Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

November 16, 1862

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Nov 16th /62
Sunday 3 PM

Dear Father

I received your letter, from home to day & was glad so good & long one.  I wrote a long letter expecting Mr Hunt to start for home on Friday night last.  I suppose you will get this as soon as you will that.

I suppose Charlie will be all right, when he gets the Revolver.  I am glad he got, so good a chance to Travel & hope he will enjoy himself.

There was a mistake in your letter, in my saying that Barney, said that I Drawed the things. He said that, I wrote home accusing Williams of Drawing the things.  The trouble was, in the folks hearing that I wrote home about him.  I did not want to have any trouble with Williams, Barney & I are good Friends & always have been.  He has been bunking with me & Billy Waters, ever since, Albert Hunt was sick.  I think a great Deal of Berry, he is a Gentleman every inch of him. I never want any trouble with him.  Be sure and make this all right, with Mr Francisco Explain it all to him.

No one can say that I ever Drawed a thing, not even in an Enemys [sic] country. Barney & all will say the same. It is very likely that I made the mistake in writing the letter, I wrote amid so much confusion & in a hurry.

I am writing now while there is so much noise that I can hardly think.  Some of the Boys, have heard a new Rumor about going home, all are betting on it.

There is to be a change in the Officers, in our Camp this week.  Orderly tells me that I am to be Sergeant.  Dont say anything about it until, it is read.  I shall feel a little better, coming home with three Stripes on my Arm, than two.  I think our Orderly will be either 1st or 2nd Lieut.

So I have written before, Hunt will tell you all the news about Camp.  Our 60 Days are up & we are not Exchanged.  There is a great many reports in the Daily Papers, about an Exchange of Prisoners.  But I have not seen the Papers.

Do not be at all alarmed about me, I am going every day, I am going to be weighed in a day or two, I know I have gained since leaving home.  I am cheerful & contented as much as a man can be expecting every day, to get the orders, My [Lads] fall in for New York.  It would be worth a Quarter, to be in this Camp when the Order was read I am anxious to get home in time for the Exhibition.

If you should write to Potter please send some of my cards & let John Distribute them since I have been away from home.  It seems as if they are acting very strange.  Tell mother to use my money, by all means, & I think you must be sick, in telling me, that I could have a note, or a mortgage on the House.  I wanted you to have the money at First.  I shall not have a note or anything else on the Kind.  Mother is welcome to it & then you can send me, money from, the 10, a month.  Mr Hunt will show you how the money goes, here or how we could live with out it.

You need not give me any advice about, being kind to my Comrads [sic], I think that is one of my Faults, though I am reforming, I have always divided everything.  I get along tip top with all.

If we stay here 6 or 8 of us are going to form a class & learn German. Lieut [Doyer], has promised to teach us.  This would be quite a Diversion, besides profit.

We did not see anything of the Apples, that Hunt was to bring up to the Boys, probably he forgot it.

I have just heard from the Orderly, another [rumor] The Colonel went up to Tyler to get some Bed Ticks, Tyler said what do you want, Ticks for, you are going home next week, meaning this[:]  It seems to be the General Opinion that we are going home soon, but when we can not tell.  Capt Seely of Co A, will not need them this winter.

Tomorrow our Regt goes on guard again I am afraid it will be unpleasant, as it is unpleasant now & writing at 8 PM Any thing but a Rainy Day for Guard Duty.

I think Tyler, does not want us to leave, as he would rather have a Command here, than to go into the Field.  I would not be under him in the Field for anything, he is too much of a Tyrant.

Mother

If everything works around Just as we want it too [sic], we shall be home before long. Things look a little brighter than it did.  it looks more like going home, then it ever did before. I have heard that the Governments only Exchange Men twice a year & that it will not Exchange again until next May.  It that is so, we shall most likely to to New York or at least we hope so. Tom Hooker went to the Hospital to day, I think he going to have the Fever & Ague, nothing worse,  Do not alarm his folks.  He is not very sick.

I will speak to Capt, about Peter Crowl.  I do not think he can do any thing about it.  I do not think he could get his pay, here, as he was not Mustered with us.

Hoping to hear from you all soon

With love to all

Manley Stacey

(Editor’s note: This portion below was separated and may belong here based on text)

Charlie

I have sent your long wishes for a Revolver by Mr Hunt & hope you will get it safe.

I shall send it loaded & you must be very careful of it, Do not frighten Mother with it, there is no danger, as long as you are careful. You can get Cartridges of [sic] Bennet I think to fit, if not he will tell you where you can. You will see a little spring on top to pull back & pull up the Slide to load it. Perhaps you had better take it to Bennet & get him to show you how to load it.

Now Be very careful of it & d not let it get rusted, keep it oiled. I also send the Belt & the US Buckle I have been expecting to come home & bring it to you but have almost given it up now

Hope to hear from you soon

Manley

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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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