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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: April 18, 1866

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-Page 01-

Another Sensible Speech from Beecher
(Column 05)
Summary: The paper reports upon a speech of Henry Ward Beecher denouncing Congress for attempting to compel the South to change. Persuasion would work better than coercion, he suggests.
Full Text of Article:

Henry Ward Beecher lectured in Philadelphia on Thursday evening, and contended that in regard to the treatment of the Southern States it was better to assume fundamental principles, and get by moral influence what is desired, instead of attempting political coercion. In the course of his speech he said:

Diliatory legislation was not wise, and yet he was free to say we never sent so many good men to Congress as constituted the present Congress. [Loud and protracted applause.] But there never was a time when so many good and wise men made so poor a bungle. You should not have applauded until I had finished. [Applause].

The kind and patient Mr. Lincoln was cudgeled and whicked by Congress, and he bore it with a patriotic spirit reminding him of some horses who merely act when cudgeled, as though it was to brush off flies. When they commenced whacking Mr. Johnson they found a pair of heels through the dash board, and they left the wagon and took to trees and bushes, crying, "Beast! Brute!" but since then had cudgeled more carefully.

He took both sides, and was for Mr. Johnson and Congress, also, deeming the question to be how to do, and not what to do. Reconstruction was going on in the South, where it must, after all, be made; yet it was wise to have proper laws to fall back upon.

Let Georgia and Alabama pass laws giving rights and privileges to colored men, and let South Carolina enact the slave code, and the consequence would be that all would leave the latter State and go to the former. The plantations must be worked by the colored men, and the people in South Carolina would quickly demand the repeal of the laws that drove them from their midst.

The North had but little to arrogate to herself as to the humanity toward the colored race, and were more prejudiced against them than the Southern people. He would not believe skulkers of the South; but if a man who fought in the rebellion would tell him he accepted the issue, he would take his word for it.

He respected the South more now than he formerly did, for there was so much brag and gasconade he thought there could not be much fight about them. No Northern man need be ashamed of their fighting qualities. The speaker said the North seemed to stand back with frightened countenances at the idea of the South getting the sway of government again. If the North, with its population comprising two-thirds of the whole country, its industry and ingenuity, let the shivering remnant take possession of the Government, they deserve to lose it. He wanted to extend his hand to all the great national freedmen, and extend the flag whose folds shine stars--every one a star of Bethlehem--all over the country, because liberty and religion would be denoted wherever it should be unfolded.

The Southern Dead
(Column 07)
Summary: The paper publishes a proposal from a women's group in Columbus, Georgia, that one day each year be set aside for the entire South to remember its dead. The paper applauds the women's efforts to decorate and preserve their graves, and calls on women throughout the South to follow suit.
Full Text of Article:

We take great pleasure in copying the following beautiful tribute to the Southern Dead from the Columbus Sun and Times. Its suggestions are worthy of our heroic women and the loved ones they propose to commemorate. It would be "gilding refined gold" to add a single word to this touching appeal, and if we dare say aught further, it is that the ladies of Columbus may not be alone in this holy undertaking. Let the ladies of the South at large emulate a grand duty so worthily inaugurated:

Columbus, Ga., March 10, 1866.

Messrs. Editors: The ladies are now, and have been for several days, engaged in the sad but pleasant duty of ornamenting and improving that portion of the city cemetery sacred to the memory of our gallant Confederate dead, but who feel it an unfinished work unless a day be set apart annually for its special attention. We cannot raise monumental shafts, and inscribe thereon their many deeds of heroism, but we can keep alive the memory of the debt we owe them, by at least dedicating one day in each year to embellishing their humble graves with flowers. Therefore, we beg the assistance of the Press and the Ladies throughout the South, to aid us in our effort to set apart a certain day to be observed from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, and be handed down through time as a religious custom of the country to wreathe the graves of our martyred dead with flowers. (We would propose the 2d Wednesday in May, as at that time our land may truly be called the "land of flowers.") Let every city, town and village, join in the pleasant duty; let all be alike remembered, from the heroes of Manassas to those who expired among the death throes of our hallowed cause. We'll crown alike the honored resting places of the immortal Jackson, in Virginia, Johnson, of Shiloh, Cleburne, in Tennessee, and the host of gallant privates who adorned our ranks--all did their duty, and to all we owe our gratitude.

Let the soldiers' grave, for that day at least, be the Southern Mecca, to whose shrine her sorrowing women, like pilgrims, may annually bring their grateful hearts and floral offerings. And when we remember the thousands who were buried with "their martial cloak around them," without Christian ceremony of internment for their beloved bodies, we would invoke the aid of the most thrilling eloquence throughout the land, to inaugurate this custom by delivering on the appointed day, this year, and eulogy on the unburied dead of our glorious Southern army. They died for their country. Whether their country had, or had not, the right to demand the sacrifice, is no longer a question of discussion with us. That it was demanded, that they nobly responded, and fell holy sacrifices upon their country's altar, and are thereby entitled to their country's gratitude, none will deny.

