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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: June 27, 1866

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-Page 01-

[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper prints the following response to the Civil Rights Bill from a Texas paper: "We've buried the hatchet--yes, and we've eaten dirt enough to cover it forever; but as some emphatic writer says, 'd--d if we have much respect for the man who pretends that he likes it.'"

-Page 02-

In Memoriam! The Work Last Thursday! What Remains to be Done!
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports on last week's day of work in the Soldier's Cemetery. Stores were closed and much of the town spent the day digging graves and making improvements to the Cemetery. The paper cites cooperation between black and white Staunton residents as proof that the Radicals are in error. The editors also propose establishment of a fund raising organization to help continue the work.
(Names in announcement: Charles T. O'Ferrall)
Full Text of Article:

Last Thursday broke upon the citizens of Staunton and its visitors, like a Sabbath morn; every store was closed and the great majority of the people could be seen hurrying to the Soldiers' Cemetery, armed with picks and shovels, to devote the day to the holy work of preparing graves for the repose of those who are now scattered over the Country. Right all the work was done, and night closed upon 174 graves dug; 294 places, 6 feet square, for trees, and the large square (16x16 and three feet deep) in the center for the "unknown dead," completed. Everyone worked with a will, and now the rough work at the Cemetery is completed. All honor to those who participated; if their bones ache, they have the satisfaction of knowing a sacred duty has been nobly performed.

The ladies were out in numbers, and encouraged the working parties with smiles of approval, and a generous contribution of provisions. The colored people did their share and worked most faithfully. In the evening, after having Ice Cream served to all present, by the ladies, Colonel Charles T. O'Ferrall delivered a brief, but eloquent and appropriate speech, at the conclusion of which he formed a procession, headed by the Stonewall Band and marched through the principal streets of the town, and dismissed it at the Court House. Prominent in the procession were the colored workmen, and if a "radical" could have seen them, he would have changed his ideas about how the people get along together here. Altogether the day passed off splendidly and the best order prevailed. All seemed to appreciate the noble work they were engaged in, and the Ladies' Cemetery Committee desire to return thanks to all.

And now that the rough work is over, what remains to be done? Much, and it behooves us to go about it in a manner that will ensure success. We suggest that a "League of Honor" be formed; each member to pay ten cents a week, to be appropriated specially to this glorious work. In Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Missouri and Maryland let similar Leagues be formed, and by this means, without oppressing any one, the Soldiers' Cemetery, of Staunton, can be made all it should be, in honor of the 'fallen brave.' We will develope this idea more fully in our next issue, and in the mean time ask our Southern exchanges, to call on the Governors of their States, to ask their people to aid us in this work.

Ten cents a week! It is a small amount to look at but it will, if all that are able contribute, enable the Ladies Soldiers' Cemetery Committee to complete their noble work; and we feel confident it will be cordially responded to. A good day's work has been done. Let us not "weary of well doing," but with one heart and one mind continue the glorious work.

Public Meeting in Augusta. Important Resolutions.
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper prints the proceedings of a public meeting held to protest the amendments proposed to the Constitution by Republicans in Congress. The citizens of Staunton assert that Congress is currently an unconstitutional body, since the southern states are barred from representation. The meeting also passed resolutions of support for Andrew Johnson.
(Names in announcement: J. Marshall McCue, William Withrow, A. H. H. Stuart, John Merritt, J. G. Fulton, Thomas J. Michie, William M. Tate)
Full Text of Article:

At a meeting of the people of Augusta, held at the Court House of the County, on June 26th (Court Day)--on motion of Hon. Alex H. H. Stuart, J. Marshall McCue, Esq., was called to the Chair and Wm. Withrow, Jr., appointed Secretary.

The Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, in a speech of great ability, explained the object of the meeting.

Mr. Stuart moved the appointment of a Committee, and submitted some remarks which were substantially as follows:

It having been made known to the public, through official channels, that the body of men now assembled in Washington, and which claims to be the Congress of the United States, has adopted an article, proposing several important amendments to the Constitution of the United States, which they have caused to be communicated to the authorities of the several States, for ratification and adoption, as a part of the organic law. The people of Augusta county, Virginia, feel that it is alike our right and our duty, to assemble, at out Court House, in public meeting, and express our earnest and deliberate protest against this action of the so-called Congress.

