Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

October 30, 1862

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Oct 30th/62

Dear Father

A daily scene here is men, with Barrels over them marching around the Ground. a Hole is cut in the Head just large enough to get the head through. Some are standing on the Top of a Barrel. these punishments are mostly for Running away, & for getting drunk.

3 PM. I have just received your letter from home. You said that you got the Trunk by express $3,00 charges on it. That was a great mistake. the Trunk was sent down by Jimmy Waddles Corpse & was to go with Gavitt. It seems that Gavitt & Holmes were running around some where & did not get the Trunk to the Depot in time, He said that the Trunk would stay where it was until Cornelius Johnson was ready to go home, but it seems it was sent by the Undertaker where they got the Coffin.

Billy Waters has got a package in the Trunk, for Mrs Sharp. Cornelius Johnson1, has got a Knapsack & a Blanket on the Top of the Trunk, Jimmy Waddle has got a Knapsack blanket & an Overcoat in the Trunk, Martin [ ] has got a Satchel, which you can leave at [Mrs] Stone, a Parcel for [Jeb] Travis which you will keep until called for.

there has been a great mistake all the way through all owing to Capt Holmes. it is Just like him.

31st – 6 AM. The other Trunk I shall take good care, will not be served so. Today we are to be Mustered & get two months pay. I was on Guard last night so feel pretty sleepy this morning.

Do you think I would stay here as long as this without fixing up a little, I have fixed up everything nice in my Quarters

Love to all


1 Johnson, Cornelius –age,32 Enlisted 7 Aug 1862 at Sodus to serve three years.

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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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