Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

March 28, 1863

Dear Mother

I received you letter of the 23d last night, & was very glad to hear from you again. The Postage Currency came to hand all right, & so to day I will get my Boots Tapped & fixed up. these Boots I have got now, do not wear near as well as the Boots, I got in Syracuse. This is an awful place on Boots, as we have a great deal of Marching to do, & over all kinds of Roads.

Today & tomorrow is our Holiday, tomorrow there is Regimental Inspection, so we have got all we can do, to day, to prepare for it. yesterday our Picket Lines were Thrown out, from here, the Posts are a great deal nearer together now, & a great deal better.

Our lines run through a Country that has not been injured by Soldiers. the Fences are still standing, something strange in this Country, for there are Thousands of acres of Land & no Fence, around it here. We however will soon fix the Fields, by Burning then up.

We have to go on Picket, next Tuesday, & stay 2 days, instead of one. This Plan I like much better. Yesterday was a warm & pleasant day, now it is raining hard.

In regard to the Furlough, I do not think it will succeed, though I hope it may. I took the Chap, down the Independant, last night, he told me had received a Letter from Father, in regard, to my getting a Furlough, & that he would do all in his Power for me, & would speak to the Col about it. I think you are rather hard on me not let me go any where, I suppose you know that I am used to night, marches, & while you were sleeping some night, I should think I heard the Long Roll, & Fall in for where I thought the Trouble was. I think you will have to Revoke that Order, if I should come home.

I do not think myself it would pay, to come home on a 10 day Furlough, there would not be time, enough at home to pay, for the Trouble. I do not think & could Borrow the money here to come home with it is too far from Pay day. I am in hopes, that we shall be paid off, before long, then I shall have $53,00, or 4 months Pay.

Genl Casey has not arrived here yet. It is reported that we are to be Reviewed next week by President Lincoln, Genl Hientelzman, Genl Casey. Wont I fix up then. I am well & all right again. Tell Charlie that I meant just what I said.

Kiss Maggie for me,

Love to all

Your Son


Write & let me know if you got the Crosses all right

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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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