Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: June 10, 1869

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

-Page 02-

War on the Dead
(Column 01)
Summary: Desirous of a peaceful "reconciliation" with former enemies, the author is outraged by the shameful acts of Union soldiers toward the Confederate dead. The author recounts a story of one Union lieutenant, who ordered a charge on those paying their respects at Confederate graves at Arlington Cemetery. Blame is affixed squarely on the shoulders of GAR Post No. 1. This article claims that bitterness is only perpetuated through these types of acts. It implies that southerners would never commit such heinous acts of disrespect and that all animosity left over from the war is the fault of ill-mannered northerners.
Full Text of Article:

The Philadelphia Press, the most rabid of the Radical press, says: "All our statutes breathe ultimate pardon to the worst offenders. There is no such thing in this land of love and liberty as revengeful punishment." In another column of the same issue the following paragraph occurs:

"The time will come when the Union soldier, with [unclear] the cause of loyalty honor to the memory of the men who were brave enough to meet him in battle but it is not now. Wait until the traitors both to the North and South, the men who would not fight for their country, and were afraid to fight against it, have passed away."

In the name of humanity, Christianity--of every kindly feeling that the great God has planted in our nature, we would ask whether the nurturing of a few innocent flowers over the grave of the brave enemy would endanger the cause of "loyalty?" The government is pledged to peace, with the sheathing of the blade came the olive branch, and with it the hope of future brotherhood. Yet, why is it considered policy to keep alive a bitterness that only tends to goad the conquered into acts of violent retaliation? A strange mode of lulling the troubled waters. Maybe the loyal "Grand Army of the Republic" fear that (to use the language of a contemporary) "the primrose might turn to powder, and the heart's case might bristle into a bayonet." Or do they fear that the rebel flowers might take root in a soil enriched by bones who perished in defense of their homes and liberties? The coward attempts to flee from his own shadow--there is a ghost in every nook and groan in every peeling breeze. According to Forney's creed, it is policy to insult the dead, to bayonet those who would honor the departed brave, to teach children to detest a Southerner and to trample with exultation upon his lonely grave. It is policy to smother all the nobler emotions of humanity, and to nurture the darker and viler passions. And what is behind that policy? Why, surely--to keep the feeling of hatred alive in the Northern heart, in order that the dominant party may continue to rob the public crib and ride rough shod over a groaning people!

At a recent gathering at the Arlington Cemetery of persons desirous of doing honor to the dead by strewing flowers over their graves, the following scene, as described by the New York Herald took place:

"The lieutenant in command whose name is Shirley, but of which I am not certain, was particularly offensive in his manner. Seeing a lady throw a small bouquet on one of these (Confederate) graves that lieutenant rushed to the spot, picked up the flowers, and throwing them on the ground at his feet, commenced stomping on them in a manner as to attract about him a crowd of wandering spectators in a very few minutes. Some of the lookers on, learning the cause of the lieutenant's rage, commenced to murmur disappropriation, when the lieutenant shouted out, "D-n you, get away from here, every one of you, or I'll make you. Guards, come up here and disperse this crowd." The lieutenant accompanied these words with angry gestures, and swirling his arms about as if he intended to pitch generally into the crowd. His guards answered his call but the crowd dispersed without waiting to be bayoneted.

The brave "boy in blue," this Shirley should have been cashiered from the service before he had time to return to his quarters. He was, however, in all possibility, acting under the orders of Post No. 1, of the "Grand Army of the Republic," who had the arrangement of affairs, and whose magnanimous resolutions we published in our issue last week. If so, he and his gallant horse who were ordered to charge upon a crowd of women and children, deserve a leather medal for their indomitable courage. What right had the lady to show sorrow for a dead rebel, and so an act of reverence which belonged exclusively to the "truly loyal"? It was treason, and the valiant guard were ordered to suppress it at the point of a bayonet. Shame for the age we live in! shame for the Government we have been compelled to bow to--whose hired minions are commanded to slaughter the innocent because one tender hearted female dared to drop a flower on a brave man's grave.

"Oh beauteous peace!
Sweet union of a state what thou
Give safety, strength, and glory to a people?

The Canvass
(Column 02)
Summary: This article briefly outlines a recent meeting of the Executive Committee of the Conservative party in Staunton. The author comments on a number of speakers including Major Douglas, who endorsed the Walker ticket for Governor and Walker himself. Themes of the evening's addresses included black and white Virginians working together against carpetbaggers and scalawags, and the construction of the Valley Railroad.
Full Text of Article:

Major Beverly B. Douglas, of King William County, one of the canvassers at large supported by the Executive Committee of the Conservative party addressed our citizens at the Court House on Saturday last. At the hour appointed he was introduced by Judge H.W. Sheffey, and commenced a stirring speech in behalf of the Walker ticket, and the adoption of the expurgated constitution. When he announced that, though a thorough Democrat, he now took pleasure in supporting Walker as the only available man for the office of Governor, and he considered it the duty of all true Virginians to do the same, there was a voluntary burst of applause. He advised that the whites and negroes work together in pulling down the carpet baggers and scalawags who were infecting their native soil. Without the white horse and the black horse would pull together the wagon (VIRGINIA) would be left in the mire. On the whole the address of Maj. Douglas was a good one.

