Valley Spirit: September 24, 1862Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
Correspondence from "the Army of Virginia"
(Column 1)Summary: A series of letters from a correspondent in the 126th Reg't Penn. Reserves, from September 7 through September 21, written from Alexandria, VA, Fort Albany, VA, and near Sharpsburg, MD. The writer tells of contacts with other Franklin County soldiers, conditions in the camps and in the hospital, and finally of an engagement outside Sharpsburg.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Mark Kerns, Lieut. George Cook, Lieut. William Burgess, Dr. Lane, Capt. Eyster, Private John A. Smith, Private Jacob Noel, Rev. Niccolls, Capt. Miles, Major Hershberger, Rev. Capt. Cooken, Private Peter Cummings)Full Text of Article:
Correspondence of the Spirit and Times.
Alexandria, Va., Sept. 7th, 1862
Messrs. Editors: Since my former letter to you, I have learned of another sad casualty of Saturday's battle, near Bull Run. From the most reliable information that can be gathered, it seems safe to assert that Capt. Mark Kerns, of Battery B, First Pennsylvania Artillery, is no more. He was wounded severely in the head and arm, and, with two others, placed on a caisson. Shortly afterwards a heavy shot struck the caisson battering it to pieces, and our forces immediately falling back, nothing further was heard of Kerns and his companions. With unflinching bravery he defended his guns to the last, when the infantry which should have sustained him, had fallen to the rear. His battery and that formerly commanded by the lamented Easton, won laurels that day, the men holding their ground until they were sabred at their posts. If the infantry had done half as well as the artillery the day would have been ours. But poor Kerns fell while gallantly doing his duty. Thus another brave spirit has left us the life of another martyr offered up on the altar of the country--another household in your midst made desolate by the fearful ravages of this unhallowed rebellion. God grant that speedy vengeance may be visited upon its authors and those who seek to prolong it: and may the day soon come when these revolting scenes of blood and carnage shall be known only as things of the past!
Sunday, Sept. 7th, 1862.
Have just returned from camp, and have only time to write a line. This morning our Brigade took up its line of march for the vicinity of the Chain Bridge, six miles above Washington. In all probability we will advance up the Potomac on the Maryland side, and may soon be in the vicinity of our homes. I think the boys would be able to do some fine fighting between Franklin county and the Potomac, to protect their homes and firesides from the ruthless tread of the invader. This morning's Washington Chronicle contains what purports to be reliable accounts of a rebel invasion of Maryland; but, although we have had rumors to this effect for several days, much confidence is not placed in any of them. However, there can be no doubt some such movement will be made, and that very soon.
The Rev. Mr. Niccolls arrived in camp yesterday to fill his position as chaplain of the 126th. He looks remarkably well in his regimentals, and, I venture to predict, without any exaggeration, that he will be one of the most popular and useful Chaplain in the service. Although the officers insisted on his using one of their horses, this morning, he emphatically refused all their offers, and started off on his first ten miles march.
I, last evening, met Lieut. Wm. Burgess, of the 6th Reserves who has just arrived from the Peninsula in charge of an ambulance train. He is enjoying excellent health and joined his regiment this morning. Lieut. Geo. Cook, of Co. K. 107th Pa., has been in town for several weeks, quite ill with fever, but again has joined his company. Dr. Lane, Capt. Eyster, privates John A. Smith and Peter Cummings of Easten's battery, and Jacob Noel of the 107th, have all paid us visits--and all are looking the very pictures of health.
Near Fort Albany, Va.,
September 12th, 1862.
Messrs Editors: After some deliberation, I have finally concluded to give you a letter, this week; though from the present interrupted state of travel and of the mails, it is doubtful whether it will reach you in time; and it is also by no means certain that "Stonewall" Jackson will allow you to publish it, or indeed to issue any paper at all. We have already had him at Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Gettysburg and York, perpetrating the most revolting and fiendish barbarities; though from the latest and most reliable information it now seems doubtful whether he has yet paid his respects to the people of either of those places. But he doubtless will before he re-crosses the Potomac, and when he does, we of the 126th want those we have left behind to give him a warm reception, a greeting worthy of Franklin County. Surely those who have done so nobly in furnishing their fathers and sons and brothers and friends to swell the army of the Union, should have brave hearts and strong right arms enough among them to drive the invaders from their soil, as did their fathers before them. Yes, People of Franklin County, you have already done well but now still more solemn duties are upon you! Make every hill top a fortification, and every valley a rebel burying ground before you yield your Liberties and your Government. think of your brothers already in the field, think of your families, your properties and your lives, and, under the sacred impulse of all these ties, strike a deadly blow at your powerful and desperate enemy.
"Strike till the last armed foe expires!
Strike for your altars and your fires!
Strike for the green graves of your sires!
God and your native land!"
We are all anxious to be with you, in this hour of trial; and on our native hills, defending our homes against a foreign foe, it is not too much to say that every man would doubly do his duty; but it is otherwise ordered, and you and your neighbors must, in a great measure, rely upon yourselves. You have all we can give--our hopes and our prayers. Let every man do his duty, and then, whatever be the result, you will at least have no cause to reproach yourselves.
Our brigade had a long and excessively tiresome march last Sunday. We were ordered to go to the Chain Bridge, a distance of about ten miles, but when a short distance beyond Washington, the order was countermanded and we were marched back to the vicinity of Fort Albany, near our first camp on the "sacred soil," about three miles from Washington. Here we have been lying ever since, and are likely to remain for some time. Many of the veteran troops have been withdrawn from this side of the Potomac, to pay their compliments to Jackson and Hill, and we are now in the front where the chances are we may see some active service, should any demonstration be made on the Capital, which is considered very probable in high quarters. Our pickets and those of the enemy are almost within speaking distance; and we are kept constantly prepared for battle. Of course it would be unproper to give any intimation of the strength of our army in this locality, but one thing I may say with the assistance of the Forts, we will be able to repel any advance whatever. The general impression seems to be that there is no very heavy rebel force now before us, a sufficient number only remaining to keep up appearances. Yet, the military authorities have taken the precaution to be on the safe side and are prepared for the worst. During the absence of General McClellan, General Banks has command of the Forts and the army around Washington--Gen. Popes, to the extreme satisfaction of the entire army, having taken his departure for the far West, to hold the rebels in check, which, it is to be hoped, he is better qualified for doing than for commanding a grand army, opposed by a most cunning, wiley and determined enemy.