The proud banner under which they rallied in defense of the noble cause for which heroes fought, or trusting women prayed, has been fulfilled forever. The country for which they suffered and died has now no name or place among the nations of the earth. Legislative enactments may not now be made to do honor to their memories--but the veriest Radical that ever traced his genealogy back to the deck of the May Flower, could not deny us the simple privilege of paying honor to those who died defending the life, honor and happiness of the

-Page 02-

The Great Valley Railroad--Meeting of the Stockholders of the Manassas Gap Railroad--The Prospect and Our Duty
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports that the stockholders of the Manassas Gap Railroad met in Alexandria, and discussed with representatives of the Valley Railroad Company a plan to aid the former road, and charter the latter. The editors urge bondholders and citizens alike to aid the endeavor in any way they can, since the prosperity of the Valley is riding on the future of the railroad.
(Names in announcement: Col. M. G. Harman, Col. William Allan, Captain Bolivar Christian, M. Harvey Effinger)
Full Text of Article:

On the 11th inst., the Stockholders of the Manassas Gap Railroad Company met at Alexandria. The President's report shows that the losses during the war were estimated at about $89,000. This property was in use during the war on the Dansville and Greensboro' roads and is now being collected at Alexandria. The financial condition of the Company is stated as follows: Mortgage Bonds sold, $330,000; Floating Debts, $100,000. The President, Edward C. Marshall, Esq., regards with interest the chartering of the Valley railroad, "running through a section of the country, justly termed the granary of the State, with stores of mineral wealth, watering places and points of attraction of great variety; and settled with a large and enterprizing population."

The Committee for the Valley Railroad Company, appointed by its Stockholders (Col. M. G. Harman, President; Colonel William Allen, Captain Bolivar Christian and M. Harvey Effinger, Directors) in conference with a Committee appointed by the meeting agreed upon a series of resolutions which were unanimously adopted; in substance that the Manassas Company would transfer its franchise and property in its roads from Harrisonburg to Winchester, provided the Valley Railroad Co. would furnish the means to put in working order the track from Strasburg to Manassas Junction, and would relieve the Manassas Company of its Mortgage debt, at its present market value. The spirit manifested in the meeting indicated a kindly feeling and cordial cooperation between the two Companies, and the best feeling was manifested between the people of the Valley and Alexandria.

In this brief synopsis it will be seen that the basis for success in this great work has been firmly laid. It now remains for the bondholders and the people of the Valley to do their part. Every assurance was given to our delegation by the people of the glorious City of Baltimore, of their earnest cooperation in this work. To the Mortgage bondholders, we would say, you can get the present market value, in cash, for your bonds at the First National Bank in Staunton, and that interest and duty alike demand that you bring them forward promptly. If this enterprise is ever to be completed, it is by a combination of all the roads, and by holding back the bonds you will lose all, as it is evident that the Manassas Gap road can never be rebuilt, except by the proposed plan. Then let every bondholder, who has an interest in the material development of our State, act promptly.

To our Valley people we hope there is no need of an appeal. Argument, since the Virginian first broke ground on this subject, has been exhausted, and one and all agree that this work is one of vital necessity to us and ours. We are all poor in money, but our lands are the richest in the world; our undeveloped resources incalculable. To bring these lands into market; to develop our mineral resources; to make the Valley the 'Paradise of America,' only needs an extra exertion on our part. But to do this every man must give his mite, and those who have lands subscribe liberally. Friends, the best and truest a people ever had, the people of the City of Baltimore, are standing ready to help us, as they have done ever since the war; but to merit help, we must help ourselves. In five years the appreciation of the value of property will pay for the road, and every point should be strained now by our people to gain so glorious a result. The destiny of the Valley is now, after long years of bad legislation, in the hands of her people--let us see that she is worthy of it.

The Railroad Convention
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reprints the Rockingham Register's impressions of the Valley Railroad Convention, and the speeches given there.
(Names in announcement: Gen. Echols, Col. Christian, Col. Baldwin, Col. Harman)
Full Text of Article:

In speaking of the Convention the Rockingham Register says: The attention of the reader will be attracted by the proceedings of the Valley Railroad Convention, held in Staunton on the 4th inst., and published in this issue of the Register. The attendance on the occasion was large, and the liveliest spirit manifested. We had written out a synopsis of the speeches delivered before the Convention, but our limited space precludes its publication. The effort of each speaker was directed to the gist of the enterprise--immediate action. Gen. Echols entertained the audience in one of the most effective and eloquent impromptu speeches to which we have ever listened on any subject. We had known him as the gallant soldier and the courteous gentleman, but now regard him as one of the most captivating and convincing speakers in the State. Polished in manners, graceful in gesticulation, and clear and practical in argument, he combines the elements of eminent success. Col. Christian struck at the core of his subject, and gave evidence of his entire familiarity with the matter he was discussing. Col. Baldwin, who never speaks except to the point, and does not know how to make a bad speech, encouraged and stimulated his hearers to confidence in the success of the Valley R. R. scheme. Mr. Yellott spoke forcibly and exhibited much earnestness in the cause of this great enterprise--as did, also, Maj. Dorman. Mr. Stuart indulged in a hopeful train of thought, and pictured, in glowing colors, the immense advantage to the Valley and the State, flowing from the construction of the Valley and Manassas Railroads. Col. Harman, who is the soul of action, delved right to the heart of the matter, and urged every one to work, and that in earnest.

