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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: March 27, 1867

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-Page 01-

Hope For the South
(Column 05)
Summary: The N. Y. World asserts that the South should retain hope despite the political climate for several reasons. First, their warm climate gives them a comparative advantage over Northern agriculture. Second, cotton is in demand all over the world. Third, the destruction of slavery means that land owners no longer need to pay for all aspects of their workers' upkeep.
Origin of Article: N. Y. World

-Page 02-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: 110 visitors arrived at the American Hotel last week.
The Great Future
(Column 02)
Summary: This article encourages white Virginians to act as their Anglo-Saxon ancestors did by persevering and overcoming obstacles in times of trouble.
Full Text of Article:

The despondency and doubt that now oppress our people are, naturally, the consequence of "hope deferred which maketh the heart sick." But then there can be too much even of a good thing and certainly we have had enough of this. The schemes of our enemies and their oppressions are devilish, but a brave, cheerful spirit, a determination to work out of our troubles, and conquer in the end, will soon change the face of affairs. It is actually sinful for men, with brains to conceive and hands to execute, to be grumbling and growling over what can not be helped. It is a duty to look upon the bright side; to meet the situation and play our part in the great future, as worthy sons of a glorious ancestry.

Look for the moment at the past of this people, and prepare to meet the future as becomes the descendants of such a race. What race so grand in the conception of its ideas; so bold and daring in executing them? Witness Sir Walter Raleigh crossing the Atlantic in a frail bark, (a feat that puts to shame the late boasted Yacht match of the upstart Bennett and other yankees.) Witness Spottswood and his hardy 'Knights of the Golden Horse Shoe,' penetrating the vast wilderness of West Augusta; witness Washington, the boy engineer, making his way, foot sore and weary, over trackless mountains, and see the grand climax of his career at Yorktown; pointing a world to Freedom! Witness Virginia giving away vast territories, for the common good, with as little thought of self, as the "Lord of the Manor," gives his tenants a holiday. Remember the self-sacrificing devotion of Virginia to a Union that now seeks to crush her, in her hour of desolation. Remember the wonderful amount of talent this one State has produced and developed. Think of the late war for Justice and Right, the heroism and endurance of our soldiers; the patriotic devotion of our women. Look back; raise yourselves if you can, to the grand stand-point of the intellectual strength and manhood of the Fathers of the Republic. Dwell proudly on what has been accomplished. Think of how little this race has done for itself--how much for others. Then come down to the stern facts of the present, and prepare to play your parts like men, in the grand future still in store for us.

That age has passed away, but we must retain its noble, generous spirit. Our peculiar institutions, our ancient forms of law and every sacred right are subject to the will of a conqueror. There is no dishonor on the proud name handed down to us, by an ancestry that gave Freedom and a name to the powers which now control the Government of the United States. We fought a good fight, but an over-ruling Providence decreed we should be oppressed for a time. Still there is a way out of our troubles, it is to work; to use every means the enemies of the country have given us to defeat them. Look the future squarely in the face. This is a consolidated Government now, materialism reigns supreme; new ideas, new forms of government take the place of the old, and the world moves with railroad speed and calls it "progress." We must move and play our parts well in this new game of life, or we are surely lost. Be up and doing, and our future no man can conceive or venture to predict!

The Constitution Overthrown
(Column 03)
Summary: This editorial encourages readers to take note that the New York Times considers reconstruction legislation to be in violation of the Constitution and evidence of rule by the whim of Congress.
Full Text of Article:

It would be well for our people to ponder over the following remarkable admissions of the N. Y. Times, the leading Republican paper North. It is rather rough but still it is true. The Times says:

"Everything done by Congress to suppress the rebellion, says our correspondent, is found in the Constitution, and more would have been found if necessary. Unquestionably! But this is only a roundabout way of saying that the will of Congress became the supreme law of the land, and the provisions and prohibitions of the Constitution vanished in its presence. Congress did whatever it deemed necessary to be done--and it continues to do so down to the present hour. The reconstruction bill of the last session was, in nearly every one of its provisions, a clear and flagrant violation of the Constitution as intended by its framers, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, as maintained by every department of the Government hitherto, and as expressed in its clear and explicit language. Yet that bill is the law of the land, and as such will be enforced,--because it embodies the will of the nation, which has become a 'higher law' than the Constitution, and as such will control, not only its construction, but its application to the practical government of the country.

"We may just as well look this matter in the face. It is quite useless to ignore the plain and palpable fact that the rebellion and the war have revolutionized our Government. We are not now living under the Constitution of 1799, but under an unwritten Constitution which represents the national will as embodied in the action of Congress. The limitations of the old Constitution have ceased to have binding force. Congress exercises power never conferred upon it, and denies to States rights expressly reserved to them by the Constitution. And it does so with perfect impunity because there is no authority to overrule or reverse its action. The President is powerless, because two-thirds of Congress is against him. The Supreme Court is powerless, because the case cannot come up for its action, and even if it should, the Court has no means of enforcing its decrees. The people are without remedy, because ten States are not allowed any voice in the matter, and the remainder sustain the usurped authority. We are living under a de facto government, a government resting on force and on the will of the people who wield it--but an actual government nevertheless."

(Column 03)
Summary: The paper prints several negative responses from journals in the North to Thaddeus Stevens proposed plan of confiscation of the property of ex-Confederates.
Prices Then and Now
(Column 03)
Summary: This article discusses the change in prices since the beginning of last year. The price of breadstuffs has increased 32%, while dairy, beef and pork have fallen 20%. Grocery prices have fallen 10%.
"Alas! For the Rarity of Christian Charity."
(Column 05)
Summary: This editorial chastises as unchristian the position taken in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin that northerners should not send economic aid to the South if they continue to insist on electing ex-Confederates to office. In the eyes of the editors, such a stance amounts to proposing "that the suffering poor of the South be left to starve to death, on account of their political opinions."