Speaking of Gen. Pope, I can not refrain from alluding to the general satisfaction manifested, throughout the whole army, at the reinstatement of McClellan as Commander in Chief of the armies of "Virginia" and "The Potomac." I always believed "little Mac" to be popular with his men, but had no idea the enthusiasm for him was so intense as it is until I learned it from the mouths of the very men who have served under him, and who have shared with him his trials and his triumphs. Many of them declared, on their way to Manassas, that they would fight under no one else; and the sequel of those disastrous engagements gives occasion to say had he been in command, as he was justly entitled to be, the result might have been different. How nobly has McClellan behaved, too, during his relentless persecutions of the last year. Never remonstrating as his command is, time after time, abridged; never deigning to reply to the unjustifiable assaults made upon his ability as a soldier or his integrity as a patriot; but all the time pursuing the even path of duty, trusting alone to history and the near future to do him justice. And how soon have the scales swung around! As soon as he had landed his army at Alexandria and Acquia Creek, it is ordered to report at once to Pope, and he is left with scarcely a nominal command, when the most important battle of the war is to be fought. Yet he never once complains, and even voluntarily, furnishes his body guard to protect an am[m]unition train bound to the front, and remains, with only his staff around him, in the rear, compelled to sit idly by and listen to the sound of the enemy's cannon as they mowed down our loyal legions. But the hour of his vindication had arrived; under bad leaders our forces had been miserably maneuvered, were defeated at all points and were falling back within their entrenchments. In this dark and dangerous hour, old jealousies are thrown to the winds--and the President, in the honesty of his heart, closing his door against the radicals, calls upon McClellan to save the army and the Capital--a righteous vindication of a brave man, a great general and a pure patriot.
You have no doubt seen the announcement, from the War Department, of the discharge of Major J.C. Austin, of our Regiment, from the service, on account of absence without leave, while the regiment was on duty; and it is due to Major Austin that I present the facts of the case. He had been very unwell for several days, and applied to General Tyler for leave of absence. The General consented to approve his application, but at the same time told him it was very doubtful whether the leave would be granted by the authorities at Washington. The Major went to Washington and his application was disapproved. While there he became so unwell that he felt unable to return to camp, and in fact did lie for several days at one of the Hotels, unable to leave his bed or room. During this period several companies of our regiment were ordered down the Manassas road, to be under charge of the Major of the Regiment, who, as a matter of course was reported absent, and, his absence being without permission, his name was stricken from the roll. I understand an effort is being made to have him reinstated, but have not learned with what success it has met.
Now that we have settled down somewhat, drilling is actively carried on--Squad, Company, and Regimental drills and Brigade parades occupy four or six hours, daily; and a vast improvement is already manifest. Of course the Chambers Infantry counts itself the brag company, and it does go through the "manual" most admirably--many of the members being old pupils of Major Hershberger. But in doing equal and exact justice I must allude to Capt. Miles' company, which, unless company A looks well to its laurels, will soon outshine the whole Regiment and become the "crack company" of the Brigade. I mention these two companies because they have happened to come more particularly under my notice, and intend no slight to the others, who, I know, will come up to the general determination to have the 126th the best drilled regiment in the nine months service.
Our old friend Major Hershberger has been acting as drill-master to the regiment for a short time; but as we were almost continually moving, and gave him but little chance for instructing us, he left for home, on Monday last. Now that we seem to be rather permanently located, he had better return, as we all feel that his services are much needed.
All the regimental officers of the 107th are too unwell for duty, and Capt. Mac. Thomson is now in command. The regiment scarcely contains three hundred men; when it left Harrisburg last winter, it was full to the maximum number.
I had the pleasure, the other day, of meeting (Rev.) Capt Cooken, formerly principal of the High School of Mercersburg, and the U.S. Consul at Cienfuegos, Cuba. He is now in command of a company in the 110th Pennsylvania.
William M. Francis, late Speaker of the State Senate is here on a visit to the sick and wounded from his vicinity. He is a relative by marriage of "Stonewall" Jackson, and sincerely hopes to have one cousin less before many days.
Colonel Campbells regiment (57th) has been consolidated with the 99th Penna.
You can scarcely have any idea how our old regiments have been decimated by sickness and the sword and bullet. Whole Brigades look scarcely as large as a full regiment. This is particularly the case with those who have returned from the Peninsula. Some more active measures should be taken to fill them up. Most of them are well officered and have earned for themselves a reputation which new recruits should be proud to share. It reminds us that we have seen but little of the dangers and hardships of the soldier's life when we look upon our full ranks. But, like all others, our time must come; and we too will some day have to look, with heavy hearts, upon our shattered and thinned columns.
Most new recruits, on leaving home, have a horror of hospitals, and I know many of us had. While in Alexandria I had a good opportunity of examining some located at that point, and can bear the strongest testimony to their neatness, comfort and admirable arrangement and management. The sick soldier who resists going to the hospital, stands in his own light--for there he will receive every attention, kind and obliging nurses, suitable clothing and good medical treatment. If any of our friends, therefore, hear of their loved ones being sent to the hospital, let them not picture to themselves scenes of discomfort, dirt and lack of care, but let them know that the best has been done that circumstances will allow of.
Near Sharpsburg, Md., Sept. 21.
