Valley of the Shadow
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Also on this page are advertisements, a poem, and articles on the war, including one on opposition to the move in Tennessee to take oaths of loyalty to the United States.

Arming Negroes

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Arming Negroes.

From the Mobile Register.

A year ago we called attention in these columns to the reserve power of resistance to our enemies residing in the slave population of the South. We advocated then, as a last resort, and one to be used without hesitation, the arming of the negroes whenever it became necessary to secure our independence--The question is recently revived, and is attracting more than usual attention. It is well that the public mind, as well as the policy of the government, should be settled on the question, against the time when we shall have to call on this means of defence. We do not think the time has yet come. For this campaign it would be too late, even if it were needful, and for the next--and who knows if we are to have another?--there is time to act after the present campaign is finished.

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Also on this page are other news items on the war, advertisements, and notices.

The Battle of Bell Grove

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The Battle of Bell Grove.

When we issued our paper last week a rumor was prevalent that Gen. Early had whipped the enemy near Cedar Creek, which we stated merely as a rumor, no definite information of the results of the fight having reached us.

The facts, as nearly as we are able to get them, gleaning from Yankee statements as well as our own are as follows:

On Wednesday the 19th inst., Gen. Early attacked the forces of Sheridan at Bell Grove on Cedar Creek, about [illegible] o'clock in the morning, having consumed the greater portion of the previous night in getting his men into proper position. So cautiously were the movements made that our forces gained the rear of their left flank undiscovered and completely surprised them. We had possession of their entrenchment and many of their guns were captured and turned upon them before they were fairly apprised of the situation. The Eighth corps was first attacked and, before [illegible] make any resistance, was [illegible] headlong rout from its encampment. The Nineteenth corps, likewise being completely flanked on the left, and vigorously pressed in front, vainly essayed to extricate the Eig[h]th from its perilous condition and stay the "rebel advance" which, says a Yankee correspondent, "relentless as fate and cold as thought," "with wild yells and withering volleys, both front and back, continued," and though the [illegible] corps was ordered up to its [illegible] was driven back, together with the Sixth and Eig[h]th corps, to some [illegible] ground where they took a position, facing due East, from which they were again driven and made the next stand on still higher ground some distance to the rear. Says the same correspondent "the Rebels, however, seemed determined to push their advantage to the utmost and again directed their efforts against our left flank. This position was destined to be held but a short time," when they were again compelled to retreat, our forces pressing them, to a position beyond Middletown when Gen. Early halted his army to reform them, many having straggled, allured by the rich booty of the enemy's vacated encampments.

The plan of the battle was grand and its execution thus far brilliant. By ten o'clock we had gained a glorious victory, having routed two corps and driven back a third, capturing over 1500 prisoners, many wagons and ambulances, and over twenty pieces of artillery. Says the same correspondent on this point.

"We had been surprised and driven out of a splendid position; had lost multiplyingly in prisoners; and lost twenty-four pieces of artillery, thirty-four ambulances, including all the medical wagons and medical supplies of the Nineteenth corps, and several headquarter wagons. We had yielded more than two miles of battlefield to the enemy; many of our finest officers were killed and disabled, and the killed and wounded were thick around."

At this time, Gen. Sheridan, having arrived on the ground in hurried haste from Winchester, reformed as many of the straggling mass as possible, and prepared to resist the further advance of Gen. Early. Until 3 o'clock P.M. affairs remained quiet, when Sheridan advanced to attack. The first attempt was made against our centre which was repulsed easily, when they threw their forces on our left which gave way, brigade after brigade, before a very feeble effort of the demoralized enemy and the order was given for our whole line to fall back, which, with slight exceptions, was done in order, [illegible] being pursued by the enemy's infantry, until Cedar Creek was neared [illegible] naturally the flanks converged [illegible] centre, thus massing our troops [illegible] compactly. While in this condition, many of ours and the captured wagons, ambulances and artillery pie [illegible] owing partly to bad management and partly to the breaking down of a bridge, were blocked in the road, causing some confusion out of which grew an uncalled for stampede, some assert by an attack on the artillery and wagons &c., by a small body of cavalry, while others say without a [illegible] in which all the wagons, artillery &c., &c., in the road were left unprotected and were recaptured without an effort at defence on our part, and by a small squad of Yankee Cavalry.

The enemy can not boast of a victory, though we lost some 23 pieces of artillery, over and above what we captured, for they did not capture anything in the fighting but lost heavily [illegible] wounded and prisoners. They [illegible] a loss of 5000 and Gen's Wright, [illegible]and Ricketts wounded, and [illegible] killed.

Our loss will not exceed one thousand in all, including Gens. Ramseur [illegible] Battle wounded. The former fell into the hands of the enemy and by Sheridan's last dispatch is reported dead.

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Gen'l Early's Address to his Army

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Gen'l Early's Address to His Army.

