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Valley of the Shadow

Waynesboro Village Record: April 14, 1863

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Copperheads And Future History
(Column 3)
Summary: History, promises the editors, will not look kindly upon northerners who were sympathetic to the Confederate cause. Like the Tories who supported the British during the War of Independence, they are on the wrong side of history; yet, the editors concede, at least the Tories could account for their behavior by claiming to have "the apology of retaining" their "original loyalty."
Full Text of Article:

When this rebellion shall have been suppressed--and it cannot last long at longest--every actor in it will receive honor or dishonor. Every American, high or low, is an actor in it. He can't escape it if he would for neutrality is in itself defection and disloyalty. It will be known and remembered how every man bore himself in this crisis of the nation's life--every man from ocean to ocean. With men in general it will not be written on the page of history; but it will be written on a tablet yet more distinct, the living memory. Ten, twenty, thirty, fifty years hence it will be inquired about, and it will be known how every American who was on the stage in the Great Rebellion then acted, whether he took sides for or against the Government; and every man, woman and child in the country will understand it. The honor and dishonor of it will cleave not only to the individual himself, but to his children.

There are those living who remember the odium which, after the Revolution, clung to every Tory to his latest breath. No intellectual accomplishment, nor any moral worth could exempt them from it. But more than that, it was transmitted to his children and his children's children. Even to this day the American whose ancestor at that time was known as a Tory, hears of it with burning shame. Similar contempt was entailed upon the blue-light Federalists of the last war. So far as regards the private character of its members, the Hartford Convention of 1814 was probably equal to any political assembly ever held in this country; but after the war closed every man of them to his dying day was held in dishonor. He could no more obtain a public office than if he had been positively disqualified by law. The ban of public opinion was upon him. Though it was very clearly shown in subsequent years that the majority of the Convention had no such treasonable intentions as imputed to it, yet it is enough that it was a peace assemblage calculated to embarrass the Government. To this day the Hartford Convention is a by-word and reproach. There were Federalists who did not approve of the Convention, and yet even they do not fully escape. It is still everywhere a reproach to have been at that time an opponent of the Administration at all.

What hath been will be--only in greater measure. The revolutionary Tory at least had the apology of retaining his original loyalty. The peace Federalists of the last war acted against the Government only in its external relations, and the peace they sought involved no vital injury to the nation itself. But the copperhead of the present day proves false to all loyalty, and is recreant in a sense which the Tory was not. He is traitorous, too, in a sense in which the last war Federalists was not; for his peace policy inevitably carries with it the disruption and destruction of the Republic, while the other peace policy would not have affected the unity and perpetuity of the Republic at all. There has been in American history no public treachery so unqualified, and so utterly incapable of extenuation, as that of the Copperhead of '63; and which was followed with such a terrible reckoning as will be hereafter exacted for this.

So far as regards the judgement of the next generation, a man of the present day had better commit almost any crime in the calendar, than be guilty of furthering the ends of the rebellion by advocating peace, or in any other manner. He might better leave his children without a dollar than entail upon them the scandal of a father who turned against his country in the day of her extremity.

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[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors denounce the mounting criticism of Union Leagues made by copperhead newspapers, which contend that the organization is extremely partisan.
Origin of Article: Hanover Spectator
Full Text of Article:

Copperhead papers every where (says the Hanover Spectator) are making bitter and malignant attacks upon the Union Leagues and charge among other things that they are secret oath bound associations intended to "suppress public sentiment by the sword and bayonet."

As for the "Loyal Union Leagues" we know that the best and purest men of the country of all parties belong to them. We know that General Scott is President of one in New York, and Edward Everett of another in Boston. We know that they are as open as the noonday sun in all their transactions, that they have neither signs; oaths, nor any secret machinery belonging to them, and that the only pledge asked, which is a tacit pledge of honor, is the following;

"We pledge ourselves to an unconditional loyalty to the Government of the United States, to an unwavering support of its efforts to suppress the rebellion, and to spare no endeavor to maintain, unimpaired, the National Unity, both in principle and territorial boundary. The primary object of this League is, and shall be, to bind together all loyal men, of all trades and professions, and all parties, in a common union to maintain the power, integrity and glory of the Nation."