Messrs Editors: After several days hard marching we reached Frederick city, by way of Rockville and Hyatt-town: where we were taking a day's rest, when the sound of cannon in the distance, constantly increasing in volume and rapidity, soon aroused the camp to the most intense excitement and anxiety. Soon the order came to march, and eagerly the men put on their trappings and shouldered their muskets. We were encamped three miles from Frederick, on the Washington road, and took up the line of march about four o'clock in the afternoon of Wednesday last. We marched all evening and night, with scarcely an hours rest, traveling a distance of twenty four miles and reaching the battle field, in the vicinity of Sharpsburg, about seven o'clock the next morning; where, after a short rest and a cup of tea and a hard cracker, we were drawn up in line of battle as a portion of reserve of the centre. the whole army seemed to be anxiously awaiting the opening of the ball, but there was very little firing at all during Thursday, and that principally between the skirmishers of the advance lines. There was no general engagement on Thursday, both armies, it is said, being out of am[m]unition, and both being engaged in bury their dead.
The enemy, taking advantage of the lull in the storm, commenced their retreat, and early on Friday and Saturday we pushed after them. Our advance had a severe engagement at the river, both on Friday evening and on Saturday morning. On Friday eve. we took several cannon and a number of Wagons, but on Saturday morning the 118th (Corn Exchange) Pennsylvania was driven back over the river with heavy loss. We marched to the river and there lay all day, our artillery trying to clear the woods on the other side. The enemy made no reply, but about five o'clock in the evening, commenced to plant a heavy battery on a commanding height, whereupon we withdrew a mile into a hollow, and left our guns to attend to the enemy. There was no firing during the night. I write early in the morning, probably before any of you are up. We will probably make another attempt to cross to-day.
The engagement of Wednesday was the fiercest of the war. Wherever the battle raged, the ground was literally covered with the wounded and slain. Where the Irish Brigade charged so bravely, half a dozen times, the rebels were piled in heaps. In one field there lay at least six hundred of the enemy's killed. While dead horses lay around in scores, altogether raising an almost intolerable smell. Such sights are not pleasant to look upon, yet they will amply repay a visit as they are not seen often in a lifetime. The most of the rebel dead still remain unburied, though most of ours are already interred.
It is supposed the rebels will make a stand near Winchester. We hope they will do so; we will not have so far to go to reach them. The force opposing us now is chiefly a rear guard. The veteran troops have nearly all crossed at Williamsport, and we are the front of this wing, being now near the extreme left. The great battle of the war is yet to be fought near here.
You would scarcely believe how anxious the boys are for a fight. Their disappointment was very great in not reaching the late battle field in time to participate. There we lay all day in sight of the enemy, perfectly inactive. In fact we never could have stood the march if it had not been that the sound of the enemy's cannon was ringing in our ears.
We have numbers of our Franklin County friends with us daily; and feel almost as if we were at home.
Despite all our hardships the health of the regiment remains good--but few being in hospital and they for slight sickness.
It would be useless to attempt to give a full description of the battle and the battle field. The picture would not be a pleasant one to dwell upon--and you have no doubt seen full details in the papers--more satisfactory ones, in fact than I could give. The loss on both sides has been immense--from seven to ten thousand on each side.
Gen. McClellan himself is in command of our wing. He is greeted with enthusiastic cheers whenever he appears. His popularity seems to have no bounds.
We are now in Gen. Humphrey's division. Letters should be directed to Washington, D.C. They will be forwarded.
The Penna. Reserves, as well as the 107th Regiment, were in Wednesday fight, and lost severely. The 107th could only muster 100 men after the battle.
We are having pretty rough times. Our tents are left behind and most of the time commissary wagons fail to keep up with us, so we have none too much to eat. I am requested to announce to our Franklin County friends, that if any of them follow us up, anything in the eatable line they may bring along will be very acceptable.
Our artillery has opened, heavily, on the hill above us--and still there is no reply from the Virginia shore. We will probably cross to-day but will not go far. We can be easily followed, at least as far as Winchester.
Our facilities for writing are so meagre that our friends must not expect to hear from us often now.
Description of Page: Literature and classifieds
Description of Page: Literature and classifieds
Description of Page: The Democratic ticket is printed in the upper left hand of corner of the page.
To Our Readers
(Column 1)Summary: The editors explain the absence of an issue last week was due to the general call for preparedness in case of a Confederate invasion of the town.
Full Text of Article:The Late Battles
To our Readers.
We perhaps owe an apology to our readers for not issuing a paper last week. "A poor excuse is worse than none," is an old saying, but in this case, (and we think our readers will agree with us,) our excuse is a good one. We issued no paper because we couldn't. "Stonewall" Jackson was threatening to invade our State and capture and perhaps sack our town. Martial law was declared and every able-bodied man and boy was required to shoulder the musket, and assist in repelling the invader from our homes and altars, if he made the attempt. We succumbed to the necessities of the case, closed the office, postponed all business till a more convenient season, and all hands about the establishment, from Editors down to devil, shouldered their guns (ours was a shot-gun) and with a little assistance we received from Gen. McClellan, drove Lee and Jackson, with their rebel hordes, across the Potomac. This is our apology. We feel sure our readers will excuse us.
(Column 1)Summary: The editors praise General McClellan for his recent victories in Maryland, the first near Frederick on September 14th, and the next near Sharpsburg on September 17th. In both instances, claim the editors, the enemy was driven to confusion and chose the quickest moment to retreat. Hopefully, the editors conclude, the lesson inflicted upon the Confederates will make them think twice before invading Maryland again.
