Valley of the Shadow: Civil War-Era Newspapers (2024)

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The "opening" of the portion of this road, just completed between this place and Greencastle, took place on Tuesday last, according to previous arrangement. Although the weather for several days had, up to Monday afternoon, been rainy and uncomfortably warm, a more balmy, exhilerating [sic] air and glorious sun never ushered in a brighter morning than that which gladened [sic] the hearts of all on Tuesday -- to use the emphatic language of a friend, it was "a heavenly day," and its influence was manifested on the countenances of all.

The military were commanded by Maj. Gen. S. ALEXANDER, aided by Brig. Gen. S. DUNN. The companies present, under the following officers, were these, viz:

1st Brigade, Maj. Gen. Alexander and Staff, Carlisle.

Col. Woodburn's train of Artillery, Newville.

Lieut. McCulloh's Adamantine Guards.

Capt. Bricker's Newville Artillery.

Lieut. Hood's Springfield Light Infantry.

Capt. Bender's Junior Artillerists.

Maj. McCartney's 1st Batt. Carlisle Volunt'rs.

Capt. Glendenin's Silver Spring Riflemen.

Capt. McGowan's Forge Infantry.

Lieut. Porter's Carlisle Artillery.

Capt. Cropp's George Washington Artillery.

Lieut. McCartney's Carlisle Light Infantry.

Capt. Blain's Springfield Infantry.

Capt. Clever's Leesburg Artillery.

Capt. Cressler's Shippensburg Troup [sic].

2d Brigade, Brig. Gen. Dunn and Staff.

Capt. Barnes' Horse Guards, Wash. Co., Md.

Capt. Robinson's Union Riflemen, Wash. Co., Md.

Capt. Cook's 1st Troop, Frank. Co. Dragoons.

Capt. Vance's 2d Troop, Frank. Co. Dragoons.

Capt. Rowe's 3d Troop, Frank. Co. Dragoons.

Capt. Tritle's Franklin Blues, Infantry.

Capt. McCurdy's Fannettsburg Infantry.

Capt. Stewart's Waynesboro' Infantry.

Capt. McAllister's St. Thomas Artillery.

Capt. Sterrett's Chambersburg Artillery.

The above Brigades, after mustering and drilling for some time, in a manner creditable to themselves and their officers, at 9 o'clock, A. M., marched to the vicinity of the Depot of the Franklin Railroad, where the Managers of the road, and as many citize ns as could procure room, got into the Cars, and departed amidst the cheers of thousands for Greencastle, where the cars were laden with citizens who came to this place, and then the 2d Brigade took their seats and joined their brethren in arms, where, af ter a splendid parade, a Sham-battle was fought, in which ofcers [sic] and men went through the various evolutions required of them with a commendable skill; after which they all returned to the place whence they started, where they remained until Wednesday morning, when a separation took place, and the respective companies took up the line of march for their several places of residence, all apparently highly pleased with the magnificent performance. Too much credit cannot be awarded to the officers and men, for the gratification which their presence and good conduct afforded to the citizens of our borough.

At the time appointed in the morning a magnificent train, capable of conveying near a thousand passengers, moved off in fine style, passing to and from Greencastle several times during the day, gratifying some thousands with a "ride," and exciting the liveliest interest at every point, by the novelty and grandeur of the spectacle. Nothing could well exceed the beauty and splendor of the last return in the evening. The sun, as though wearied of a day's continued smiling upon happy thousands, withdrew amidst a gold-halo, and twilight, avant courier of the stars, [b]egan to envelop in her misty folds the expectant groups that thronged the pathway of the fire-king. There was delay in its arrival, and the anxious spectators began to experience the effects of "hope deferred," -- but at length the solemn shade that enveloped the green wood in the distance began to relieve the suspense by exhibiting a mellow glow -- then distinct sparks, followed by a broad glare, and the now distinct breathings of the "thing of life" which forms such a wonderful sample of the creative power of man. -- This train brought back the Military, whose exclusive possession of the cars added no little to the effect of the scene.

