Valley of the Shadow
Page 1
Page Description:

Also on this page are the text of an address by General Beauregard to his army on October 17, 1864; advertisements; and a poem.

Correspondence Between Gen'ls Lee and Grant

(column 3)

Full Text of Article

Correspondence between Gen'ls Lee and Grant.

Relative to the Treatment of Negro Soldiers, and The Retaliatory Measure of Gen. Butler.

HdQr's Army Northern Virginia,

October 19, 1864.

Lieut. Gen. U.S. Grant,

Commanding U.S. Armies:

General: In accordance with instructions from the Hon. Secretary of War of the confederate States, I have the honor to call your attention to the subject of two communications recently addressed by Major General B.F. Butler, an officer under your command, to the Hon. Robert Ould, Commissioner for the Exchange of Prisoners.

For the better understanding of the matter, I enclose copies of the communications.

You will perceive by one of them that the writer has placed a number of officers and men belonging to the Confederate service, prisoners of war captured by the United States forces, at labor in the canal at Dutch Gap, in retaliation, as is alleged, for a like number of Federal colored soldiers, prisoners of war in our hands, who are said to have been put to work on our fortifications.

The evidence of this fact is found in the affadavits [sic] of two deserters from our service.

The other letter refers to a copy of a notice issued by a Confederate officer commanding a camp near Richmond, calling upon the owner to come forward and establish their claims to certain negroes in the custody of that officer.

The writer of the letter proceeds to state that some of the negroes mentioned in the notice are believed to be soldiers of the United States army captured in arms, and that, upon that belief, he has ordered to such manual labor as he deems most fit[t]ing to meet the exigency an equivalent number of prisoners of war held by the United States and announces that he will continue to order to labor captives in war to a number equal to that of all the United States soldiers who he has reason to beli[e]ve are held to service or labor by the Confederate forces, until he shall be notified that the alleged practice on the part of the Confederate authorities, until he shall be notified that the alleged practice on the part of the Confederate authorities has ceased.

Before stating the facts with references to the particular negroes alluded to, I beg to explain the policy pursued by the Confederate Government towards this class of persons, when captured by its forces.

All negroes in the military or naval service of the United States, taken by us, who are not identified as the property of citizens or residents of any of the Confederate States, are regarded as priso[n]ers of war, being held to be proper subjects of exchange, as I recently had the honor to inform you.

No labor is exacted from such prisoners by the Confederate authorities.

Negroes who owe services or labor to citizens or residents of the Confederate States, and who, through compulsion, persuasion, or of their own accord, leave their owners, and are placed in the military or naval service of the United States, occupy a different position.

The right to the service or labor of negro slaves, in the Confederate States, is the same now as when those States were members of the Federal Union.

The right to the service or labor of negro slaves, in the Confederate States, is the same now as when those States were members of the Federal Union.

The constitutional relations and obligations of the Confederate Government to the owners of this species of property, are the same as those so frequently and so long recognized as appertaining to the Government of the United States, with reference to the same class of persons, by virtue of its organic law.

From the earliest period of the independence of the American States, it has been held that one of the duties incumbent upon the several common governments under which they have, from time to time, been associated, was the return to their lawful owners of slaves accoptured [sic] from the public enemy. It has been uniformly held that the capture of abduction of a slave does not impair the right of the owner to such slave, but that the right attaches to him immediately upon recapture.

Such was the practice of the American States during their struggle for independence. The Government under which they were then associated resumed to the owners slaves abducted by the British forces and subsequently recaptured by the American armies.

In the war of 1812 with Great Britain, the course pursued by the United States Government was the same, and it recognized the right of the owner to slaves recaptured fro the enemy. Both the Continental and United States Governments, in fact, denied that the abduction of slaves was a belligerent right, and the latter power insisted upon, and ultimately secured by treaty, pecuniary indemnity from the British Government for slaves taken by its forces during the war of 1812.

And it is supposed that a negro belonging to a citizens of a State in which slavery is recognized and which is regarded as one of the United States, were to escape into the Confederate States, or be captured or abducted by their armies, the legal right of the owner to reclaim him would be as clear now as in 1812, the Constitution of the United States being unchanged in this particular, and that instrument having been interpreted in the judicial decissions [sic], legislative and diplomatic acts and correspondence of the United States as imposing upon that government the duty of protecting in all cases coming within the scope of its authority, the owners of slaves as well as of any other kind of property recognized as such by the several States.

The Confederate Government, bound by the same constitutional obligations, considers, as that of the United States did, that the capture or abduction of a negro slave does not preclude the lawful owner from reclaiming him when captured, and I instructed to say that all such slaves, when properly identified as belonging to citizens of any of the Confederate States, or to persons enjoying the protection of their laws, will be restored, like other recaptured private property, to those entitled to them.

Having endeavored to explain the general policy of the Confederate Government with regard to the subject, I beg leave to state the facts concerning the particular transactions referred to in the inclosed communications.

