Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

February 10, 1863

Camp Hayes
Feb 10th 1863
6,45 AM

Dear Father

I have not read a letter [ ] from you in a long time. But I will write a Short note this AM. I will give you a few reasons why I do not feel like writing, first we Drilled hard yesterday & then we was called up on a False alarm at [5] this morning, & I have got to go on guard at 8 AM. Perhaps you think that is not enough, but if you had the dirty Guns to clean that I have, you would think so.

Yesterday we had Batallion Drill, we Drilled in Firing, blank Cartridges of course. We had a good Drill. The Col returned Last night the Officers had a regular Spree, Drinking & Singing, because the Col, had got his Commission. when Co D was ordered out this morning, there was no one but the [Order] Sergt, to Command the Co. Col ordered Capt Holmes to report to him, he ought to be Cashiered for it.

The Paymaster is here & will pay us, for a month & 25 days amounting in all to about $24. A big Thing this Working for 6 months for 25. We are doing Picket Duty, under a different Plan now, the 111th Furnishes Pickets two days, the 125th two days & the 89th one day. This will do very well.

Mrs Brown & her Daughter are here, I have not spoken to them yet. We had service on Sunday afternoon. It was the most uninteresting Sermon that he has ever preached. I will write again tomorrow

Nomoretime [sic]
Lovetoall [sic]

ManleyTStacey [sic]

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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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