Now, we want to know if any loyal man can object to subscribe that pledge? We think not, and we advise all loyal men in every township and borough of the country to organize a League on this basis. If it accomplishes nothing else it will draw the line between the loyal and disloyal, and will be a useful record to preserve until this war is ended.

Another Arrest
(Column 1)
Summary: The article notes the arrest of Solomon Helser for disloyalty, and criticizes the reaction of the Valley Spirit, a Democratic organ, which condemned his arrest as "Another Outrage." In contrast to the Spirit's benign characterization of Helser, the piece relates that he is known throughout his community as "one of the most violent 'copperheads'" in the region.
Full Text of Article:

Another Arrest.--Solomon Helser, who resides in Maryland, but near the line of this county, was in this place on business during Court week. On Saturday evening, after having attended to his business, he was arrested by the Provost Guard for disloyalty to the Government of the United States, and sent to Fort McHenry. His son has also been arrested on a like charge.--Repository & Transcript.

Since the above arrest was made we have had an opportunity to converse with a reliable gentleman from Helser's vicinity who represents him as one of the most violent "copperheads" of that section; and who has done more to poison the minds and breed disloyalty among the people of his neighborhood than all the disloyal there put together. Yet the Valley Spirit, the "copperhead organ," pronounces the arrest "Another Outrage," and even goes so far as to indulge threats of resistance to future arrests. The editor must have recently been on a visit to the Berks' "Barn Association." The recent discovery made in "auld Berks," of several hundred conspirators, in arms, to resist the authorities of the government, he calls "an immense Mare's Nest." One of his apologies for these oath-bound traitors is, that they "were honestly opposed to the conscription bill," and "were determined to test its constitutionality in the courts."--Consistency for once! Give the fellow credit.

The publication of a disloyal sheet, in Franklin county, violent enough to eminate from the heart of rebeldom, is certainly "an outrage" upon loyal citizens, and hence it has long been a wonder why the government permits such filthy rags to circulate.

Union League Meeting
(Column 2)
Summary: At the organizational meeting of the Waynesboro chapter of the Union League on April 20th, James H. Gordon and J. F. Kurtz were elected President and Secretary, respectively. The following men were appointed to committee positions; Joseph S. Stoner, William H. Brotherton, A. M. Trimmer, W. S. Amberson, W. Blair, W. Askwith, W. Hammet, Josiah Besore, David Shoup, John Sheeler, Joseph Anderson, Jacob Forney, D. S. Bonebreak, John Cummins, Thomas Bringman, and G. W. McGinley.
(Names in announcement: James H. Gordon, J. F. Kurtz, Joseph S. Stoner, William H. Brotherton, A. M. Trimmer, W. S. Amberson, W. Blair, W. Askwith, W. Hammet, Josiah Besore, David Shoup, John Sheeler, Joseph Anderson, Jacob Forney, D. S. Bonebreak, John Cummins, Thomas Bringman, G. W. McGinley)
Full Text of Article:

Union League Meeting.--In accordance with the call for a public meeting, published in the [illegible] for the purpose of organizing a "Union League," a number of persons assembled at the "Continental Hotel," and organized by electing James H. Gordon, President and J. F. Kurtz, Sec'ry. On motion, the following committees were appointed: Joseph S. Stoner, William H. Brotherton, and A. M. Trimmer a committee on resolutions. W. S. Amberson, W. Blair, W. Askwith, W. Hammet, J. F. Kurtz, a committee on organization. Josiah Besore, David Shoop, John Sheeler, Jos Anderson, Jacob Forney, D. S. Bonebreak, John Cummins, Thos. Bringman, G. W. McGinley, an executive committee. On motion of W. H. Brotherton it was resolved that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the "Village Record." On motion, the meeting adjourned.

