Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

From the collection of the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois

October 23 & 24, 1862

Camp Douglas
Oct 23d

Dear Father

I have just received the Trunk, sent by Gavitt, And found things all right, and very glad to get them. who sent that package to [Lt] Crowl, I should think things might be sent to our own Company instead of others.  I [ ] already given out the things to the boys & divided the Fruit with Capt Holmes. Barney Francisco claimed the straps on the Trunk but as soon as I read the letter, I knew who they belonged to.  I have not got those other things that he got in the other but will get them yet

The Regt today is all on Guard, I was on Guard last night, Guarding the Barracks, so am excused today. Our Regt has been Drilling for the past few days.

I have not seen Mr Gavitt yet, so do not know whether he was successful about the furlough or not, I am afraid he will not be however.

I am sorry you got a poor horse this time, I had hoped you would get a good one this time.

Our Col made a Speech to us on Dress Parade, Gavitt will tell you about it.

Yesterday I took charge of the Cos Mail, after this am the Cos PM, this I volunteered to do.

We are living a little more comfortable now.  I have got a Room off from the Barracks with H Warren, it is a great deal pleasanter & I can keep my things nicer. We still have to watch the Barracks nights not knowing what time they may be fired.

I will not send home the Revolver, by Gavitt, as I need it now when on Guard.

Things look now like, [ ] exchanged & go into winter Quarters somewhere, The story was around here yesterday, that we were to be exchanged [ ] & Guard the Fort & [ ],  I would like this, I can not write nothing deffinite [sic] as, I have not had to talk with Gavitt

8 AM Fri Oct 24th

Since I wrote the other letter, I have heard a great deal news.  Yesterday afternoon, I carried the mail around to the Boys on Guard. 

I got one for one of the Boys in the Hospital.  Capt wanted me to take it to him & read it for him.   his name was Jimmy Waddle1.  I read a part of the letter to him & showed him a Photograph of his Sisters, he got so excited that I could not finish it.  the nurse & Chap Brown thought I had better keep it & if he Died during the night, to send it back to his Sister.  So this morning I wrote to his Sister in Gates County & enclosed the letter & Photograph I wrote to her giving her all the Particulars.   He died at 11 minutes past 8, his last words  [“]Bill I want the Doctor[“].  he died about 20 minutes after I left the Hospital.  I had been up to see him 2 or three times during the Day & had sat & talked with him.

So goes another of our Boys through neglect & carelessness of Doctors.  The Doctor Hopkins had given him so much Quinine that his mouth was coated & black with it.  He was in great pain & I thought he would Die while I was at the Hospital.  May I be spared from ever having to go to the Hospital.  You may have to preach the Funeral Sermon, So I give you all the Particulars.  I do not hesitate to say that with Propper [sic] care he might now be alive.  If I ever am taken very sick, I want you to take me home as I will Die before I will go to the Hospital & take that Medicine.  The boys all say, that a man, never comes out alive.

I suppose you will be disappointed in my not coming home but none than I am, still I can not say that I am disappointed, for I was afraid I should not succeed in getting a furlough.  I have not had a talk with Gavitt yet but Chap Brown told me that the Col was willing, but could not so it.

The Story is around this morning, that the 126 Regt has marching orders for [Sgt] Roy in NY.  It is said that the citizens of the three counties where the Regt was Raised, have raised $8,000 to take them home, The War Department, refusing to bear the Expense of their Removal.  If this is so you will hear of it soon. I think if one Regt goes, our Regt & the 125, will come too.

I got the Trunk all right & opened it, without the Key the Capt having it & he being off on Guard.  He did not like it, he said the Trunk was for Him.  I think, a man ought to have the right to open is own Trunk.  The next time you send me anything Please send nothing for any one else in it.   The mottoe is every one for him self here & that will be the only way to save trouble.

I divided the Fruit with the Capt & gave him his Fruit & what more could he ask,  It made me Mad To think I could not open my own Trunk.  I shall send home the Trunk but have not got much to send home in it.  In this I send one of my Photographs in this, perhaps you may not like this, it looks well with the exception of the face,  I do not think That they can be improved much.  I got a Dozen, the rest are not finished, & I think will look a little better.  I will send you more when I get them. I will send you 8 out of the 12.

I would give $10 if I knew what is to be done with us.  In this mornings paper it is reported that we are to be under Siegel when exchanged, This would be good news, if so.

I will write you again in a day or two I am very much obliged to you for all those good things & you may be certain I shall enjoy them.

Love to Maggie Rosa
Mother Charlie


1 Waddlo, James–age,19 Enlisted 6 Aug 1862 at Lyons to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. D, 20 Aug 1862; died, 23 Oct 1862, at Chicago, IL.
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Manley Stacey

born October 29, 1842

died December 26, 1863

Written during the battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863

"When we camped last, we could see the wounded coming in, those that were able to walk, and the cavalry horses coming in riderless. This showed us that something was going on...I think this will be an awful battle very soon and of course we are in for it...It is a sad sight to see the wounded brought in on stretchers, the poor boys all covered with blood & as pale as death.

"Last night at 4 PM we were ordered to march and form in Line of battle on our left. After a great deal of confusion, we got formed and then we were ordered to advance, right in the face of the rebel guns who were firing their grape and canisters into us by wholesale...After a great deal of marching and counter marching, we were ordered to charge on a rebel battery. We were now right in front of our canons, advancing on their guns, the rebel sharpshooters in our rear picking off our officers. This was an awful time the shells taking the men down by ranks. While we were marching, a man was shot, and the Blood was spilling all over my face, it perfectly Blinded me.

"At 1 PM we were shelled by 100 guns, all concentrated on the force supporting the battery. There we laid behind a stone wall, the shells passing over us and killing the men all around me. Three men were killed and thrown across me, covering me with blood. While we were laying here, a shell struck a stone in the wall and killed a man throwing the man across my legs and the stone striking me in the back & doubling me up.

"We have got about 18 men now in the Company fit for duty and 150 in the Regiment. We went in the fight with over 400, and have yet now 150."

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