We maintain that the body to which we refer is not organized in conformity to the letter or spirit of the Constitution, but in derogation of both, and is, in no just sense, a Congress of the United States.

The Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 1st, provides, that "All legislative powers herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

The Constitution then prescribes the mode in which these two bodies shall be organized.

"The House of Representatives, shall be composed of members chosen, every second year, by the people of the several States"--Art. I, Sec. 2, Clause 1.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislatures thereof--Art. I, Sec. 3, Clause 1.

The 5th article of the Constitution, which prescribes the mode of altering and amending the Constitution, provides that it shall not be competent, even by an amendment to the Constitution, to deprive a State of its equal representation in the Senate. The clause is in these words, "no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

In view of these plain requirements of the Constitution, we have no hesitation in expressing our conviction that the body now assembled in Washington, and from which the representatives of eleven States of the Union are excluded, and by which those eleven States are deprived, not only of equal, but of all suffrage in the Senate has no just claim to be recognized as the Congress of the United States.

We maintain, further, that the unworthy device to which that body has resorted, under the name of a "concurrent resolution" is a mere subterfuge, to evade a plain provision of the Constitution which requires, (Art. I, Sec. 7, Clause 3,) that every order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives, may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment,) shall be presented to the President of the United States, and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Notwithstanding this imperative mandate of the Constitution, the President in his recent message, has informed the Country that the resolution of Congress, above referred to, was not submitted to him for his approval.

If an evasion like this be tolerated, an important provision of the Constitution will become a dead letter--the Executive will be stripped of one of his most important prerogatives, and the people deprived of an indispensable safeguard of liberty.

The amendments which are proposed to be incorporated into the Constitution, are worthy of the source from which they emanated. Stripped of the flimsy disguise by which their deformity is sought to be concealed, they are, substantially:

1st, Negro equality in all respects.

2nd, The disfranchisement of every Southern man, who obeyed the authority of his State and proved loyal to the instincts of humanity.

3rd, The repudiation of all Confederate obligations.

To the 3rd amendment we can have no objection, except that it is unnecessary and tends to mislead the public mind; because it was well known to the authors of this amendment, that the several States had anticipated their action, by adopting efficient measures to prevent the assumption or payment of any debt contracted in aid of the war.

To the other two amendments we are inflexibly opposed. They involve flagrant violations of the reserved rights of the States; tend to inflame sectional animosity and to retard the restoration of union and harmony in the Country, and were manifestly intended to degrade and humiliate the people of the South.

We therefore indignantly protest against their adoption, as leading inevitably to new troubles, and to the disturbance of the just relations between the States and the Federal government, and ultimately to the consolidation of all power in the government of the United States; and we earnestly invite the people of our sister Counties, and of all the Southern States, to assemble promptly, at their respective Court Houses, and pronounce a similar judgement of condemnation on this mischievous attempt to undermine the foundation of Constitutional liberty.

As for ourselves, we could not sanction any such amendment without personal dishonor, and the basest ingratitude and injustice to those of our fellow citizens who merit the largest share of our esteem and confidence.

We prefer not to be represented at all, in the national councils, rather than to be represented only by those whose past history gives no assurance that they will be true to their trusts.

We are determined, at all hazards, to maintain our self-respect unimpaired, and therefore we must withhold our sanction from measures which necessarily involve a sacrifice of high moral principle.

We have been overwhelmed, but we have not yet been degraded. That can be done only with our own consent, and that consent never will be given.

Our rights may be ravished from us by [unclear], but we will never agree that Virginia shall be placed in the position of a political prostitute, by giving consent to her own degradation and dishonor.

Whereupon, on motion, a committee of five persons were appointed to report resolutions for the meeting.

The following were appointed, A. H. H. Stuart, John Merritt, J. G. Fulton, Thomas J. Michie and William M. Tate.

On motion the meeting adjourned to half past 3 o'clock.

At half past 3 o'clock the meeting resumed business, and the following preamble and resolutions were reported, and on motion, as the sense of the meeting, unanimously adopted.