J. H. Gordon, Pres't.
J. F. Kurtz, Sec'ry.
Waynesboro, April 20th 1863.

More Bread Riots
(Column 2)
Summary: Lately, says the article, there have been several incidents of civil unrest in the South. In addition to the tumult in Richmond, riots have occurred in Petersburg and in Savannah, all of which were related to the scarcity food. "The plan of starving the south into submission," the piece contends, though once "ridiculed, is now deemed feasible."
Full Text of Article:

More Bread Riots.--Petersburg, Va., papers give a meager account of a bread riot which occurred in that city about ten days since. They do not dwell on particulars, but there can be little question that it was one of no small magnitude and significance. Deserters from the rebel army at Savannah report disturbances there, which must soon break into a serious revolt. The demand for bread is too imperious to be overlooked, and the rebel authorities must heed it; but how? There is nothing in the confederacy with which to give relief. Peace alone will bring low prices and plenty, and that can only be purchased at their own humiliation, and they are not willing to pay the price. But the people will soon compel them to surrender. The plan of starving the south into submission, once so ridiculed, is now deemed feasible; and all we have to do, is to administer two or three more Murfreesboro' flagellations, and keep their ports blockaded for six months, and we will have the peace which might have been concluded ere now, had not the rebels been encouraged by the peace party of the North, from whom they expected supplies, if not active assistance.

Caught At Last
(Column 2)
Summary: It is reported that Joe Hooker has finally been apprehended. Hooker, "who so successfully carried on horse stealing in the region last winter," was arrested after he sold a couple of horses to a black man in Washington city, then stole them back the next day and sold them to another man. Hooker was caught after his first victim became suspicious after he recognized the horses. Hooker will be brought to Franklin county to stand trial for his criminal activities, though his partner "Yank" managed to escape the authorities' dragnet.
(Names in announcement: Constable Wolff)
Origin of Article: Greencastle Pilot
Union League Meeting
(Column 3)
Summary: An account of the organizational meeting held on April 14th in Chambersburg to discuss the establishment of a local Union League chapter. Also included in the article is a copy of the resolutions passed that evening.
(Names in announcement: George W. Zeigler, Robert Mahon, Capt. John Shirtz, John Riley, Dr. C. T. M. McClay, George O. Selhamer, D. A. Wertz, C. S. Eyster, Snively Strickler, I. H. McCauley, John Ditzler, J. A. Hyssong, Col. A. K. McClure, Judge Carson, Jacob S. Brown)
Full Text of Article:

Union League Meeting--A [section illegible] composed mainly of persons from distant parts [unclear] Counts was convened in the Court House, in Chambersburg on Tuesday evening, the 14th inst., to take measures for forming a Union League: The meeting was organized by placing Geo. W. Zeigler of Greencastle, in the Chair. On taking the chair Mr. Zeigler made a few pertinent remarks, urging the necessity of Union, and our duty at this crisis of forgetting party and remembering country only. Robert Mahon, of Green, Col. John Shirtz, of Mercersburg, John Riley, of Chambersburg, and Dr. C. T. McClay, of Greenvillage, were made Vice Presidents, and Geo. O. Seilhamer and D. A. Wertz, of Chambersburg, Secretaries.

On motion of C. S. Eyster, Esq., a committee of five was appointed by the chair, to draft resolutions. That committee consisted of C. S. Eyster, Snively Strickler, I. H. McCauley, John Ditzler and J. A. Hyssong, who retired for a short time for that purpose. Meanwhile, Col. A. K. McClure made a strong and eloquent appeal in behalf of the Union. The Committee returning reported the following resolutions:

We the undersigned, citizens of Chambersburg, and its vicinity, do hereby form ourselves into an association called the Union League of Chambersburg, for the purpose of co-operating with similar associations throughout the State and county, upon the principles embraced in the following Resolution, which has been adopted in other places as a basis of action, for all true and earnest lovers of the Union throughout the country, and we do earnestly urge upon all the friends of the government throughout the different Districts of the county at once to go to work, and form similar Leagues.

Resolved, That we do hereby absolve ourselves from all party, excepting that great party of American Freemen, who are determined to stand by the question of National unity and Free Government. To this great party we cordially tender the hand of fellowship and unity, and we call upon all the Union loving citizens of Franklin county to stand by the Government and the Administration with one accord, to aid in maintaining it with all their might and power, and means and credit, and to exhibit no hesitation or flattery until our arms are triumphant and peace restored throughout the land.

