Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

March 8, 1862

Dear Father,

I received a Letter & Paper this AM, on my return from Picket, also a letter & 3 Papers this eve. the Barrel has not arrived yest, but hope to get it this week, I do not know when the QM, will go for them. A Commissioned Officer, has to get an Order from Brig Hayes, then go to Alexandria & sign a Receipt for them. when the things come I shall put them in the Trunk & lock them up, or else when I went on Picket, they would all be stolen.

I do not agree with you about dividing the Apples, I think I can dispose of them. Harve[y] & I, are trying to get another Tent, & be in a Squad by ourselves, This I will like a great deal better. I have no map of Virginia, though I would like a good Light one.

I do not know what to say about Charles, being a Drummer. nothing would suit me better than to have him with me, & to have him see the Country, but I fear the Hardships. I do not want to take the Responsibility on my Shoulders, of having him Enlist, though I should like to see him Drummer of Co D. They are in no Danger in Battle, being always in the Rear, but Boys, are the first to Die with Disease. If he was 3 years older, I would say Come, by all means, but as it is I can not.

I got 5 Letters to day, 2 from Home, 1 from A Yager Chicago, one from Dansville & one from SB, so you see I have news enough tonight. Tell Rosa I will answer her Letter next time. We had a Sermon this PM & the Regt sung one Hymn, & closed with the Doxology, I tell you it sounded good again. I will let Mr Brown have the Papers, when I read them. It is raining again to night as usual, Our Rainy Season has just commenced now, & that is where our [fro..] commences. I am living in hopes of being paid off, this week, but may be Disappointed.

March 9th. Dear Father I wish you many Happy Returns of the Day, this is your Birth Day I believe. Hope I see you, before you have another

Nothing New this morning

My 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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