kiss the fevered brow, of my oldest child, who has gone to keep her mother company, amid the shining spheres of deathless glory.

To you, I return my heartfelt thanks, for your unbounded kindness and sympathy, manifested toward my family during their illness, and my absence; and I shall ever remember with a grateful and thankful heart, your noble, self sacrificing, and philanthropic exertions in behalf of my family. I am now about to rejoin my regiment and come weal or woe, I will cling to the flag of my country. That flag torn by Treason's bullets, baptized by the blood of patriots, and kissed by every breeze of heaven; shall be my flag still! I am amazed to find men in your midst who claim to be Union men, abusing the country that has fed them, and fondled them in her lap of ease. They will not fight to "free the negro," they say, but they will fight to fasten the fetters of thraldom upon their own limbs, and like cringing spaniels, follow the bull dog of Treason--Jefferson Davis--to his very kennel! Loyal men of the North! Beware lest "Peace men" and "Copperheads," ruin the cause in which we are embarked, and rivet the shackles of slavery upon us all.

Respectfully yours,
Solomon Bittner
Private, Co. E. 158th Reg't P. I.

Trailer: Solomon Bittner
The Tomb
(Column 6)
Summary: On March 27th, Eliza Ann Sprankle, 37, died of consumption.
(Names in announcement: Eliza Ann Sprankle)
The Tomb
(Column 6)
Summary: On April 12th, Anna Elizabeth, daughter of George and Rebecca Davis, died in Waynesboro. She was 2 years old.
(Names in announcement: Anna Elizabeth Davis, George Davis, Rebecca Davis)

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