Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

April 9, 1863

Camp Hayes
April 9th
6 AM

Dear Father

I received your letter of the 4th Yesterday. I had begun to think I never should hear from home again, as I had not heard from you since the 3rd. I had received several Papers but no letter. We have had several changes here for the Past few Days, Lieut Col Smith has Resigned, so now we need a new Major. I have heard, that the Col, has said, Capt Holmes, is the Man, if that is so, there will, be some changes in this Co.  And if Dreyer gets his discharge, there will be 2 Sergts to make. The Col has not had, the Detail of the Color Guard read yet though I expect he will soon. The Paymaster has not made his Appearance yet, though we hope to see him this week.

We have had but little Duty to do this week, the Col has been Sitting on a Court Martial, at Head Quarters. They have been trying one of the 39th NY, for the Murder of one of his Co, He stabbed him in the Night, in 7 different Places. Since he has been in the Service, he has murdered 5 men, but has managed, to get clear so far. He will either be shot or Hung, before, all the Regts here. He says he wants to kill 3 men more before he dies, one of them is D Utassi. He has been kept in our Guard House for a month past, heavily Ironed.

We are getting along nobly in our Class in Tactics, Col says we have got the best, Instructed, class of non commissioned Officers in the Regt. I am afraid I shall get [stepped] up on the Furlough, I have given up all Hopes now. I am sorry, for I would like a Rest. Tell mother I have no Objection to fixing up the Place at Clifton, but I must see this through, first. It would not look well to leave just now. nor do I think Mother would wish to see me unless I came Home Honorably. Now I am going to have my Nights rest, that is a great thing in the Army.

we are little expecting the Capt, here today, or tomorrow. we have had some Pancakes for the past few Days. This is the way I mixed them. [Salenatus], Cold water, Salt & Flour, ask Mother if that is right.

I shall hope to hear from you again soon

Love to all



Dear Rosa

I will now answer your last letter. I am glad to hear you have improved so in Riding Horse Back, I suppose you will be riding at the Fair, in the Fall. I suppose you had a part in the Exhibition last week & astonished the Natives by your Eloquence. I was in hopes, of being able to come home & see you, but I am afraid it is Played out, now. I should like to come Home & try that new horse, by riding in the country a little, that is if you would have no Objections.

Well I must close as the breakfast call has just Beat & you know I never was late to Breakfast.

My Love ot Maggie

Your Brother


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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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