On introducing the resolutions, I. H. McCauley, Esq., made a stirring and patriotic speech which was responded to by loud cheers, and a long list of names of the men who are willing to be known to be for their Country. On motion of Judge Carson, the proceedings of this meeting be published in all the loyal papers of the County. The League then adjourned to meet at the house of Jacob S. Brown, on Saturday evening next, to perfect its organization.

Army Correspondence
(Column 4)
Summary: Another installment in the series of letters from W. T. B., member of the 158th Regiment. Writing from the Carolina coast, the soldier sketches the details of a "terrific storm" that nearly capsized the ship he and his fellow troops were traveling on.
Full Text of Article:

New Berne, N. C.
April 8, 1863

Naval Expedition [illeg] Gen. Foster besieged in Little Washington N.C.--Our boat stranded on Point Marsh Shoals, Pamlico Sound,--a terrific storm--The terrors of the scene--issue of the Expedition.

My last letter closed with our starting out on a second expedition, and I promised to give you details, but, inasmuch, as I have already sketched it for the Repository & Transcript, and as events are thickening so rapidly about us, fuller of interest, I must drop that portion of our history, eager as I am to acquaint those interested in us, with every incident of note. Our Brigade seems doomed to labors and trials that fall to the lot of none other in this army corps; owing to the fact, I am informed, that our term of service expires so soon; hence, the next three months we will be a brigade mobile, for certain; or as our inimically jolly Doctor expresses it, Hell will be to play and no one to turn the wheel! Well, we had returned from our second expedition; had enjoyed the mellow warblings of the birds, and the soft balmy sunshine, several fine spring mornings; had innocently entertained the idea, that several days, perhaps weeks, of uninterrupted repose, a delicious season to expend in communicating with our loved ones at home, and the newspapers, the only two sources of pleasure the soldier wots of--when a "solitary horseman" came plunging over the bridge with an envelop half as long as his arm, sticking out of his bosom; says I "Sam my the jig's up!" My neighbor, the captain, scratches his head and takes a mouthful of--beard! I tell Dark to stand as attention! "Fry mush and fish immediately!" Things fry! Marching orders! Ten days rations! Start off at four o'clock; this is Sunday of course. The streaming sun is fleeing through the sky pursued by ravenously dark-looking clouds; there is no rain here unaccompanied by howling storms. Rain begins to fall; the storm-king fairly yells, as if maddened by our desecration of the Sabbath day. In the rains, in the storm, and with gloomy feelings or savage desires to see the cross-barred Gens in--in an unreasonably uncomfortable quarter for a short time, we slide through the mud to the wharf! Ah! that will do! A splendid steamer the Thos. Collin, receives us on her capacious decks. Our gallant Col. D. B. McKibben having been seriously injured whilst deploying skirmishers near Pollacksville one very dark night, his horse having fallen with him,--is, much to the regret of all not with us; hence, my friend, the Lt. Col. is in command, with scaled orders in his pockets. Off steams the taut steamer, spurning the descending torrents, the heavy wafts of Notus, blowing defiance in her very jaws, and the lowering heavens thick with dire portents. All went well till we reached the mouth of the Neuse where Aeolus seems, by times to unloose all his rebellious prisoners; and now they played the Devil without pitch--vide Dr.--Our good ship heading northward, received the splashing waves tumbling inward from the sea star-board, which set her to rolling violently.--I must here mention, tis the proper place that the Col. unsealed his orders, and announced that we were to proceed immediately to Washington N. C. to relieve Gen. Foster--well, the fury of the storm increased with the descent of night--shadows, pitchy and thick, and sheet-rain swept down with redoubled fury: the rolling of the boat began to affect the men, and up came Jonah from every quarter; pale-faces, sighs and groans were everywhere. Oh! horrid the feeling! Every roll of the boat is like a fresh pill to the sick. Utterly reckless, you care little whether you live or die; for there is no relief! The poor fellows lay stretched on decks; indifferent whether under shelter, heedless of all orders or duties, knowing only how miserable they were, and deploring their sad fates. Little did they reck of the trials and terrors, leaping like sea-waifs, just now on the very bow of their