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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: October 3, 1866

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-Page 01-

A Returned Confederate
(Column 06)
Summary: This article recounts the story of the journey home of an Augusta County soldier who had been held as a prisoner of war. After his release from Johnson's Island, he was without money or means to get back to his home nine miles from Staunton. After reaching Indiana on foot, he got into a scrape with a Federal officer at a bar. The officer had sworn to kill any of Ashby's men he came across, and since the returning Confederate fought with that unit, the two got into a fight. The Confederate, who was wounded, was later arrested.
Origin of Article: Lynchburg News
[No Title]
(Column 06)
Summary: The paper reprints an excerpt from a Petersburg paper which outlines Thad Stevens' plans for the reconstruction of the South. According to the article, the State governments will be destroyed and treated as conquered provinces, southern property will be confiscated and given to African American soldiers, and blacks will receive voting rights. "It seems incredible that such fiendish malignity and utter recklessness should possess a human heart, but history unfortunately make us familiar with the spectacle of such demons in the highest positions of political power.
Origin of Article: Petersburg
Gen. Lee--His Application For Pardon
(Column 07)
Summary: The paper prints the response of Gen. Grant to Lee's application for pardon, in which Grant assures Lee that neither he nor the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia will be tried for treason.

-Page 02-

The Future and Our Duties
(Column 02)
Summary: This editorial comes out in opposition to the 14th Amendment and offers suggestions for how to deal with the situation if it passes. The article asserts that if African Americans get right of suffrage, the white South can "control it." In the meantime, southerners should concentrate on material growth.
Full Text of Article:

Last week we re-published the proposed Constitutional Amendment. At a glance our readers can see that it practically disfranchises our best citizens, and the proviso about representation means that if we make the concession asked, it will be followed by a demand for further humiliation. On general principles, we are opposed to amending the Constitution in any form until all the States are fully represented, but more especially are we opposed to this amendment. It would be unbecoming in a brave and honest people to ratify a provision they believe fraught with mischief to the whole country, and the bribe offered, of increased representation, is too essentially Yankee to meet with anything but reprobation and scorn in the South.

In this connection we find our views so fully expressed by that brave and honest paper, the New York Freeman's Journal, that we adopt them. It says: "Either the people who constitute each political State in the South have a right to be represented in the United States Congress, or they have not! We hold they have the right. But, if so, they have a right to choose their representatives, freely--be the ones chosen black or white--be they native or foreign born--and no matter what their antecedents--so being that they fulfil the conditions laid down in the fundamental law--called the Constitution of the United States."

The provisions of this "bill of abominations" may be practically forced upon us by the mad folly of the Radicals, if they continue in power; negro suffrage may be enforced at the point of the bayonet on a disarmed and helpless people, whose only crime is a gallant defence of what they honestly believed to be right. The infernal and ineradicable hatred of the New England Yankee Radicals to the Southern people may glut itself by forcing this obnoxious policy upon us, but let it never be said that the manhood and principle of the South have sunk so low as to consent to it as right, or endorse it by making it even in form law.

Some will ask, "What are we to do?" Suppose the negroes are, by force, endowed with all the privileges of freeborn white men; suppose the Radicals carry the day, and Andrew Johnson and his party back down? Suppose everything that is diabolical and mean; suppose this people, the gallant and glorious people of the South, are to be overrun with swarms of Radical vermin, or worse still, ruled by the dirty scoundrels called "Southern Loyalists"--what then? Better this than the self-imposed degradation of voting for this amendment. If forced to meet the issue of practical negro suffrage, we can meet it and control it, as we have always controlled the negro element among us. And, while utterly and forever refusing to accept the principles, or endorse in any way, shape, or form, the proposed amendment, let us prepare for the worst and look the future steadily and calmly in the face. Let each and every man so do his duty towards this unfortunate class that is a thing they do not desire is forced upon them by their enemies and ours the blow aimed at us by the Radical devils may be turned against them. It can be done if good sense and sound practiced judgement is used by the whites, and it behooves ever man, white and black, now to use his influence, that, come what may, the damnable schemes of the Radical Abolitionists for the destruction of the black race, and the ruin of the country, shall be defeated, even by the very weapons they propose to use against us.

The past, with its hopes; its suffering; its horrors and its glories, is behind us. It is useless to dwell upon it in discussing the stern, practical present. Mighty issues are upon us. A run mad mob, flushed with victory and hate, and conscious of power, pay no respect to our feelings, or our views, but seek in every way to insult and degrade us. It becomes us then, as a people, the guardians of the fame and name of a glorious race, to look well to it, that nothing is done by our constituted State authorities to disgrace us or tarnish the glory of the loved and lost. But, at the same time, it is our duty to look facts sternly in the face, and be prepared for all that may be forced upon us. Every man should think over this question, seriously, and taking counsel with his God, do his duty, without fear, favor, or affection.