Full Text of Article:McClellan and Victory
Two great battles were fought in Maryland last week, between the Union and rebel armies, the first took place on Sunday, the 14th inst., on the South Mountain between Middletown and Boonsboro and is said to have been a sanguinary conflict. Lee had withdrawn his forces from the neighborhood of Frederick, a day or two before, and taken his position along the mountain ridges dividing Frederick from Washington county, Md. Here he no doubt confidently expected to stop the further advance of McClellan, who was close upon his heels, defeat his army and drive him back toward Washington. In this he was doomed to sad disappointment, McClellan and his brave army advanced steadily and firmly upon the enemy, posted in apparently almost impregnable positions upon the mountain top. At the proper time, over the rugged steeps, they charged the enemy upon the right and left, drove him from his positions, and after a terrible slaughter, he was driven in utter confusion down the opposite side of the mountain. Our Artillery and Cavalry following rapidly and shelling them clear into Boonsboro'. This battle was the turning point of the campaign in Maryland and decided the fate of the rebels. The great battle of Wednesday following is so fresh on the minds of every one, that it be quite unnecessary for us to say anything on the subject. Suffice it to say, that it is acknowledged on all hands to have been the greatest battle of the war. After the most terrific carnage, lasting from early dawn until late at night, the rebels sought the first opportunity to beat a hasty retreat across the Potomac into "Dixie." Though the war is not yet over by any means, we think the rebels have received such a drubbing as to cause them to think long and consider well, before they again attempt the invasion of "Maryland, my Maryland!"
(Column 2)Summary: The editors praise the humility of General McClellan, who had been practically stripped of his command before Second Bull Run, but did not complain. When he was reinstated as commander of the Army of Virginia and went out to see his men, "wild cheers filled the evening air."A Word to the "Transcript"
(Column 3)Summary: The editors criticize the Transcript for its attack on the Democratic county convention, which it described as a "Breckinridge, anti-Union, anti-coercion, government opposing faction." The members of the Democratic party are as loyal and patriotic as anybody in the county, say the Spirit's editors. The editors note that they did not criticize the Republican convention and rather used the space to exhort citizens to enlist in the Union armies.William S. Stenger, Esq.
(Column 4)Summary: The editors apologize for the omission of William Stenger, candidate for district attorney, from the list of Democratic candidates published in the last issue, and they go on to extol his virtues.Democratic Congressional Congress
(Names in announcement: William S. Stenger)
(Column 5)Summary: The Democratic congressional conference for the district composed of Adams, Bedford, Franklin, Fulton, and Somerset Counties met in Fulton on September 11. William Gardner, George M. Stenger, and B. Y. Hamsher attended as conferees from Franklin. Mr. Hamsher nominated B. F. Meyers of Bedford as secretary. General A. H. Coffroth of Somerset County was nominated as a Congressional candidate, and Mr. Hamsher nominated Hon. George W. Brewer as well. Coffroth received nine votes and Brewer six, upon which Mr. Hamsher moved to nominate Coffroth by acclimation. George Stenger was appointed one of a party of three instructed to inform General Coffroth of his nomination.Senatorial Conference
(Names in announcement: B. Y. Hamsher, William Gardner, George M. Stenger, Hon. George W. Brewer)
(Column 5)Summary: The conferees of the senatorial district composed of Adams, Franklin, and Fulton counties met at Montgomery's Hotel in Chambersburg on September 10. William S. Stenger of Franklin was appointed secretary. William McSherry of Adams County was nominated, and C. M. Duncan, Esq. of Chambersburg was nominated by Daniel McKenzie. Duncan's name was immediately withdrawn by William S. Stenger, who stated that Mr. Duncan felt it was his duty to withdraw inasmuch as Adams County was entitled to the candidate. On motion of Mr. Stenger, McSherry was nominated by acclimation. Daniel McKenzie, P. M. Shoemaker, and W. S. Stenger represented Franklin County.Direct from the Army
(Names in announcement: William S. Stenger, C. M. DuncanEsq., P. M. Shoemaker, Daniel McKenzie)
(Column 6)Summary: Reports from the fighting in the area of Sharpsburg, Maryland, dated September 20.
Full Text of Article:
The Rebels Across the Potomac--Their Batteries on the River Bank--All their Cannon and Stores Leisurely Removed--They Leave Behind their Seriously Wounded--Our Loss on Wednesday near Ten Thousand--Rebel Loss Somewhat Heav[i]er.
Sharpsburg, Md., Saturday Evening,
Our army moved yesterday--Friday--afternoon, toward Sheppardstown, on the Potomac river, General Pleasanton went forward with his cavalry and picked up about three hundred stragglers. Some of our artillery followed and when they reached the river, exchanged compliments with the Rebels. Their whole force appeared to be on the Virginia side, and their batteries were planted along the bank to prevent the passage of the Union army. They succeeded in saving everything except one field-piece, whose carriage broke down, and two or three old wagons.
Their movements seem to have been conducted very leisurely and without anything like panic. The most seriously wounded were left at Sharpsburg and in the houses along the retreat to the river. They evidently took their own time in falling back, and do not appear to have had any fear of being pursued. A strong force was kept in our front during the whole of Thursday although, to many of our officers and men it seemed apparent that the enemy was retreating.
Great clouds of dust were continually rising in the rear of their lines, which indicated a retreat of the main army.
In the battle of Wednesday, it is estimated by careful observers who went over the field, that our loss will reach quite ten thousand killed and wounded.
The Rebel loss is believed to be somewhat heavier, and there is no doubt but their dead far outnumbered our own, as our artillery played upon their dense columns with terrible effect.
Sharpsburg is completely riddled with our shot. The citizens mostly fled from the town, while a few took refuge in the cellars of several stone houses.
After the retreat of the enemy, those who had left returned to the town, and when our army entered it they welcomed it with hurrahs, and hung out the Stars and Stripes from their windows.
The whole country in the region of the battle ground is laid desolate, and everything betokens the devastation of war. The houses at Keedysville and Boonsboro are filled with our wounded.