The negroes recently captured by our forces were sent to Richmond with other Federal prisoners. After their arrival it was discovered that a number of them were slaves belonging to citizens or residents of some of the Confederate States, and of this class fifty-nine, as I learn, were sent, with other negroes, to work on the fortifications around Richmond until their owners should appear and claim them. As soon as I was informed of the fact, less than two days afterwards, not wishing to employ them here, I ordered them to be sent to the rear.

By a misapprehension of the engineer officer in charge, they were transferred to our lines South of James river, but, when apprised of the error, I repeated the order for their removal. If any negroes were included among this number, who were not identified as the slaves of citizens or residents of some of the Confederate States, they were so included without the knowledge or authority of the War Department, as already explained, and the mistake, when discovered, would have been corrected.

It only remains for me to say that negroes employed upon our fortifications are not allowed to be placed where they will be exposed to fire, and there is no foundation for any statement to the contrary.

The author of the communications referred to has considered himself justified (by the report of two deserters, who do not allege that the negroes in question were exposed to any danger,) in placing our prisoners at labor in the canal at Dutch Gap, under the fire of our batteries.

In view of the explanations of the practice of the Confederate Government above given and of the statement of facts I have made, I have now, in accordance with my instructions, respectfully to inquire whether the course pursued towards our prisoners, as set forth in the accompanying letters, has your sanction and whether it will be maintained?

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant

(Signed) R.E. Lee, Gen'l.

Hdq'rs Armies of the United States

October 20, 1864.

Gen. R.E. Lee, C.S.A., Commanding Army Northern Virginia:

General--Understanding, from your letter of the 19th that the colored prisoners who were employed at work in the trenches near Fort Gilmer have been withdrawn, I have directed the withdrawal of the Confederate prisoners in the Dutch Gap canal. I shall always regret the necessity for retaliating for wrongs done our soldiers; but regard it my duty to protect all persons received into the army of the United States, regardless of color or nationality. When acknowledged soldiers of the Government are captured, they must be treated as prisoners of war, or such treatment as they receive will [be] inflicted upon an equal number of prisoners held by us.

I have nothing to do with the discussion of the slavery question, therefore decline answering the arguments addteed [sic] to show the right to return to former owners such negroes as are captured from our army. In answer to the question at the conclusion of your letter, I have to state, that all prisoners of war falling into my hands shall receive the kindest possible treatment, consistent with securing them, unless I have good authority for believing any number of our men are being treated otherwise. Then, painful as it may be to me, I shall inflict like treatment on an equal number of Confederate prisoners.

Hoping that it may never become my duty to order retaliation upon any man held as a prisoner of war.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully,

Your ob't servant,

U.S. Grant,

Lieutenant General.

The Poor Negro

(column 5)

Negroes to Fight for the South

(column 6)

Full Text of Article

Negroes to Fight for the South.

The following is taken from the New York News, who thus defines the at[t]itude of the negro for military service, when used in the ranks of the Southern armies:

The slaves of the South can be made to supply an excellent material for infantary [sic]. Docile and of great physical strength, they may be converted into a soldiery in six or eight months. Under command of officers to whom they have rendered a life long unquestioning obediance [sic], and to whom they may be moulded into an invincible machine under the direction of a man of military genius. Events are moving rapidly toward that conclusion. Negroes of the South become attached to the Confederate armies in the capacity, at first, of servants. The demand for men increasing, they were next admitted by Congress to approach the status of a soldier by their employment as attaches of the commissariat. Recruiting demands pressing s[t]ill more closely on the whites of the South, the journals of Richmond, falling in with a policy recommended twelve months ago by the legislature of Alabama or Mississippi, insist now that negroes be sent into the field to do, in battle, the duties of the soldier. This reserve policy of the Confederates, if the necessity shall be held to demand such a step, to force upon the Federal government half a dozen additional drafts; for once adopted, it will recruit the ranks of the South to extent of at least three hundred thousand men.

Page 2
Page Description:

Also on this page are the text of a proclamation from President Davis calling for a day of public worship on November 16, 1864; the text of orders from the county court regarding levies; advertisements; notices; and other articles on the war.

War News

(column 1)

Full Text of Article

War News.

On Thursday the 27th ult. General Grant made a very formidable attack upon our lines both in front of Richmond and Petersburg. The attack was simultaneous at both points, extending the whole length of our lines from the Darbytown road on the North side to the Boydton Plank road below Petersburg. As usual General Lee was fully apprised of the intentions of the Yankee General, and was prepared to give him the dame kind of reception of which he had been the recipient on many former occasions. The war worn veterans of Gen. Lee met the attack with their accustomed valor, and showed themselves worthy the confidence of their accomplished leader. The enemy were repulsed with heavy loss at every point, leaving their dead and wounded in our hands on the field. Their loss is variously estimated from five to eight thousand in killed wounded and captured. Fifteen hundred prisoners have already been received at the Libby in Richmond.