boat: for in the darkness; in the rain, in the general distress, the ship had unaccountably gotten out of the channel, having drifted several miles sea-ward, and now behold! the cry is heard the ship's aground! In vain the engineer applies the steam, reverses motion, changes position of the men, &c. &c.; hard and fast she sticks amidship, bow and stern, rocking! "Twas 9 0'clock--night, storm increasing and hurling wave after wave, upon the doomed vessel. Finding it impossible to dislodge the ship, the Captain commanded our rations to be cast overboard; and barrels of pork, beef, coffee and sugar, their heads driven in, were given to the waves, and thousands of pounds of hard Tack, candies, etc. were scattered on the waters, which, by day-dawn, we saw ravenously snatched up by the huge flocks of sea-gulls, gathering around us from all quarters, warbling in mockery of our terrible condition. Thirty tons of coal were now cast overboard; the boiler pipes were opened, the last hope, and all the water, about twenty tons, drawn off,--and yet there was no relief. With every blow of the fast-striking waves, the timbers of the vessel creaked, and gave way; and the flooring of the cabin would raise as much as four inches. Signal-guns were fired from the dock, schooners would come in sight, but fearing to approach the treacherous shoals, would sail away. At noon, the Captain declared that if not relieved in eight hours, the ship would fall to pieces! The Col. asked for volunteers to attempt a return in a small boat to New Berne, for assistance, Lt. Stover, Company G. and Lt. Beaver Comp. I offered themselves. At two o'clock, with the pilot and several other men, they gave themselves to the waves. With an extemporised sail, the little boat fairly flew before the storm. With what anxiety we watched her, as she danced from crest to crest, by time, scarcely visible through the mist. We had great confidence in the cool bravery of the Lieuts; and our only hope of escape from the perils environing us, being in their success, we never doubted their safe arrival at New Berne. By 9 o'clock P. M. they presented their dispatch to A. A. G. Col. Hoffman at head-quarters! having accomplished the distance, about fifty miles in seven hours! Meanwhile we lay sick and suffering on the Collier, still rolling and receiving the stoutest blows of Neptune infuriate. Another night of terrors and apprehensions is passed; here a few are praying earnestly for deliverance, thinking doubtless of Paul's troubles when shipwrecked; there a little crowd are singing hymns, while others stand and look with unblanched brows, determined to meet their fate like heroes. Amid the howlings of the storm signal guns were still fired, and signal lights displayed all [section illegible] still saving the rainy [illeg] committed with his own though [illeg] there was no [unclear] every wave dashing against the ship, stirred the very heart's blood, for the ship was expected to break asunder and bestow her living freight to the naiads of the sound! Morning broke over us once more, thank God! exclaimed many a one. Oh! how anxiously we looked toward Neuse river for the expected succor! how wearily the hours passed! Night was again approaching! "Are they not coming?" was asked, oh, how often! Now the storm begins to abate, "A sail!" was now shouted. They are coming for us; she comes on, but, oh, she passes on, hoarded with soldiers. But there! another comes in view; she stops, and receives us. Oh, what a weight of suspense is removed. Now we sail toward our destination. We reach Palmico river next morning, arriving within six miles of Washington we are suddenly brought to, by the announcement that the Rebs, had placed batteries along the shore that would destroy us. We cast anchor. The gun-boats were sent for; they arrive next day; attack the batteries, but can make no impression upon them. They fear to run the gauntlet; for while floundering about the Rebs erected more and powerful batteries in such positions as to thoroughly command the channel. It is determined finally to place our regiment upon two schooners, and in tow of steamers, run us through the gauntlet, and had our Col. not refused to bear the responsibility, the naval officer in command would have sent us up, and the undersigned and 700 as good men as ever carried a musket, would this moment afford a festival for some King and Queen fishes! We got home this morning. Before we left the boat, we got marching orders! Sacre!

Buenos Notches
W. T. B.

Trailer: W. T. B.
The Tomb
(Column 6)
Summary: On April 12, Joseph Oller, 69, died in his residence near Waynesboro.
(Names in announcement: Joseph Oller)

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