Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

November 28, 1862 – Pittsburgh

Pittsburg Pa
Nov 28th 10 AM

Dear Father

I wrote you a letter & sent it by Lieut Moor, describing, our Trip to Cleveland. We left Cleveland last night about 7,30, We little expected that the Citizens would furnish us something to eat, but they did not, so we had to put up, with the bread & Meat.

What a way this was to spend Thanksgiving. I thought of home, a great Many times yesterday, & I would have liked very well to have taken Dinner with you.

We enjoyed ourselves tip top, everyting went off, splendid. We had one man in our Squad, that made a great deal of Fun for us, Naming the places.

I broke one of my back Teeth, yesterday, eating a Hard Tack

Last night three of us, took two Seats & spread the Cushions, crossways & slept, very well until morning. We arrived in Pittsburg at 87,30 AM, Then we Marched to Volunteer Relief Association & had a good breakfast

We gave the Ladies Three Rousing Cheers & a [ ]. Their Motoe [motto] is Pittsburg Welcomes her Countrys Defenders

Then we Marched to the Pitts & Harrisburg RR. There we had altogether the best Traveling, that we have had Seats that would lay, right back. there we had altogether most Comfort. Sunday We left Pittsburg at 11 AM. [on] Good pass Cars, our Car was one of the old Style Sleeping Cars, so was very Comfortable. We passed through four small Tunels [sic], a Short distance this side of Pittsburg. This was a very pleasant Ride Through a Tunel, 11 miles from Altoona 1 mile long.

We arrived at Altoona at 745 PM. There made but a short stay & started again for Harrisburg I do not think I ever rode any faster, than I did that night. We arrived 7 miles from HB, about 4 AM there we laid until about 7 AM. After a long & tedious ride, we got to Baltimore at 7 PM,

From there we marched to the Volunteer Relief Association, & got a good Supper. We have got a good name there, the Ladies say, there has not been a Regt there, that behaved as well as the 111th, New York & that they were glad to see us.

At B, four of us were Detailed to load the Baggage. There we concluded to ride in the Baggage Car, as the most of the Boys, had to ride, in, miserable, open Cattle Cars. It was cold enough there to Freeze a man.

We arrived in Washington this morning about 4 AM, & at 7, we marched to the Soldiers Retreat, & got Breakfast, from there we marched to a very large Building But a short distance, from the Capitol, which is used as a Temporary Barracks.

Our Co was Detailed to unload the Baggage & Guard it. We have just sent it to Arlington Hights [sic], but can not

(page missing?)

When we will be ordered to move there, or how long we shall stay there. Probably, for three or four weeks It is reported that our Lieut Col, has orders for us to be Brigaded under Genl White & that we are to go to Port Royal SC & there do Garrison Duty, I am sure I would rather do this than go into the Field.

Our Lieut Col McDougal is with us again and looks better, he [ ] at Baltimore.

While we were marching through the Streets of Balt, a Little Girl of about 6 years, that could hardly talk plain, says hurrah for the CSA. Some Rowdies called us 111th Skedadlers. But what did me the most Good, a little Girl about 5 years old, Says, Good Bye Gentlemen, I must confess that made one feel better. You must know, that it is not like me, to hear ourselves called Cowards & Skedadlers. Though of course we could do nothing.

We passed through some very rough Country, between Pitts & Altoona, there was one place, where we cross the Allegany Mounts, that it takes three Engines to draw a Common sized train up the Grade. Firemen Get here $80 a month. This goes ahed [sic] of the west. I sincerely hope that we shall stay here, for two or three weeks, as I want to Go through the Capitol, Patent Office, Smithsonian Institute Navy Yard & a great many other places, of interest. I should very much like to have you come out here.

If I draw my pay, & the $20 is sent home, I want you by all means, to keep the money, to pay, for what you send me. I do not want you to be any thing out by it. It is impossible for a man to live on $3 a month, try his best. Be sure you put none of the money in the Bank. You must take it, for what you have sent This is positive.

If you speak to Moor, about my Promotion, do not let him think I ask for it. If they take a 2nd Lieut from any other Company, than ours there will be a fuss. it would not be right.

I do not think I shall, go & see, Van Martyn to get any money. If we go down south, I shall hope to cut down my Expenses, some.

Do not think I am down hearted because, we are Exchanged, not so, I shall not object to going into the Field again. If I had any Friends, I never should advise them to Enlist in the Infantry, but would in [the] Cavalry, There they get no long Marches, & have some, chance to save themselves.

I do not know of any thing I want sent to wear, for if we March I do not want to be burdened with much

My love to all will write tomorrow again


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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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