The Yankee General will publish this defeat as he has done others of a similar character, as a reconnoisance [sic] in force, for the purpose of "feeling" the enemy, and that the object was satisfactorily accomplished. The deserted camp that they captured will be heralded as something great, many valuable papers and documents will be said to be found therein, the few prisoners taken will be magnified into many hundreds, and various other bulletins of that sort will be published throughout Yankeedom to cover up the failure of this last attempt at another "On to Richmond."

How this affair can be called (by any sane man) a reconoissance [sic], we are certainly at a loss to know. It if was in truth entitled to be such--it was certainly made on a grander scale than is usual in such cases. Gen. Grant was commanding in person, his associates Meade, Warren and Hancock with their respective corps' were in motion--the whole Yankee army, infantry, artillery and cavalry, from one end of the line to the other, advanced in order of battle precisely as if they intended to bring on a general engagement. They did make the attack, and attempted several times to storm our works, but were each time severely repulsed with immense slaughter. The engagement was a general one, and although Gen. Grant and Mr. Secretary Stanton may succeed in throwing dust in the eyes of their Yankee admirers we are satisfied that our own people, will regard it as a general battle in which we triumphantly repelled every assault made upon our lines, and at the same time administered to the Yankee General a severe rebuke which will be keenly remembered by him for some time to come.

The following despatch from Genl. Lee gives the additional news from the army in front of Petersburg.

Headquarters, Oct. 31, 1864.

Hon. J.A. Seddon:

General Malone penetrated the enemy's picket line last night, near Petersburg, and swept it for half a mile, capturing 230 officers and men, without the loss of a man.

Total number of prisoners captured on 27th, below Petersburg, according to General Hill's report, was 700.

(Signed) R.E. Lee.

The latest accounts from the army of Tennessee say that Hood and Beauregard effected a junction at Gadsen, and marched to the Tennessee River crossing at Guntersville on the 23rd and 24th ult.

We have no news from Missouri, but that which we get through Yankee papers. They represent Price badly whipped, yet their latest dispatch represent, him still in Missouri, when their previous accounts have placed him some distance beyond Fort Scott in Kansas, in full flight. The truth is that Price has never been driven out of Missouri and that all these dispatches are hatched up for the occasion, and sent abroad for effect on the pending Presidential election in Yankeedom.

We learn Gen. Forrest has blockaded the Tennessee river. On the 29th ultimo he captured a steamer and barge, and got off sixty wagon loads of shoes, boots, blankets and hard bread. The vessels were destroyed.

Gen. Duffle captured by Col. Mosby a few days ago, has arrived in Richmond and taken lodgings at the Libby.

No news, from the lower Valley. Our army still in camp at New Market.

Must Have a Success

(column 1)

Full Text of Article

Must Have a Success.

The failure to carry the State of Pennsylvania by a large abolition majority, that State having gone democratic as far as heard from, and Maryland failing to adopt the new abolition Constitution, by her home vote, has made the present occupant of the White House, at Washington very uneasy. He dislikes exceedingly to loose his lease of power and must attempt to retain it. Something must be done and quickly to destroy the prospect of McClellan's election or, in other words, to prevent the defeat of Abraham Lincoln.

Addresses to Soldier's by "loyal ladies" who confessedly ignore the teachings of the Bible have been tried without success. Other means such as tampering with the rights of voters, &c., have proven equally unsuccessful. The only thing that can buoy the present administration in its, as they fear, sinking condition, is a military success. To the achievement of which all the energies of the pen as well as the sword seem to be brought to bear

(column 2)

Full Text of Article

"Upon The Revocation . . ."

Upon the revocation of details many of our best men, the very bone and sinew of our land, reported promptly to the Enrolling Officer and went soon thereafter to Camp Lee, in time to make the allowed selection of commands. However much the necessity which called them from their homes was to be regretted, no one could complain, certainly they did not, but with exceeding cheerfulness responded to the call of their country and went to share the same toils, fatigues and dangers with the brave veterans of the war. We do complain, however, of the after treatment received by these unmurmuring men. These men were sent from Richmond to Gen. Early's army under guard, as if they, who had reported promptly when called upon and after arriving at Camp Lee, where they learned that Gen. Lee desired men at once, waved the examination they were entitled to and with alacrity selected their companies, were a set of skulking stragglers or deserters instead of being the best and most reliable men in the country. If any had delayed to report and consequently had to be brought to the Enrolling Office under guard, having thus evinced by their conduct that they intended to evade the call, then we would utter no complaint, no matter how heavily guarded they might be, but the case however is entirely different.

We have no doubt it was humiliating to these men to be marched under strict guard, through their county, town, and especially so when a short distance from town they met a squad of 100 Yankee prisoners coming from the army, not as strongly guided as they themselves were, but we hope this feeling may have been but temporary for our people think not a whit less of them than formerly. No disgrace attaches to them, for they have acted the part of men, but the party by whose authority they were sent from Richmond under guard should hang his head in everlasting shame for such treatment to such men, who have shown themselves to be the unfaltering reliance of their country in her time of need.

To Post Masters and Others

(column 2)

To the People of Augusta

(column 4)


(column 4)


(column 4)


(column 4)


(column 4)


(column 4)