Whereas, on the 8th day of May, 1865, the people of Augusta, in general meeting, assembled "to take measures looking to re-organization of the Government of Virginia in conformity to the Constitution and laws of the United States," with just appreciation of the duties inforced on them by the results of war, and of the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the of the United States, pledge themselves in good faith, to co-operate with others for the restoration of the union; and announced principles and opinions which have since been sanctioned and illustrated by the acts and declarations of Andrew Johnson, the President of the United States, and have been and are discharging, with scrupulous fidelity, the duties of citizens, obeying the laws, paying taxes, and bearing other burdens of government; and, whereas, notwithstanding, that the right of taxation has heretofore been deemed inseparable from the right of representation, the Congress of the United States, in the absence of Senators and Representatives from eleven States of the Union, propose deliberately to continue to the imposition of taxes on the people of the South, without their consent or voice in the enactment of laws for the purpose: and not only so, but against the protestation of the President and the judgement of all just men, to propose, for ratification by the States, amendments of the Constitution of the United States, which never could have been matured and passed if all the States had been in Congress by their representatives; and not this only, but, as is alleged, looking upon the Union as dissolved in fact, as to the eleven Southern States, and upon these as States still out of the Union, the said Congress propose, that the ratification of the amendment recently propounded, through the Secretary of State, not by an "act of Congress," to which the approval of the President would have been necessary, but by "a concurrent resolution" to avoid the effects on the country of a veto of the act--that the ratification of this amendment, so devised and propounded, by each of the eleven Southern States shall be a condition precedent to the restoration of the Union--and, whereas, apart from the fact that said amendment was passed by the two houses of Congress in violation of the Constitution itself; and, apart from all else, in the article propounded, unjust and oppressive to the people of the South, Virginians can never ratify, without self imposed dishonor or degradation, an amendment of the Constitution which, notwithstanding professions of sincere loyalty, and acts of patriotism, the President's pardon, and the rights of persons elsewhere guaranteed in the Constitution, seeks to degrade and disfranchise the ablest and purest men of the State for the discharge of the duties imposed on them by the free suffrage of the people, or for sympathy and cooperation, during the recent struggle, with an overwhelming majority of the people of Virginia; and, whereas, whilst it is the unalterable purpose of the people of Augusta County, to obey the laws, to bear patiently the burdens of Government, even though denied the right of representation, and cordially to sustain the wise and patriotic policy of the President of the United States, it is equally their fixed determination, to take part in no act which will deprive them of a proud sense of self-respect or bring shame upon them and their posterity.

Therefore be it resolved:

1. That the people of Augusta County cannot too warmly express their gratitude that God has placed in power, as President of the United States, a citizen who having the wisdom to discern, has the moral courage to act upon principles, which a people who love liberty and appreciate the Constitution, must sooner or later sanction and adopt.

2. That whilst we recognized our duty as good citizens to obey the laws, and to bear the burdens of the Government--as freemen we enter our earnest protest against the violation, through us, of the fundamental principles of free Government evinced by the refusal of the two houses of Congress to admit our Senators and Representatives to vote for or against the taxes we are to pay, the burdens we are to bear and the Constitutional amendments to be propounded to the States for their ratification!

3. That the people of Augusta can never authorize their Senator and delegates in the General Assembly to vote for the article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States propounded, as before stated, by the two houses of Congress; and that, in their opinion, it is far better for Virginia to maintain her position, as a State out of the Union, and at the same time discharge the duties of a State in the Union, than to enter the Halls of Congress with the brand of self-imposed degradation upon her brow, and the object of the just scorn of mankind; and that therefore it is the fixed purpose of the people, without passion or excitement, and with no view to disturb the order or harmony of the country, to decline even to consider any proposed amendments of the Constitution until, to use the words of President Johnson in his recent message to Congress "after the admission of such loyal Senators and Representatives of the now unrepresented States as have been or may hereafter be chosen in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States."

4. That the people of Augusta are prepared patiently to await the results of the contest, now to be waged between the friends and the enemies of the conservative principles of free government in the North, and for the time when those who hold the power now shall be removed from the public trusts they have abused; and in the meantime by such means as are left them, by their cordial approval and their prayers, they will endeavor to uphold the hands of Andrew Johnson, the great leader of their deliverance, as from his high eminence, he looks upon and directs the struggle which must result either in a revolution not only in the forms of Government, but in the principles of the Constitution itself, or in the vindication of its ancient doctrines and the consequent prosperity and Union of the States.