At Williamsport, Maryland, there are about 25,000 of the Pennsylvania Militia, who had advanced into Maryland with the hope of participating in the final rout or capture of the Rebel invaders. In this they have been doomed to disappointment.
Direct from the Army of the Potomac.
Head Quarters Army of the Potomac,
Saturday Sept. 20.
The Rebel army has succeeded in making its escape from Maryland. They commenced to leave about dusk on Thursday evening, and by daylight yesterday morning were all over except a small rear guard. They saved all their transportation and carried off all their wounded but about three hundred. Between three and four hundred Rebel stragglers were taken during theby [sic] day General Pleasanton's Cavalry who took the advance. Nearly every house in Sharpsburg was struck by our shells. Two were burned, and also a large barn located in the centre of the town. The citizens who remained escaped by staying in their cellars. Only one child was killed. Two Rebels, while cooking their suppers, on Tuesday, were killed by one of our shots passing through the kitchen. The name given to this battle is the "Antietam."
After our forces occupied the whole field, the Rebel loss was found to be far greater particularly in killed, than it was at first supposed. Fully 2500 were found lying on the field, while a large number had been buried the day before by their friends. Their loss from killed and wounded will not come far from 18,000 to 22,000. General Stark, of the Rebel forces, was killed, and Generals Ripley and Hayes were wounded.
The Rebels on Thursday night burned the railroad bridge at Harper's Ferry.
The citizens of Sandy Hook were fleeing into the country on Thursday night, to avoid being impressed into the Rebel army and carried into Virginia.
Large details of men were made this morning to bury the remaining dead bodies, which have become offensive. The troops are still in excellent spirits over the result. The Rebels are still visible on the opposite shore in force. A large amount of artillery has been posted by the enemy, to prevent our troops from crossing. The officers of this army are unanimous in the expression of the opinion that Gen. Hooker should, for his gallantry and bravery, be made a Brigadier General in the regular army, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of General Mansfield.
Description of Page: Two columns of war news from Antietam
Alarm and Excitement
(Column 1)Summary: Two weeks before, the town of Chambersburg was rife with rumors of an enemy invasion, and the community was alarmed at the "prospect of having the rebel hordes in our midst." Business was suspended, and martial law was declared. It was particularly intense on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the week before last, but on Sunday came word that the Confederates were withdrawing their pickets from the state line. Large bodies of men from the northern, eastern, and western parts of the state, responding to the call of the Governor, poured into town and advanced to meet the enemy. Luckily, "McClellan whipped Lee on the South Mountain between Middletown and Boonsboro' on Sunday," which precipitated the Confederate evacuation of Hagerstown and took the pressure off of Franklin County.
Full Text of Article:Arrival of Prisoners and Longstreet's Ammunition Train
Immediately on the issue of the last number of our paper, any number of rumors became rife of the advance of the Rebel army upon our State border. Each additional report brought confirmation of the former ones, until our community was considerably excited and alarmed at the prospect of having the rebel hordes in our midst. Business of all kinds was at once suspended, the town was placed under Martial Law, and the entire community took up the musket. The excitement, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of week before last was intense, but on Sunday we received news that the rebels were drawing in their pickets from the State line, when the community began to breathe easier. In the meantime large bodies of armed men from the North, East and West, in response to the call of the Governor, literally poured into town, and advanced to meet the enemy. In fact nearly all the able-bodied men of our glorious old State seemed to be under arms and marching to repel the invading foe from our borders. Luckily for us and the militia, Gen McClellan whipped Lee on the South Mountain between Middletown and Boonesboro on Sunday, which caused the sudden evacuation of Hagerstown by the rebels and relieved us of any immediate danger of invasion.
(Column 1)Summary: A week ago last Monday the town was thrown into excitement by the arrival of a train with 50 or 60 Confederate prisoners and a captured ammunition train, guarded by a company of the 1st Maryland Cavalry. The train was captured that morning between Williamsport and Hagerstown by cavalry from Harper's Ferry. Among the prisoners was Clegget Fitzhugh of Franklin County, who had left Hughes' Furnace a few days before and gone over to Hagerstown and the Confederate Army. People cried out for Fitzhugh's death, but he was safely hustled off to jail and has since been taken to a fort in the east.
(Names in announcement: Clegget Fitzhugh)Full Text of Article:Military
Our town was thrown into the wildest state of excitement on last Monday a week by the arrival of 50 or 60 "secesh" prisoners together with a long train of wagons loaded with ammunition and guarded by a company of the first Maryland Cavalry. This train was captured that morning between Hagerstown and Williamsport, by about 1,500 of our Cavalry from Harper's Ferry, who were cutting their way through the enemy's lines, which they succeeded in doing in the most successful manner, and arriving safely in this place with their valuable prize, without losing a single man. This we consider the most successful manner, and arriving safely in this place with their valuable prize, without losing a single man. This we consider the most successful exploit of the war. Among the prisoners, was Clegget Fitzhugh of this County, who had left Hughes' Furnace but a few days before and gone over to Hagerstown and joined the rebel army. The feeling against Fitzhugh was intense and the crowd cried out "hang him," "shoot him," "kill him," but he was hurried off to prison by the officers having him in charge, and the crowd dispersed, satisfied that the better way was to let the law have its course, which we have no doubt will give him the fullest punishment his guilt deserves. We learn, that he has since been taken to one of the eastern Forts.
(Column 1)Summary: The editors observe that the area around Chambersburg has taken on the appearance of a "vast military camp" in the past few weeks.
Full Text of Article:Attempt to Commit Suicide
During the past week or ten days, our town has presented the appearance of a vast military camp. Regiment upon Regiment, of State Militia, having passed through for the sent of war, others have been detained here and quartered in town, and others still are encamped a few miles from town; on the Greencastle road. There probably are from six to eight thousand troops encamped in the vicinity of this place, at the present time. The State Militia is made up of the best class of men, in the ranks of which are to be found Judges, Legislators, Lawyers, Merchants, Editors, and in fact men from all the various professional and mechanical pursuits, who have left their business and their homes at a moments warning, to defend the State against her invaders. All honor, to the brave and loyal sons of the Keystone State.
