Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

December 25, 1862

Camp Pomeroy
Dec 25th -/62
9 AM

Dear Father

I read you letter of the 22d last night & was very glad to get one at that time. Last night I was on Brigade Guard, so had to stay up all night. I have just been Excused, & will now write a little. This was the first time that I have had to Guard Secesh Property, & hope it will be the last.

The 4th Delaware 115th NY, are ordered to Fort Monroe. The 27th Maine & the 111th NY are to remain here. The Colonel told us boys this morning , that most likely we should stay here. I know that we are to finish this Fort, & then I think by present appearances that we shall go into the Fort when Finished.

The boys have gone out on Fatigue Duty today.  they did not like the Idea of working on Christmas, but it could not be helped. The colonel was in very good Humor this morning, he told the Boys, he would like to give them a Holiday to day, but he could not give it to them.

We have not recd the Trunk that Aleck brought. he left it at Washington, as he could not carry both up with him. Mr [Bradlong] has not arrived here yet, we hope to see him to day, in time for Dinner or Supper. I shall let you know just as soon as the trunk arrives. The Trunk will come very convenient here to keep things in.

I hope Moore will write to the Capt before long, I know of no one over me in the Line of Corporals, that I am afraid of, all that troubles me is Greens working for Catlin for Sergt. There will be trouble if this happens as Catlin is not at all popular with the Co. He has borrowed a great deal of Money in the Company, & never will pay his Debts, he has also been caught in the act of getting our Rations of Coffee & Sugar, & selling them.

Dreyer is playing himself out in this Company, he has been blowing a great deal, about the Commissioned Officers, drawing our Rations, & using them. He is not near as popular in the Co, as he was.

The First Corp. Hutchins has been playing for a Discharge since leaving A. 2nd Dawes, has been Sick almost all the Time. 8th [L….], has been Sick a great deal, 4th Pulver never has done anything, & then comes [MTS].

I wrote a letter to Philip Clouses Father to day, I can not tell whether Phil, has got any Money or not at any rate he will not need any until he is getting better. Peter Crowl is at No 421, 11th St, I am in hopes, I shall get a pass to go & see him. I do not think he ever will go with the Regt again,, he will most likely stay at the Hospital. Clouse has been taken to the Small Pox Hospital at Washington, so I shall not be able to see him.

I need not tell you how glad I would be to come home to the [Donations] But there is no such good news for me.

The Rabit [sic] Skins are not Dressed, but I think they could be used.

You asked me how Chaplain Brown is, I can not tell, as I see him so seldom, we have Religious Services about once in two months. He is a lovely Chaplain.

Our Camp as about 3 miles South west of Alexandria, It is in Sight of the city. The route from the Dock, is up King St, then turn to your left, by the AMRR, Engine House & from there the Road is Straight. If you will drop a line, I will meet you at the dock. Our Army Waggons are running to & from every day. It is but a Short walk for me now.

I have got a pair of Leggings for Charlie, as I have two pairs. I think he will like them.

We had Dress Parade, this PM, the best we have ever had. Segoine presented McDougal & the Regt with a Splendid Flag from Gov Morgan from NY. It was one of the Four that was presented, to the First Four Regts under the Last call. As we were one of the four, we got a Splendid Blue Flag, The boys are all proud of it. You had ought to have heard the Col, praise his noble Boys of the 111th.

7 PM. There is no [Pass] to have the Lights Extinguished until 10 PM, the boys are having great times. They are going to have a Dance, on the Parade Ground. It is warm enough to go with out a coat. The Boys all feeling well. Some of the Boys dressed up like an elephant & called on the Colonel.

Our Pickets were attacked last night, some 10 or 12 men were killed. If our men had not repulsed them, in five minutes more, we would have been ordered out. I think we shall get rid of Picket Duty, for a while. All the Talk here now is, about our being turned into Heavy Artillery. Dont we hope it will be so.

I wish Charlie was here to night he would enjoy himself tip top. While I am writing this, I can hear 5 or 6 Violins playing, all are feeling well.

Our Trunks are not come yet, but hope they will soon


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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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