Scraps From My Haversack
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper continues its series on the history of Stonewall Jackson's campaigns.
(Column 04)
Summary: J. A. Bodkin and Miss M. E. Shank, both of Augusta, were married on April 8th by the Rev. G. A. Shuey.
(Names in announcement: J. A. Bodkin, M. E. Shank, Rev. G. A. Shuey)

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that a record-setting crop of corn is being planted in the Valley this year.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that coal "in great abundance and of the most excellent quality, and every indication of oil has been discovered within four miles of Mt. Solon, Augusta county."
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that a case has begun in Rockingham County under the new Civil Rights Bill. "A negro woman is swearing to something before a magistrate down there, but we reckon the 'Register' will give us the facts next week."
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that the Greaver investigation ended with the jailing of Alex Greaver. Capt. Tukey "was universally complimented for the manner in which he conducted it," in contrast to "some people" who "lost what little reputation they had by the investigation, and we don't think Greaver was much benefited."
(Names in announcement: Alex Greaver, Capt. Tukey)
The Crops
(Column 02)
Summary: After a trip through Augusta and Rockbridge, the paper predicts that "the wheat crop, though much injured, will make a much larger yield than has been anticipated."
The First Case
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports that the first case to be tried under the new Civil Rights Bill took place in Lafayette, Indiana. "A negro named Barnes has brought suit against a prominent citizen to enforce a contract. The citizen in answer sets up that the negro is there contrary to the laws of the State, which debars negroes from all rights to enforce contracts. The negro claims his rights under the Civil Rights Bill, and appealed to the Circuit Court."
An Appeal
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper appeals to its subscribers to pay their bills. "We feel confident that our generous patrons will respond promptly, and thereby not only aid us, but several families of as gallant soldiers as ever followed Stonewall Jackson in the 'Foot Cavalry.'"
Lexington Law School
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper announces that twenty-one students graduated from the law school in Lexington. Seven went before Judge H. W. Sheffey to receive his signature on their licenses. H. B. Michie of Staunton, and J. Emmet Guy of Augusta were among them.
(Names in announcement: Judge H. W. Sheffey, H. B. Michie, J. Emmet Guy)

-Page 04-

Bury Our Dead
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper prints a poem honoring the Confederate dead.
Full Text of Article:

"In Rama was there a voice heard, lamen-
tation and weeping and great mourning. Ra-
chel weeping for her children and would not
be comforted because they were not."
Bury our dead! From Nama shore!
From every beauteous Southland vale,
Is borne the saddest cry on earth,
A mother country's childless wail!
Weep stricken land,
Weep for thy slain!
Oh give them back
Historic pain!
They rise! Proud mother bare thy breast,
Dead sons would lay them down to rest!

Fathers! By all the pride of blood
And name bequeathed from sire to son,
Untarnished they return to shield,
By honor's death the lost boy won!
Grey veterans come!
Each battle plain
Bears witching heaps
Of kindred slain!
To martial step they are filing past,
Furloughed for home, you'll meet at last!

Mothers bereft! Unburied sons
Claim graves upon ancestral soil!
Thine are the hands to lift them up
And give them back again to God!
With feeble step,
And silvered head,
Ye childless Rachels
Raise thy dead!
While angels chant the martyr knell,
Aye, lift them gently where they fell.

Oh, sisters, who have early worn
Black grief in voiceless, deadly pain
Of stifled tears! The sickening cry
For Rama's sturdy manhood slain:
Come, maidens, come,
The task is ours,
To wreath their tombs
With Southern flowers.
Come, softly, while the sad refrain
Floats on, oh bring them back again.

Brothers! Ye braves of willing hand,
Ye're spared, but gallant comrades fell,
And few remain, in whispers low,
The glory of our Flag to tell!
Men battle-scarred!
Heroic death
Is all at last!
Life's sweetest breath
Can give no more--the [unclear] throng
Cry, give us graces! ye brothers strong!

Poor widows, who must yearn in vain,
With folding hands and drooping head,
By dreary hearth-stones wet with tears,
Come, help us lift our darling dead!
Oh suffering wife,
Their voices grand,
Ask graves upon
The mother land.
Where bright Magnolia forest steep
White incense--lay them down to sleep

Bury our dead! Sad human cry!
Beneath the stately flame-scathed pine,
Or orange grove, where dark-eyed maids,
Bright chaplets ever-green may twine--
Brothers disarmed!
The din is o'er,
We'll ask for graves
And claim no more,
Save drooping flag and muffled drum
For Southern dead! Come, Southrons, come!