We are among those who believe that our destiny, as a people, is in our own hands, and we believe that nothing is to be gained by concessions to the vile spirit of Radicalism at home, or in the North. We have done enough to satisfy their most outrageous demands, and our duty now is so plain that "he who runs may read" it. We repeat it is to think, to work, to encourage every mechanical enterprise, to cultivate the most friendly relations with the freedmen, to hold to our honor--all that is left--and in a few years we can laugh to scorn the efforts of the scum of the earth to degrade us. Always remember the true maxim "that no one but himself can disgrace a man."

We repeat it again, think, work, act. Teach the rising generation to be practical, to be Yankees in energy and perseverance, and in that alone, encourage every mechanical and manufacturing enterprise; develope every resource of this grand country; work with an eye single to the great object of achieving material independence, and political strength necessarily follows. Out of this country, by hard knocks, our future is to be made prosperous and happy; and if we are worthy of our past, we can make it all, and more than the most sanguine ever dreamed.

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that an "epidemic" of marriages had replaced "California Fever" as the rage in the Valley.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The 22nd Regiment Va. Militia will be reorganized at New Hope, Augusta County, on October 6th.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports the rumor that some Federal soldiers who had been gathering up the dead in the Valley were "detected in robbing the teeth of the bodies of the gold fillings. 'Business is business.'"
Boy Children
(Column 02)
Summary: A Virginian correspondent reports that "forty boy children have been born in Staunton and the vicinity in the last month. He hopes it is not 'treasonable' or 'disloyal' to say he is glad of it."
(Column 02)
Summary: A religious meeting lead by the Episcopal Methodists "has been in progress at Mount Solon for about two weeks past." The Quarterly meeting led by Rev. E. F. Busey and Rev. G. W. Stevenson commenced the services. "It is represented that much good has already been accomplished in that community."
(Names in announcement: Rev. E. F. Busey, Rev. G. W. Stevenson)
A Good Idea
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper recommends a plan being used in Columbus, Mississippi and other southern cities in which "one or more reliable colored men" are "selected and put under the control of the Chief of Police, with authority to keep 'watch and ward' over the negro population." "There are colored men in Staunton who would and could attend to such duty efficiently, and we have no doubt but that much of the annoyance and trouble now complained of would soon be stopped by this plan."
Grand Tournament in the Institution Meadow
(Column 03)
Summary: A medieval tournament was held in Staunton which consisted of riding, competitions, and a dance. The paper publishes the names of the winning knights, and the girls selected as Queen and maids of honor.
(Names in announcement: A. W. HarmanJr., E. B. Burke, Alex Harman, E. Parker, J. P. O'Ferrall, Michael G. HarmanJr., Avery Covell, Alice Woodward, Rosa Chapman, Emma Peyton, Kate Woodward, Jannette Peyton)
From Halifax
(Column 03)
Summary: This letter describes the crops, race relations, and physical characteristics of Long Branch, Augusta County.
Full Text of Article:

The Dispatch has an interesting correspondence from Long Branch in this County. He represents the crops as fine, especially on the Staunton River, particularly the Tobacco crop. He says the negroes are more contented than in any other portion of the State, and are working well. The writer informs the public of a fact we were fully aware of long ago, and that is the remarkable beauty and attractiveness of the ladies of old Halifax, and of that region. Speaking of Long Branch he says: "This place was not on the map of Virginia when your correspondent was a boy, learning geography; but since that time it has grown to be a place of vast importance, and perhaps it can now be found by reference to some late editions of the map of Virginia. It is handsomely situated on the banks of the Staunton, and is widely celebrated for its great beauty and hospitality. There has been some diminution of the population here owing to the result of the war; still it continues in a most prosperous condition, and promises to be as attractive as ever." We wonder if "owing to the result of peace," somebody hasn't hopes of making it still less?

[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The editors complain of "tight" money matter in Augusta county.
Police Items
(Column 04)
Summary: Caroline Thornton was arrested on complaint of Louisa Green; and, John McLinch on complaint of Sallie Walker. All were African Americans. The charges were dropped by the Judge due to lack of evidence. A drunken white man was found on New Street. He was so drunk, he could not recall his name, and is being quartered at the Harlan Hotel.
(Names in announcement: Caroline Thornton, Louisa Green, John McLinch, Sallie Walker)
(Column 04)
Summary: Major Thomas Shumate, C. S. A., and Miss Carrie Shumate, both of Augusta, were married on October 2nd by the Rev. Mr. Lafferty.
(Names in announcement: Major Thomas Shumate, Carrie Shumate, Rev. Lafferty)

-Page 04-