(Column 1)Summary: A German from Harrisburg, who was a member of one of the military companies encamped near town, attempted to cut his own throat with a razor but was prevented from doing so by a fellow soldier.Cards of Thanks
(Column 1)Summary: Two thank-you notes, one from Capt. Thomas Lynn's company of the 5th Penn. Reg't to the ladies who "contributed to our comfort" while quartered at the Court House in Chambersburg, and one from Company F of the 3rd Penn. Reg't thanking Mrs. William McLellan for the "magnificent dinner" that she provided while they were in town.Sick and Wounded Soldiers
(Names in announcement: Mrs. William McLellan)
(Column 1)Summary: The second and third floors of the Franklin Hall are being used as a hospital. Several hundred sick and wounded soldiers are being brought from the battlefield, and "everything that can be done by skillful physicians and a humane community is being done to render them more comfortable."
Full Text of Article:Get Assessed
The second and third floors of the Franklin Hall are occupied at present for Hospital purposes. Several hundred sick and wounded have already been brought over from the battle-field, and everything that can be done by skillful Physicians and a humane community is being done to render them comfortable.
(Column 1)Summary: Next Saturday will be the last day in which assessments can be made in time for election. The editors urge every Democrat to attend to this important duty.Editorial Visit
(Column 2)Summary: John R. Donohoo, Esq., the editor of the Washington Examiner, a Democratic paper, of the borough of Washington, paid the editors of the Valley Spirit and Times a visit. Donohoo is in command of a military company from his community which came to the area to repel the threatened invasion of the Valley. He is yet another Democratic editor who are included in the ranks of the Union army, the editors observe.Gen. Wm. H. Miller
(Column 2)Summary: The editors met with Gen. William H. Miller of the Dauphin district, a Democratic candidate for Congress from that area. When the call from Gov. Curtain went out for militia to defend the state's borders, Miller headed to Harrisburg where he was elected Captain of his company. While Miller has been denounced by "bigoted partisans" as a secessionist, the editors note he was one of the first to volunteer in defense of the state.Resolutions of the late Democratic Convention
(Column 2)Summary: The Democratic county convention reaffirmed its support of the Crittenden Resolution passed in 1861, which argued that the war should be fought for the "Union as it was and the Constitution as it is." The convention also expressed its support of the national administration, but stated that the war should not be fought to change southern institutions.
Full Text of Article:The War in Maryland!! From McClellan's Army--A Glorious Victory!
The following are the resolutions adopted by the late Democratic Convention:
WHEREAS, The Democratic party of Franklin County, one year ago, adopted the "Cristenden Resolution" passed by Congress, on the 21st day of July, 1861, as embodying the true principles upon which the present war could be most successfully conducted, and as constituting the highest standard of loyalty, and
WHEREAS, We believe that this resolution contains the principles of action most likely to command success at the present stage of our National struggle, therefore
Resolved, "That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the Disunionists of the Southern States, now in arms against the Constitutional Government, and in arms around the Capitol: That in this National emergency, Congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; this war is not waged on their part, in any spirit of oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of these States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired, and that as soon as these objects are accomplished, the war ought to cease."
Resolved, That the chief and most imperative duty of the Democratic party, in the present crisis of the nation, is to give its hearty support to the National Administration in all efforts and measures tending to crush the existing causeless and infamous rebellion and to restore the supremacy of the national constitution and government over the whole country.
Resolved, That we are in favor of the Union as it was, and the Constitution as it is, and that it should be the earnest work of every true patriot, and every friend of Civil and Religious Liberty to preserve the one, and to guard against any violation of the other.
Resolved, That the soldiers composing our armies, merit the warmest thanks of the nation. Their country called, and nobly did they respond. Living, they shall know a nation's gratitude; wounded, a nation's care; and dying they shall live in our memories, and monuments shall be raised to teach posterity to honor the patriots and heroes who offered their lives at their country's altar. Their widows and orphans shall be adopted by the nation, to be watched over, and cared for, as objects truly worthy a nation's guardianship.
Resolved, That we endorse the resolutions passed by the late Democratic State Convention which met at Harrisburg on the 4th day of July, with our hearty and unqualified approbation, and pledge our most ardent support to the ticket then and there nominated.
Resolved, That the manly, patriotic and conservative course of the Hon. Edgar Cowan in the Senate of the United States, although not elevated to that position by Democratic votes and not the choice of the Democratic party, meets with our entire approval.
Resolved, That we will support and use all honest efforts to elect the ticket nominated by this Convention this day.
(Column 3)Summary: Two columns of reports from the battle of Antietam.
Full Text of Article:Married
From McClellan's Army. A Glorious Victory!
The Rebels Routed!
Gen. Reno Killed!
Official Despatches from Gen. McClellan.
Head-Quarters Army of the Potomac, 8 miles beyond Middletown, Sept 14--9:40, P.M.,
H.W. Halleck, General-in Chief:
After a very severe engagement the corps of Generals Hooker and Reno have carried the heights commanding the Hagerstown road. The troops behaved magnificently. They never fought better.
Gen. Franklin has been engaged on the extreme left. I do not yet know the result, except that the finding indicates progress on his part. The action continued until after dark and terminated leaving us in possession of the entire crest. It has been a glorious victory. I cannot yet tell whether the enemy will retreat during the night or appear in increased force in the morning. I regret to add the gallant and able Gen. Reno is killed.
G.B. McClellan, Maj. Gen.
The Rebels in Full Retreat.
Head Quarters Army of the Potomac.
Sept. 15th--8 A.M.
