Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

November 1, 1862

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111th Regt NYSV

Nov 1st /62

Dear Father

I was dissappointed last night, in not getting a letter from home. I know it was asking value received, for I wrote every day, but Saturday. I suppose by your marking, the Democrat, the reports that we were coming to New York State.

In yesterdays Daily Paper, the report was that the Reporter of one of the Dailies, had an interview with Tyler, the General comanding [sic], & he said their was no orders to go home yet. According to that things do not look so promising.

One of Cos E Boys, he and our Colonel say that we should start for home, next Monday (Nov 3d).  If this were only so, but I am afraid to believe it. I am afraid we shall not go so soon, because we have got on hand, a weeks Ration of Wood & coal for burning, we may go however, for all that. These ever teasing Rumors, is what is the troubles I believe now [that] [we] believe things too quick, & here is a good place for that.

Our Regt was on Guard yesterday, the boys seemed to think it would be the last time here, but they may be dissappointed in that. Do you know for certain, whether Genl Wadworth had made an application to the War Department, for our removal home, or is it a rumor, like the rest.

I suppose you have seen Williams & heard his story.. I wish you would tell me what he says about our life here, of course it will not do to place much confidence in what he says. He will try to make, you believe that we are living tip top. See the difference between his & Gavitts stories, to be sure he knows more about it than he, but then you will see the difference.

I do not think I shall fix & improve my Quarters, until I know something what is to be done. I do not know but you are tired of hearing so many rumors, here, I know I am tired of it but if I did not write what I hear, the news would slim enough.

So here is some more,  They Say the Paymaster of the US Army is in town & that we are to be paid off on Monday next, (tomorrow). So much for rumors. It is reported that we are to be exchanged & that right off. I very much doubt if our Officers , if our Officers [sic] will have to lead us to Battle again, knowing us to have broken our Parole. I do not believe but what we have & that some one of them will have to suffer.

On Guard 11 PM Sat night,

I am writing now by the light of the Fire, at our Cook House. One of my men is asleep & the other very nearly so.

I will tell you how our reports come here like this, One of Co A’s boys heard one of Co B’s boys, say that this Lieut heard the Major say that the Colonel said that we were going home. I wish if there is no such thing in it that no such report had been started. It makes the boys discontented. I think it is Glorious Fighting for your Country like this. Who would have thought that I was to pass through all this when I left home or that I should be here.

What is your opinion now of this War. does it look any more like being ended, or are things to be pushed right ahead. We can not tell any thing about such things here.  I can not afford 5cts a day for a Daily Paper, or 10cts for Leslies Illustrated Paper.

You should see how many applications I have for my Republican every week. I think more of that than any other. I am glad to get the Democrat & Those are the only Papers that I see, only once in awhile I see the Daily Papers.

Lieut Moor has been Joking me about writing that letter in the Republican about the officers. He wanted to know who hired me to write it. I think a great deal of Moor, though I am afraid he will not stay with us, he can not stand the life. Lieut Granger has been sick for a week or two past. We have been here Just five weeks, now & yet the Time seems to pass very fast.

Sunday morning 7 AM

Just had my breakfast, It is a very disagreeable day, raining a drizzling rain. I am looking anxiously for a letter & Paper to day

Love to all


Tags :

No Comments

(will not be published) (required)

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."

The Letters

Recent Comments

Friends and supporters