Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

November 5, 1862

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Nov 5th

Dear Father

I do not know what to make of not getting a letter from home, in so long a time.  I have not received a letter since last Thursday, one week tomorrow.  that is hardly right considering that I wrote every day last week.  I do not know what to make of it.

there is but little news in Camp, now.  It seems to be the General opinion that we are going home, but when we can not tell, It is reported that Genl Tyler is ordered to Washington to be Court Martialed on account of our Drilling here.  It is said that we have broken our Parole & can not be exchanged.

I reported for Guard duty this morning & was excused, as there was corporals enough, I heard some Captains talking about it & they seem to think we shall return home & be disbanded, they do not think that we shall be exchanged.  It is reported here, that Genl Tyler, had orders 10 days ago for us to return home, & that he Telegraphed to Washington about our behavior & that the War Department, countermanded the order, & that we are to stay until we can behave ourselves, this I think is so.

Mr Sharp arrived here this morning, & found his boy pretty sick.   He is looking very bad & I do not think He could be moved home, even if he got a Furlough.  I hardly think he will Die, but I think he will be very sick.

 Albert Hunt is quite Sick to night with a Fever, I think he will be a Sick Boy. He has been complaining for several days past.  To day he went to the Hospital & to night I have been to see him, & he wanted me to tell his Father he was sick. I think he had ought to have a Furlough & shall speak to the Captain in the morning.

There is one man in this Company that you can not place any dependence in his letters, that is Charles McCumber1, he is worse than Williams.

According to all reports I shall not get promoted to Warrens place, only to 4 or 5 Corporal.  I do not think I shall get up as high as that yet I do not think the Capt has forgot the Trunk Arrangement yet.  did he write you a letter about it.

I think a Dutchman by the name of Louis [Dryer] will be 4th Seargeant, that I think will be the [rig].  Any thing but having a Dutchman over me.  Dan Hutchings is in the Hospital now, I have but little sympathy for him.

I had quite a talk with Mr & Mrs Sharp to night about [Waters] & about things since we left home.  I have explained about my Watch to them.  I did not know there was so many stories about the Watch, that I wanted to make it all night.

What in the world is the matter of you that you do not write

My love to all & hope to see them soon


1 Mc Cumber, Charles L.–age,19 Enlisted 6 Aug 1862 at Lyons to serve three years. Wounded in action, 5 May 1864,  at the Wilderness, VA.; promoted corporal, 31 Aug 1864; sergeant, 25 Nov 1864; mustered out with company, 4 Jun 1865, near Alexandria, VA.
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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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