H.W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:
I have just learned from Gen. Hocker, in the advance, who states that the information is perfectly reliable that the enemy is making for the river in a perfect panic, and Gen. Lee last night stated publicly that he must admit they had been shockingly whipped.
I am hurrying everything forward to endeavor to press their retreat to the utmost.
(Signed) Geo. B. McClellan,
Major-General. Still Better--Franklin's Movement a Complete Success.
Head Quarters Army of the Potomac,
Sept. 15th--9 A.M.
H.W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:
I am happy to inform you that Franklin's success on the left was complete as that on the centre and right, and resulted in his getting possession of the Gap, after a severe engagement in all parts of the line.
The troops, old and new, behaved with the utmost steadiness and gallantry, carrying, with utmost steadiness and gallantry, carrying, with but little assistance from our own artillery, every strong position defended by artillery and infantry.
I do not think our loss is very severe.
The corps of A.S. Hill and Longstreet were engaged with our right.
We have taken a considerable number of prisoners.
The enemy dispersed during the night.
Out troops are now advancing in pursuit of them.
I do not yet know where he will be next found.
Geo. B. McClellan,
Major-General. The Latest.
Head Quarters Army of the Potomac,
at Bolivar, Sept. 15, 10 A.M.
H.W. Halleck, General in Chief:
Information has this moment been received completely confirming the rout and demoralization of the rebel army.
Gen. Lee is reported wounded and Gen. Garland killed.
Gen. Hooker alone has over one thousand more prisoners--seven hundred having been sent to Frederick.
It is stated that Gen. Lee gives his loss at 15,000.
We are following as rapidly as the men can move.
Geo. B. McClellan,
THE GREAT BATTLE IN MARYLAND.
The Battles of Tuesday and Wednesday.
A Desperate Struggle--Jackson Reinforces Lee--A Glorious Victory--Death of Gen. Mansfield--Our Loss 10,000--The Rebel Loss About the Same--1500 Prisoners Taken.
Head Quarters Army of the Potomac.
Tuesday evening, Sept. 16
During this afternoon, information was received at Head-quarters, showing that the enemy were recrossing the river and concentrating their forces on the ridge of hills outside of the town of Sharpsburg, to within three miles of the main body of our army.
Stonewall Jackson left Harper's Ferry this morning. His troops commenced to arrive during the afternoon. When it became evident that Gen. Lee was disposed to engage our forces in battle at that point, Gen. McClellan sent for General Franklin's corps and Conch's division, who were about seven miles distant on the other side of Elk Ridge.
There was considerable artillery firing during the day on both sides, resulting in our having about 40 men killed and wounded. Among those seriously wounded was Major Oruedt, of the first New York Artillery, who was struck in the side by a piece of shell.
The disposition of the troops for the impending battle was as follows:
Gen. Summer's corps with Gen. Hanks' division, to occupy the centre; Gen. Hooker's corps with the Pennsylvania, Reserves and Franklin's corps, on the right; Generals Porter and Burnsides on the extreme left, with a view of turning the enemy's right flank. Gen. Pleasonton supported the centre with 2500 cavalry and four batteries.
Gen. Hooker, in the afternoon, crossed Antietam creek and took a position on the hills facing Sharpsburg, and three miles to the right of Keatsville.
His troops got into action about dark, which lasted two hours, during which the enemy were driven about half a mile, with considerable loss. The Pennsylvania Reserves, who were in front, suffered much.
The night was occupied in getting the troops into their respective positions, while ammunition trains and ambulances were forwarded to their different commands.
VICTORY OF WEDNESDAY.
The Enemy Driven Back a Mile--They Rally and Recover the Ground--But are Again Routed.
Wednesday Evening, September 17th, 1862.
This has been an eventful day in the history of the Rebellion. A battle has taken place in which the army of the Potomac has again been victorious, and which exceeded in extent, any battle heretofore fought on this continent.
At the dawn of day the battle was resumed on the centre and right by Gen. Hooker and Gen. Sumner who, after a sharp contest of two hours, drove the enemy about one mile.
The rebels, however, rallied shortly afterwards, and, with terrible loss, regained most of the ground. At this time the fearless and indomitable Gen. Hooker received a shot in the ankle, and was carried from the field, the command of his troops devolving upon Gen. Sumner. Gen. Richardson, commanding his Division, was severely wounded at the same time.
Gen. Sumner, determined to retake the lost ground, ordered the troops to advance, which they did with a will, driving the rebels before them with great slaughter. They not only retook the ground, but drove them a quarter of a mile beyond.
In this action Gen. Mansfield was shot thro' the lungs and died soon after.
The troops under Generals Burnsides and Porter had not been idle. They drove the rebels from the line of the Antietam creek, on the main road to Sharpsburg, and having built a bridge (the old one having been burned by the rebels) occupied the opposite bank. The loss there was considerable.
To get possession of the ridge of hills on the right and left hand side of the road from which the Rebels were thundering away with artillery, was a task not easily accomplished.
Gen. Sykes' brigade carried the ridge on the right hand side, with the assistance of General Sumner, after considerable trouble and loss, the rebels running in all directions.
It was now 5 o'clock, and all the enemy's positions had been carried except the one on the left hand side of the road. To do this duty Gen. Burnside was assigned. The artillery opened and the infantry advanced. The point was carried at a charge, but our troops were [illegible] to retire before a superior force, the rebels knowing that if they lost this ridge a complete rout of their army would be the result; they fought with great desperation.
Darkness now overtook the two armies and hostilities ceased as though by mutual consent.
The battle lasted from five o'clock in the morning until seven at night, without a moment's cessation.
The conduct of all the troops, without exception, was all that any General could wish. Several regiments of new troops, who were in action for the first time, behaved admirably.
