Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

March 24, 1863

111th Regt. 3 Brigade Caseys Division, 22 Army Corps
Reserved Army Corps, Defences of Washington
Camp Hayes
March 24th, 63
6 AM

Dear Father

I received your letter of the 19th, yesterday, & I will answer this morning.

today we are to have a little change. Brig Genl Hayes is going to make this his Head Quarters. The 126th NY, & the rest of the Regt’s, in the Brigade, are going to move here. Lieut Green says Genl Casey talks of coming here, & making this his Head Quarters. We all hope this will be so, we then shall have a little easier time, not quite so much Picketing to do, though we may have our lines extended.

Last night about 8 PM, the news came, that the Telegraph Wire had been cut, between here & Union Mills, immediately we got the order to sleep with Clothes & Boots on, & be prepared for the Long Roll. It is reported that Stuart is in Loudon County, with 5000 Rebs Cavalry, some Infantry, & 50 Pieces of Artillery. Loudon County is but a very short distance from here, not more than 30 miles. Harpers Ferry is not more than 25 miles. It is reported that Communication is cut off, between here & Washington. We may have another Harpers Ferry scrape here.

Tomorrow is Picket again, well I do not object to it, when the weather is pleasant. Yesterday is was quite Pleasant, today it looks like Rain. One day it is pleasant & the next it storms.

You asked me if the Boys, shared their things, of course they did, every thing is common, we eat together, there is no such Division in this Squad. I shall be glad to get the Water Proof Blacking, as we can get none here that is good.

I shall keep you Posted in regard to [us], you need not write off, that Letter for [.insley] now.

Love to all


Camp Hayes
March 24th
8 PM

Charles Henry Augustus

I thought I could do no better, than write a short note to you, so will commence to night.

As usual it is raining hard to night, Of course it must rain hard, when we go on Picket, or just before. Tomorrow as good luck would have it, is my turn to go on Picket.

Today the 126th NY, came from Union Mills, also the 1st Pa Reserves, with the Keystone Battery. Now we shall have a little easier time, in regard to Picketing, but we shall have most likely more Drilling, than ever. I am getting heartily sick of that, especially, Battallion Drills the Boys all hate these. We need these however, for when we are in Battery, we shall want to know how to manuver [sic].

Granger says in less than 10 Days, we shall be moving towards Warrenton, I can see this. W H [Carr], has got his Discharge, Cooley is all right, I saw [Dilo] [Bellas] to day, he is Orderly Sergt in Co I, a26th. He is looking well and hearty.

March 25th, 5,45 AM. It has rained hard all night, & is raining now. I hope you have Settled down peacably, & have given up coming.  dont let Capt Holmes, get you under him, be just as free from him, as you now are.

This morning my Havelock will come in good, I tell you they are Bully things in wet weather here. Things look little like our being paid off, just now, we hear nothing more about it. I am beginning to dread the coming warm weather, Drilling is hard then.

I must close

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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