On Wednesday the services of the cars were devoted to the Ladies, and the weather continuing very fine, they doubtless "had a very pleasant time of it." May they all hereafter have reason to remember the occasion with pleasure, and many of them refer to it as the date of their start upon that other rail-road whose "opening" is succeeded by "honey moon," then a go ahead upon a long journey with baggage of "better or worse," carefully guarding against running off the track, and always aiming to reach the fina[l] depot, by the steady draught of the Locomotive -- LOVE.

But we must not forget the road. It is, as well as we can judge, a perfect sample of the best that can be made of the flat rail, and reflects great credit upon the skill and attention of the Engineer, Maj. WATTS.

The shortest period in which any of the trips was accomplished, we believe was 25 minutes, being at the rate of upwards of 20 miles an hour -- a speed quite as great as a due regard to safety will justify. We regret to add that two accidents occurred, though in no way chargeable to the road or the management of the operations upon it. A boy had his leg broken by foolishly jumping from a car, and a little negro boy killed in some way not known, except that it was done by a loose car which a number of boys had put in motion.

The shrill whistle of the engine is now heard on the Franklin Road every morning at 6 o'clock, and at 2 in the afternoon, announcing the moment of the passenger-car leaving for Greencastle -- the morning train returning before the departure of the 9 o'clock train on the Cumberland Valley for the East. Stages leave Greencastle daily for Hagerstown and McConnellsburg, so that the facilities for traveling in those directions are good, and the convenience of getting to Mercersburg much improved.

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An editorial article appeared in the Chambersburg Valley Spirit of the 20th July last, charging me by insinuations, but with sufficient distinctness to incur both moral and legal responsibility, with the most infamous transactions in private life and with the grossest corruption when acting as a Representative in the Legislature.

As soon as the article appeared, I enclosed the charges to the parties named therein -- the only persons who can either refute or establish them -- and requested definite answers in writing.

In ten days I had answers from Gov. Pollock; from the President of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank; from the Vice President and former Commissioner of the Union Bank; from the President of the Sunbury and Erie Rail Road Company; from the Vice President (the President being absent) of the Pennsylvania Rail Road Company; from the Treasurer and Secretary of the Chestnut and Walnut street Rail Road Company; from State Treasurer Slifer; from John Grigg; from the President of the Erie and North East Rail Road Company and Hon. Gideon J. Ball, the leading man in opposition to said Company -- all declaring in the most positive and unequivocal terms that the allegations made by the Valley Spirit are utterly untrue. They state that I never received anything in any shape, either in person or through any one else, for either legislative or personel [sic] services, or for any other purpose. These letters cover every charge that does not carry its own refutation upon its face. They show also that I do not own stock in any of the corporations named, or in any others in Philadelphia, excepting in two Banks -- in all not quite $1200 worth, and all of which was purchased for me by John M. Pomeroy, Esq., before I was a member of the legislature, and paid for me at the ruling market price.

These statements, acquitting me in the most unquestionable manner, of all the shameless libles [sic] of the Valley Spirit, were submitted to the Proprietors of that paper by my Attorneys, and an unqualified retraction demanded. -- After much hesitation this was refused; and the retraction was refused, as I have reason to know, from the declarations of a few unscrupulous political foes, because to do me justice after having assailed me, would be fatal to the interests of the Democratic party!

The Proprietors of the Spirit, having failed to acquit me in the same public manner in which they have defamed me, and when the most conclusive evidence of the falsity of the charges was in their own hands, I at once instituted legal proceedings against them, and will afford them the opportunity of sustaining their allegations in a court of justice. Whether necessary or not to vindicate myself, I shall discharge a public duty by closing the floodgates of personal vituperation which have for years past been opened upon our citizens by the Proprietors of that paper.

It is due to the Democratic party to say, that it is not responsible for this systematic, malignant, personal defamation. With but rare exceptions the members of that party have denounced it, and will not lend themselves in any way to sustain it or its authors.

As the libels in question will be for judicial investigation at the first possible opportunity, I shall make no publication of the evidence in my possession. A. K. McCLURE.

Chambersburg, August 1, 1859.

Valley of the Shadow: Civil War-Era Newspapers (2024)
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