-Page 03-

(Column 02)
Summary: B. F. Fifer, Flour Inspector, inspected in Staunton 7,500 barrels of flour from August 1st, 1866 to March 21st, 1867. "Right good for a 'burn-out,' Sheridanized district."
(Names in announcement: B. F. Fifer)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Last Friday "a lot of idle boys, Freedmen, &c., among whom we were surprised to see some respectable young men, collected near Bickle's corner and amused (or disgraced) themselves snow-balling people."
Our Valley Railroad
(Column 03)
Summary: The editors argue that "building the recently chartered Shenandoah River R. R." is a "much better idea" than focusing on the South's political misfortunes.
[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The "colored Baptist Congregation at the Natural Bridge" are planning to erect a church. "They have been liberally aided by the white people of the neighborhood. This is right and laudable."
County Court--March Term
(Column 04)
Summary: The County Court met, J. Marshall McCue presiding. David Hanger, charged with felony, was tried and acquitted. The Grand Jury, led by foreman T. E. Montgomery, issued the following indictments: Reuben Hill, Sam Jackson, Martin Hill, "colored," Frank Harris, David Hanger and Joseph Newman for petit larceny; Daniel Pannel and Calvin Davis for assault and battery. M. D. McCormick and Jacob H. Marshall were appointed road surveyors. James W. Baldwin qualified as Deputy Clerk. George W. Sutler renewed his bond as Notary Public. "In view of the condition of the roads and the backwardness of the farming operations, the Court deemed it proper to adjourn."
(Names in announcement: J. Marshall McCue, David Hanger, T. E. Montgomery, Reuben Hill, Sam Jackson, Martin Hill, Frank Harris, David Hanger, Joseph Newman, Daniel Pannel, Calvin Davis, M. D. McCormick, Jacob H. Marshall, James W. Baldwin, George W. Sutler)
(Column 04)
Summary: Benjamin Akers and Mrs. Frances Wiseman, both of Augusta, were married on March 21st at the County Clerk's Office by the Rev. J. I. Miller.
(Names in announcement: Benjamin Akers, Frances Wiseman, Rev. J. I. Miller)
(Column 04)
Summary: A. L. Berry and Miss Nancy J. Hulvy, both of Augusta, were married on January 3rd by the Rev. Mr. Ingles.
(Names in announcement: A. L. Berry, Nancy J. Hulvy, Rev. Ingles)
(Column 04)
Summary: W. E. Weddell, of the "Okolona News," and Miss Alice White, of Okolona Mississippi were married on March 6th by the Rev. Kerr.
(Names in announcement: W. E. Weddell, Alice White, Rev. Kerr)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mrs. Martha Risk, aged 59 years, died in Staunton on March 21st.
(Names in announcement: Martha Risk)
(Column 04)
Summary: Andrew H. Brady, aged 56 years, died in Salem on February 28th.
(Names in announcement: Andrew H. Brady)
(Column 04)
Summary: Charlie Paris, infant son of J. R. and Lucy J. Paris, died on March 21st. He was 23 months, 9 days old.
(Names in announcement: Charlie Paris, J. R. Paris, Lucy J. Paris)
(Column 04)
Summary: Johnny Hilbert, infant son of J. W. and Kate Hilbert, died in Staunton on March 23rd. He was 27 months old.
(Names in announcement: Johnny Hilbert, J. W. Hilbert, Kate Hilbert)

-Page 04-

The Soldier's Last Battle
(Column 01)
Summary: This poem submitted to the Valley Virginian was written to honor the death of Major Pettigrew of Georgia.
Full Text of Article:

For the "Valley Virginian."

Lines written on the death of Major Pettigrew, of Georgia, who was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Fredericksburg, December, 1862, and carried to Washington, D. C., where he died, and was buried, January 7, 1863, with Masonic honors.

Speak low, the heroes' breath is faint,
His conflict's almost o'er;
A few more hours with much restraint,
A few more sighs without complaint,
And he will be no more.

This form now bowed and writhed in pain,
Once in the battle stood;
And met and gave the steady aim,
Saw comrades die and feel the pain,
Amid the leaden flood.

The cannon's roar, the bugle's blast,
The battle's fierce display;
The death-shots falling thick and fast,
The bleeding wounded hurried past,
From break to close of day.

With order stern, "fixed bayonets; charge!
That battery take away!"
The fierce repulse, and counter charge,
"The enemy's forces are too large,"
Ne'er filled him with dismay.

But make the charge, this fight the last,
He here on earth can make;
And death's cold sweat is coming fast,
And faces strange are moving past,
Will this his courage shake?

Ah, no, e'en now 'though human aid
Is useless, and his soul
Must stand before the God who made
It for His glory, undismayed
He whispers, "Christ's my whole."

His head is raised, his eyes grow bright,
A voice he seems to hear;
And soon the blissful heavenly light
Dispels the shades, the gloom of night,
"Come! Soldier, do not fear."

His voice is hushed, that form is still,
And now lies cold in death;
Ne'er more will fight 'gainst wrong and ill,
The life an enemy must kill,
Has conquered with expiring breath.

Washington, D. C., Oct. 20, 1866.

The Effect of the Military Bill on Radicalism
(Column 01)
Summary: This excerpt from the National Intelligencer argues that the Military Reconstruction Bill, "forced on the South" by the Radical Republicans, will bring about their undoing. Other issues such as tariffs and taxation will divide the party, and the Radicals will loose power as it becomes obvious that Reconstruction is only a ploy designed by them to hold onto it.