Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

December 16, 1862

Dec 16th 6 PM

I have just got your letter of the 12th, & will answer it in this.

In regard to that Paper, I can say that I did not put that in the box.  The box had been laying around & some one had used it. I can say that is not the kind of reading I prefer.  it is usless [sic] your warning me, in that matter, I have seen the consequences & have learned a lesson.  That is one thing I am free from, & I am glad to say so.

I hope you will explain, to Francisco & Williams.  Aleck wrote a letter to Barney, & in that he called me a Son of a B-.  So you can judge how mad he is.  Of course I have no special objection, to your publishing my letters, if you choose to do so,  That is if there is any news in them.

I think I shall get my Box, from A to morrow, I shall send down by one of the Teamsters.  I am getting in a hurry to get it.  I am sure I should be very glad to see you out here at any time.  And then you could see a great deal of Country.

Will write again soon

Manley

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Mother

I think it is [ ] asking me to write every day, dont you think so.

I think our Capt is very slow & have thought so all the time.  the reason why I did not ask the Capt, to excuse me from Picket Duty, was, we have got too many in our Co, that always have an excuse, so they need not do duty.

You ask me how we cook,  We have got a Co Cook, but then we cook a little Extra, once in awhile.  We Fry our Pork in a plate cook our Coffee in a Cup & had our Water in a Cup to wash our dishes.  We have no [Conveniences] for Squad Cooking.

I expect to see a great change in Charlie, if I get home again.

You may be sure if any ot the Corporals are promoted over me, that I shall resign.  I like to see things done right.

We are in hopes that we shall not be ordered away from here, we like these Quarters very much, & think we could take comfort here.  As soon as our QM is removed, we shall fare a little better, this I hopw will be done very soon

I will write again as soon as I get the Box

Manley

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Dec 16th

Charles

I have got a pair of Brass Shoulder Plates, for you & will send them home, as soon as I get a chance.  I am getting all the Different Styles of cartridges I can to send home.

How are you getting along now days.  I have heard there has been Sleiging [sic] in Wanye Co, if that is so I suppose, you have had some fine rides, with Sarah.  I would like very much to take a ride with you, but we are in bigger business now.

Al & I have been keeping Bachlors Hall for the past few days & have some fine times.  We had Boiled Rice to day & it was a little burned.  Al wanted to know why they did not keep the Coal out, I wish you could see how they drive 4 horses here with one line, It would be a novelty to you.

I must now quit as I have my night Wood to get in & prepare for Night.  It has been a windy day here, the wind blows pretty strong & shakes our Tent a great deal.  Write Soon

From a Fellow Prisoner

(Love to Sarah)

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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