6. That the people of the other counties of Virginia, and of our sister States, be requested to hold public meetings and unite with us in endeavoring to defeat the proposed amendment.

7. That the newspapers of Staunton and Richmond, and other towns of the State, be requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting and that a copy of the same be sent to the National Intelligencer.

On motion the meeting adjourned.

J. Marshall McCue, Chairman.
Wm. Withrow, Secretary.

Letter from Staunton
(Column 05)
Summary: This letter from a traveler in Staunton, originally for the Richmond Dispatch, describes the town's weather, leisure activities, decoration of the Soldier's Cemetery, and praises its hotels.
Full Text of Article:

Staunton, June 21, 1866.

I have been spending a week in this pleasant mountain town. The days have been pleasant and the nights cool enough for fire. The cool weather has been favorable for the wheat, which promises to be of excellent quality, and much more abundant than was thought sometime since. Staunton has its base-ball club, its fishing club, and its glee club, and is, I should think, rather a pleasant place for young people. To-day is observed as a holiday. The citizens are turning out en masse to adorn the Soldiers' Cemetery. Carriages are passed hither by scores. All places of business are closed. The colored people to-day lay the corner-stone of a new Methodist meeting-house, and hold a fair for the benefit of that object.

I have been proving the merits of the Virginia Hotel, which a recent correspondent complimented. He said not a word too much. I have been travelling for months, and have not found, for comfort, good cheer, and all that makes up a good public house, "the old Virginia" surpassed, if indeed equalled.

I have met here one of the firm who is engaged in preparing the famous Renold's pill, advertised in you columns. It has a wonderful reputation among the people of this community. I knew Dr. Renolds. He was an eminent practitioner, and this pill, which he had spent years in preparing, was his usual prescription for the maladies for which it is now offered.

Staunton, last to give up the Union, one of the first in war, was also one of the first to realize the situation at its close, and go to building up on a new basis. Great energy and progress are visible, and when the new railroads are completed the people here hope to see this a city. E. T. A.

Rich. Dispatch, June 23d.

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports 342 arrivals at Staunton hotels in the past week.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that "the honest laborers at the Soldiers' Cemetery gave their labor for last Thursday free.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that a "sacrilegious thief" stole a portrait of Stonewall Jackson from the Town Hall.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper notes that Richter, "the celebrated Staunton Brewer," "did not forget the working party at the Cemetery, last Thursday. He sent a keg of his best."
(Names in announcement: Richter)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports that the African American Bethel fair raised $135.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Mrs. William H. Harman plans to open a boarding and day school for young ladies. "Every advantage, necessary to render the school a success, has been secured, and no effort will be spared to make the school what it purports to be."
(Names in announcement: Mrs. William H. Harman)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper complains that "the colored people" "are stirring up a great prejudice, by the unnecessary noise they make at such late hours every night, in their Church. Parson Lawson would do well to moderate this annoyance and teach his people that noise is not religion."
To Farmers
(Column 02)
Summary: The Ladies Cemetery Committee of Staunton call upon the farmers of Augusta and adjoining counties "to report to the Committee the names and the number of the dead Confederates buried on their farms." The list will be used to plan re-internment in the Soldier's Cemetery.
Town Council
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper gives the proceedings of a meeting of the Town Council. A proposition of Roberts, Nelson and Co. was dismissed. A $30 fine was assessed the Superintendent of Water Works on account of several complaints. The fine was reduced to $20 on motion of Mr. Bickle. Robert Knightly's bid to clean Lewis Creek from Beverly street to the west side of the bridge at Lewis Street for $650 was accepted.
(Names in announcement: Bickle, Robert Knightly)
County Court
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports on the meeting of the County Court. J. Marshall McCue presided. The felony case "Commonwealth vs. George Hawkins (colored)" was dismissed. "The County levy was laid at $3 each titheable, making total levy $15,627, of which sum $6,500 was appropriated for the support of the poor, and for the building of additional houses at the Poor House for freedmen. Dr. John W. Gillespie qualified as Notary Public. W. J. Dews "was required to give counter security on his official bond as Notary Public." Thomas S. Hogshead and A. L. Turk were appointed road commissioners. J. G. Fulton, John Pilson, and W. F. Smith were appointed vice commissioners.
(Names in announcement: J. Marshall McCue, George Hawkins, Dr. John W. Gillespie, W. J. Dews, Thomas S. Hogshead, A. L. Turk, J. G. Fulton, John Pilson, W. F. Smith)
A Message from the President on the Reconstruction Question
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper presents Andrew Johnson's objections to Congressional proposals to amend the Constitution. He asserts that Congress did not present the bill properly to the President, and argues that nothing should be done while southern states are denied a vote and representation.
Breakers Ahead
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper prints an excerpt arguing that the course of the Republican Congress is dangerous to the peace of the country. If they should happen to pass bills or elect a president which southerners and northern democrats together reject, a second, non-sectional, civil war could break out over control of the government.
Full Text of Article:

