Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

December 18, 1862

camp Vermont
Dec 18th /62

I have not recd the Box yet, though it is at Alexandria. I got a pass for the City to day & went to the Express Office, it had come but as I did not have the Receipt I could not get it. I had let one of the Teamsters have it, to get the box, for me. I shall get it in the morning, certain.

I went to the Marshall House to day, where Elsworth was Shot & saw the Stain Case. I should have got a piece of the Stains if I could. I went around the City a great deal today, & had a pretty good view of the City.

All we are afraid of now is being ordered to join Burnside, if we get clear of this we are all right. We are hearing some very bad news from Fredricksburg, altogether different from what we anticipated.

8 PM. I have just got your last letter of the 15th, & two papers from home, & was very glad to get them. we have not moved far as you will see, & we hope not to move. I do not think I shall have any trouble in selling the boots, if you send them, though, I shall not need them.

I do not know how we shall succeed in our [Dinner], but think we shall have one if we are here. You know that any letters directed to me at Washington 111th Regt will come all right, no matter where we are. You should see us now, H Warren, Barney & myself, writing Letters home sitting on our Bunk. To night we have been out & drawn a small Kettle, to Cook things on our Stove, it is just what we need.

Mother does not think it is as cold here, as it is in New York, to be sure we have some cold days & then we have a great many warm ones.

I will write you a good long letter as soon as the Box arrives. I am anxious to get it.

Our Regt had Battillion Drill this PM. I went to the Lieut Col, this AM & got him to sign a pass for me to go to the city, for my box. He is a great deal pleasanter then Segoine. It is rumored here that Segoine, is going to resign, we hope this is True.

I got the Stamps to night in the Letters all right. we see no signs of pay yet, but hope we will soon. We soon will have been in the Service 5 months soon, the 6th of next month.

One week from to day is Christmas, how I would like to be home then. I think I shall remember Home that day, of all others. The watch runs good, offered $16 for it to day, like it very much.

I do not think we shall have much Picket Duty to do this Winter, I think it will be building forts. I did not tell you that I had to work on a fort the other day, did I. I did not think Corporals would have to work like that

Will write soon 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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