At the conclusion Judge Sheffey announced the presence of Gilbert C. Walker, who sat by the side of A.H.H. Stuart, Esq., and was the observed of all the observers; this announcement caused a general clamor on the part of the audience, and when Col. Walker walked to the stand he was greeted cordially by all present. Mr. Stuart introduced him. He is a fine looking man--has a countenance expressive of firmness and decision mingled with benevolence and good humor. If appearances do not belie, he is a gentleman every inch of him. He merely stated that he would address the citizens of Augusta and Staunton at length on the 28th instant, and complained of being considerably bumped and thumped in his old time stages, until all speechifying had been knocked out of him for the present. He said that if Col. Harman did not hurry on the Valley Railroad, the citizens of Staunton ought to ride him out of town on a rail--Col. Harman was seated directly opposite him at the time.

-Page 03-

Augusta Female Seminary
(Column 01)
Summary: The commencement exercises of the Augusta Female Seminary will be held on June 16th in the Presbyterian Church. Col. M. P. Johnson of Washington College will deliver an address.
(Column 01)
Summary: The firemen of Staunton paraded in the streets on Memorial Day. The band of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institution accompanied them, and "took occasion to serenade the young ladies of the different Schools."
In Memoriam
(Column 02)
Summary: This article describes a ceremony organized in honor of the Confederate dead. Gathering together to decorate Confederate graves, upwards of four thousand people joined together in remembrance. Among those in attendance were members of the Stonewall Brigade marching band, pupils from the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute in Staunton, and numerous others.
(Names in announcement: Dr. J. L. Brown)
Full Text of Article:

The decoration of the graves of the Confederate dead in the city Cemetery took place according to announcement on Saturday morning last. The weather was delightful and a pleasant breeze from the West prevented the rays of the sun from having too much power. The stores and places of business were all closed not only through respect of the memory of the dead, but, in order that every one might participate in the solemn ceremonies. From eight o'clock until ten there was a continuous stream of people of all sexes, ages and conditions making toward the burial ground. The ladies and children predominated, and, laden with their burden of flower offerings, evinced an interest in the ceremonies which was highly creditable to them.--The Council of the Friends of Temperance made a handsome display with their regalia and banners, led by the old Stonewall Brigade under the direction of Prof. Turner, an Association, which, if they were to go into good training, would prove a credit to Staunton. The pupils of the D.D. & B. Institute marched to the ground, accompanied by their band. Most of the girls and boys bore wreaths and bouquets, which they strewed over the graves. The Fire Company of this Institution turned out in uniform. It is presumed that there were between three and four thousand people on the ground, among them were the young ladies of the Augusta Seminary and Virginia Institute, each bearing wreaths or bouquets.

The ceremony of strewing flowers over the graves commenced after a dirge had been played by the Stonewall band, and a very impressive requiem sung by a select choir under the direction of Dr. J.L. Brown. Grave after grave was honored by the beautiful ladies and rosy cheeked children; they did not seek to select any particular mound--the known and unknown were all the same to them--they had all died for "the lost cause," and all were alike to be honored. We heard a bright-eyed cherub say, while holding a bouquet in her hand, "I want to put this on a little grave. Mamma, didn't any of the boys fight? Another sung a verse of "I want to be an angel," while she scattered her sweet-scented offering over the Soldier's grave. "It was the only requiem the kind little creature knew, and she thought, in all probability, that she was singing for the dead.

(Column 03)
Summary: Mrs. Mary Carwell died at her residence in Middlebrook on May 29th after a "brief but painful illness."
(Names in announcement: Mary Carwell)
(Column 03)
Summary: William Languet, formerly of Staunton, died in Covington on June 4th.
(Names in announcement: William Languet)
(Column 03)
Summary: Mrs. Carrie Robertson, daughter of Thomas J. Michie of Staunton, died suddenly in Covington on June 4th. She was 40 years old.
(Names in announcement: Thomas J. Michie, Carrie Robertson)
(Column 03)
Summary: John Brown died in Fishersville, Augusta County, on May 30th. He was 62 years old.
(Names in announcement: John Brown)
(Column 03)
Summary: William Clayton died at his residence near Deerfield, Augusta County, on June 2nd. He was 83 years old.
(Names in announcement: William Clayton)

-Page 04-