Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

February 16, 1863

Camp Hayes
Feb 16th 1863 7 PM

Dear Father,

I recieved a Letter from you to day, & 4 Papers. I was glad to hear from you, as I had not heard from you in several days.

I have been quite sick, since last night, have had Chills & Fever, most of the time. I was excused by the doctor this AM, & have been laying in my Tent all day.  I am feeling a little better this PM, although not well enough to Brag of. I was afraid I was going to have an attack of Intermittent Fever. There are a great many cases of it in the Regt. Al Hunt has been sick with it since several days past, the Doctor thinks he can break it up.

Tomorrow the Right wing of the Regt, goes on Picket, as we are in the Right wing, or would be our turn to go. I shall not go unless I am better. There is a rumor in Camp, that Non Comissioned Officers can get Commissions in these Negro Regts just forming, our Sergt Major, & several Sergts in the Regt intend to apply. If there is anything (in) it, I shall apply.

I reserved 4 Stamps & a 25cts Postage Currency, I have not read a Paper from you in several days, like to day. I think I have got all the Papers, that [Supp..] directed, I have recd three that he Directed. I read the Harpers Weekly, & also the Sodus Repository. I got the Tribune with Fred Douglas’es Speech in. The Mail comes in every day here, via Alexandria. Moving to Warrenton is played out, we hear no more about it.

Co McDougal is Comandant of this Post now, Col D Utassi is under arrest, 27 charges preferred against him. I hope it is so, no one likes him.

8 AM 17th. I am felling much better this morning, & shall get along all right now. Doctor told me he thought I should have the Fever & Ague. it is snowing hard here this AM, & has been nearly all night, the Co has to go on Picket, I do not know how it is, but it generally Storms when we have Picket Duty to do. Hoping to hear from you again soon. I will write tomorrow

Love to all


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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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