We have heretofore undertaken to present in our own way, the political difficulty threatening to grow out of the persistent refusal of a majority in Congress to receive members of the Southern States. The following clear and pointed view of the case is from the New York times:

Suppose matters stand in 1866 substantially as they stand to-day--none of the Southern States represented in Congress. Is it not reasonably certain that they will all be represented in the Democratic nominees? Now suppose their votes, together with those of the Northern States that may vote the Democratic ticket, constitute a majority of the electoral college--what will be the result? It may be said their votes will not be counted. Congress containing only Northern members--the South not being represented in it--will reject them. Will that rejection be accepted by the country? Will the mass of the Southern people, or the mass of the Democratic party in the North, acquiesce in it? And would not such resistance be most menacing to the peace of the country? That would not be an attempt at secession; it would be in no sense a sectional conflict; it would present to the country and the world the aspect of a majority of the people insisting upon their right to control the Government, as against the unconstitutional usurpation of the minority.

The case stated as possible by the Times will prove to be a certainty, but we do not think the radicals will dare to resist the will of the majority for a moment. If they should the leaders would have a wonderfully short shift. There would be no general war. The whole affair would be settled in the most summary manner.--Cincinnati Enquirer.

(Column 03)
Summary: Josiah J. Crews, of Danville, Va., married Miss Martha M. Potter at the Staunton residence of Capt. Balthis on June 21st. The Rev. R. H. Phillips presided.
(Names in announcement: Josiah J. Crews, Martha M. Potter, Capt. Balthis, Rev. R. H. Phillips)
(Column 03)
Summary: John W. Burkholder and Miss Virginia F. Vines, both of Augusta, were married on June 19th by the Rev. W. R. Stringer.
(Names in announcement: John W. Burkholder, Virginia F. Vines, Rev. W. R. Stringer)
(Column 03)
Summary: William Davis of Augusta County died on June 23rd. He was 99 years, 9 months, and 23 days old, and had been a member of the Methodist Church for forty years.
(Names in announcement: William Davis)

-Page 04-

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

Tread lightly--'tis a soldier's grave,
A lonely, mossy mound--
And yet, to hearts like mine and thine,
It should be holy ground.

Speak gently--let no careless laugh,
No idle, thoughtless jest,
Escape your lips, where sweetly sleeps
The hero in his rest.

For him no reveille shall beat.
When morning beams shall come;
For him, at night, no tattoo rolls
Its thunder from the drum.

No costly marble marks the place,
Recording deeds of fame,
But rudely on that bending tree
Is carved the soldier's name.

A name--not dear to us--but ah!
There may be lips that breathe
That name as sacredly and low
As vesper prayers at eve.

There may be brows that wear for him
The mourning cypress vine;
And hearts that make this lonely grave
A holy pilgrim shrine.

There may be eyes that joyed to gaze
With love into his own,
Now keeping midnight vigils long
With silent grief alone.

There may be hands now clasp'd in prayer
This soldier's hand has pressed,
And cheeks washed pale by sorrow's tears,
His own cold cheek caressed.

Tread lightly--for a man bequeathed,
Ere laid beneath this sod,
His ashes to his native land,
His gallant soul to God!