Hundreds of Marylanders were present to witness the battle, which could be seen from many of the surrounding hills. The sharp rattle of 50,000 muskets, and the thunder of a hundred pieces of artillery is not often heard, nor the consequent excited movements of such large armies witnessed.
It is impossible, at this writing, to form any correct idea of our loss or that of the enemy. It is heavy on both sides. Ours will probably reach ten thousand in killed and wounded, and that of the enemy will, perhaps, not exceed it.
The enemy's dead, which nearly all fell into our hands, were thickly strewn over the fields, in many places lying in heaps.
Out wounded were immediately carried from the field, and the best possible attention given them.
When Gen. Hooker fell, Gen. McClellan immediately proceeded to the right, where he was enthusiastically received, and by his presence added much to our success in recovering ground lost. He was in the centre and on the left, anxiously watching the progress of the battle, and giving directions as to the manner of attack.
He was in his tent to-night, for the first time since he left Frederick city.
We took some 1500 prisoners during the day while the enemy obtained but few.
The following officers were killed or wounded:
Gen. Hartsuff, wounded.
Gen. Duryea, wounded.
Gen. Sedgwick, wounded in the shoulder.
Col. Childs, of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, killed.
Col Knight, of the Eleventh Connecticut, seriously wounded.
Lieut Col Parvison, of the Fifty-seventh New York, killed.
Captain Audenried, Aid to General Sumner, wounded.
Colonel McNiel, of the Pennsylvania Bucktails, and Lieutenant Allison, were killed.
Col Polk, of the Second United States Sharp Shooters, wounded.
Major Burbank, of the Twelfth Massachusetts, wounded.
Several other prominent officers were repor[ted] killed or wounded, but nothing positive is known.
Official Depatches [sic] from Gen. McClellan.
Head Quarters Army of the Potomac,
September 19--8 o'clock, A.M.
To Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:
But little occurred yesterday, except skirmishing last night.
The enemy abandoned his position, leaving his dead and wounded on the field. We are again in pursuit.
I do not yet know whether he is falling back to an interior position, or crossing the river. We may safely claim a victory.
George B. McClellan,
Head Quarters Army of the Potomac,
Sept. 19--10 A.M.
To H.W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:
Pleasonton is driving the enemy across the river.
Our victory is complete.
The enemy is driven back into Virginia.
Maryland and Pennsylvania are safe.
George B. McClellan
(Column 5)Summary: John M. Cook and Sarah Beamesdarfer, both of Mt. Hope, were married on September 9th.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. W. R. H. Deatrich, John M. Cook, Sarah Beamesdarfer)
(Column 5)Summary: Samuel Summers and Christiana Stover, both of Mt. Hope, were married on September 9.Married
(Names in announcement: Samuel Summers, Christiana Stover, Rev. W. R. H. Deatrich)
(Column 5)Summary: John S. Johns and Malissa Holman of Peters Township were married on September 11 at the Methodist Episcopal Parsonage in Chambersburg.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. A. Brittain, John S. Johns, Malissa Holman)
(Column 5)Summary: Mr. McFerren and Margaretta Ray, both of Franklin County, were married on September 14.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Steck, McFerren, Margaretta Ray)
(Column 5)Summary: Christian Mellinger of St. Thomas married Sarah C. Gift of Peters Township on September 11.Died
(Names in announcement: Rev. John Ault, Rev. Christian Mellinger, Sarah C. Gift)
(Column 5)Summary: John Kindline died in Chambersburg on September 6 after a painful illness at the age of 72 years.Died
(Names in announcement: John Kindline)
(Column 5)Summary: Joseph Kriner died in Peters Township on August 27 at age 22 years, 6 months, and 18 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Joseph Kriner)
(Column 5)Summary: Hugh Parks died near St. Thomas on August 25, aged 69 years, 10 months and 10 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Hugh Parks)
(Column 5)Summary: Emma Rebecca Weaver died in Marion on August 29, age 9 years, 6 months and 21 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Emma Rebecca Weaver)
(Column 5)Summary: Rachael Elizabeth Treher died in St. Thomas Township on September 4, at the age of 20 years, 7 months, and 8 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Rachael Elizabeth Treher)
(Column 5)Summary: Benjamin Franklin Meyers died near Marion on September 7 at the age of 3 years, 11 months and 27 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Benjamin Franklin Meyers)
(Column 5)Summary: Anna Mary Diefenbaugh, daughter of John and Mary Diefenbaugh, died on September 7 at the age of 3 years, 11 months, and 27 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Anna Mary Diefenbaugh, John Diefenbaugh, Mary Diefenbaugh)
(Column 5)Summary: Jacob Leedy Sr. died on September 9 at the age of 68 years, 3 months and 22 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Jacob LeedySr.)
(Column 5)Summary: Daniel Creamer died on September 11 at the age of 82 years, 10 months and 8 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Daniel Creamer)
(Column 5)Summary: Samuel Lewis died in Loudon on September 7 at the age of 61 years and 1 month.Died
(Names in announcement: Samuel Lewis)
(Column 5)Summary: David Carson died of typhoid fever at the home of W. K. Carson in Baltimore at the age of 39. Carson was the eldest son of James O. and R. M. Carson, and was 2nd Sergeant in Capt. Brownson's Company C of the 126th Reg't Penn. Volunteers. He was on his way to the battlefield when taken with the disease.Died
(Names in announcement: W. K. Carson, David Carson, James O. Carson, R. M. Carson)
(Column 5)Summary: Malinda Yeakle, wife of Abraham Yeakle, died in Warren Township on September 2, age 41 years and 23 days.Died
(Names in announcement: Malinda Yeakle, Abraham Yeakle)
(Column 5)Summary: Christian Foltz died on September 16 in St. Thomas at the age of 73.
(Names in announcement: Christian Foltz)
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Description of Page: Classified advertisements
Description of Page: Classified advertisements, including a sheriff's notice announcing voting locations for upcoming elections