Head Quarters Valley District,

October 22d, 1864.

Soldiers of the Army of the Valley:

I had hoped to have congratulated you on the splendid victory won by you on the morning of the 19th at Bell Grove on Cedar Creek, when you surprised and routed two Corps of Sheridan's Army and drove back several miles the remaining Corps, capturing 18 pieces of Artillery, 1500 prisoners, a number of colours, a large quantity of small arms and many wagons and ambulances, with the entire camps of the two routed Corps; but I have the mortification of announcing to you that, by your subsequent misconduct, all the benefits of that victory were lost and a serious disaster incurred. Had you remained steadfast to your duty and your colours the victory would have been one of the most brilliant and decisive of the war, you would have gloriously retrieved the reverses at Winchester and Fisher's Hill and entitled yourselves to the admiration and gratitude of your country. But many of you including some commissioned officers yielded to a disgraceful propensity for plunder, deserted your colours to appropriate to yourselves the abandoned property of the enemy, and subsequently those who had previously remained at their posts, seeing their ranks thinned by the absence of the plunderers, when the enemy late in the afternoon, with his shattered columns made but a feeble effort to retrieve the fortunes of the day, yielded to a needless panic and fled the field in confusion, thereby converting a splendid victory into a disaster. Had any respectable number of you listened to the appeals made to you and made a stand even at the last moment, the disaster would have been averted and the substantial fruits of victory secured--but under the insane dread of being flanked and a panic stricken terror of the enemy's cavalry, you would listen to no appeal, threat or order, and allowed a small body of cavalry to penetrate to our train and carry off a number of pieces of Artillery and wagons which your disorder left unprotected. You have thus obscured that glorious fame won in conjunction with the gallant men of the Army of Northern Virginia who still remain proudly defiant in the trenches around Richmond and Petersburg. Before you can again claim these as comrades you will have to erase from your escutcheons the blemishes which now obscure them, and this you can do id you will but be true to your former reputation, your country and your homes. You who have fought at Manassas, Richmond, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and from the wilderness to the Banks of James River, and especially you who were with the immortal Jackson in all his triumphs are capable of better things. Arouse yourselves then to a sense of your manhood and an appreciation of the sacred cause in which you are engaged. Yield to the mandates of discipline--resolve to stand by your colours in future at all hazards and you can yet retrieve your reputation and strike effective blows for your country and its cause. Let every man spurn from him the vile plunder gathered on the field of the 19th, and let no man whatever his rank, whether combatant or non-combatant, dare exhibit his spoils of that day. They will be the badges of his dishonor, the insignia of his disgrace. The officer who pauses in the career of victory to place a guard over a sutler's wagon for his private use is as bad as the soldier who halts to secure for himself the abandoned clothing or money of a flying foe, and they both sell the honour of the Army and the blood of their country for a paltry price. He who follows his colours into the ranks of the enemy in pursuit of victory, disdaining the miserable passion for gathering booty, comes out of the battle with his honour untarnished and, though barefooted and ragged, is far more to be envied than he that is laden with rich spoils gathered in the trail of his victorious comrades.

There were some exceptions to the general misconduct on the afternoon of the 19th, but it would be difficult to specify them all. Let those who did their duty be satisfied with the consciousness of having done it, and mourn that their efforts were paralyzed by the misbehaviour of others. Let them be consoled to some extent by the reflection that the enemy has nothing to boast of on his part. The Artillery and wagons taken were not won by his valour. His camps were destroyed, his army terribly shattered and demoralized, his losses far heavier than ours even in proportion to the relative strength of the armies, his plans materially impeded and he was unable to pursue by reason of his crippled condition. Soldiers of the Army of the Valley! I do not speak to you in anger. I wish to speak in kindness though in sorrow--my purpose is to show you the cause of our late misfortune and point out the way to avoid similar ones in future and ensure success to our arms. Success can only be secured by the enforcement and observance of the most rigid discipline--officers, whatever their rank, must not only give orders but set the example by obeying them and the men must follow that example.

Fellow Soldiers: I am ready to lead you again in defence of our common cause and I appeal to you be the remembrance of the glorious [illegible] in which you have formerly participated, by the woes of your bleeding country, the ruined homes and devastated fields you see around you, the cries of anguish which come up from the widows and orphans of your dead comrades the horrors which await you and all that is yours in the future if your country is subjugated, and your hopes of freedom for yourselves and your posterity, to render a cheerful and willing obedience to the rules of discipline, and to shoulder your muskets again with the determination never more to turn your backs on the foe, but to do battle like men and soldiers until the last vestige of the footsteps of our barbarous and cruel enemies is erased from the soil they desecrate and the independence of our country is firmly established. If you will do this and rely upon the protecting care of a just and merciful God all will be well. I will be proud to lead you once more to battle.

J.A. Early, Lt. Gen'l.


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In Memoriam

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