Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

April 12, 1863

Camp Hayes
APril 12th /63

Dear Father

I little expected a letter yesterday by the Capt or Dreyer, but received none. Capt arrived here, about 3 PM, Dreyer about 5 PM. I recieived from Dreyer some Cookies, 1 Box of Blacking, 100 Cartridges, The Neck Ties & Powder, The Paper & Envelopes, also the Emery Cloth. I did not get, the Revolver, Dreyer, says, someone Stole it from him, in New York. He brought the Case & Strap, but no Revolver.

The boys were all glad, to see Capt Holmes, I think there is no Doubt of his being the next Major. He is a great Favorite, with, the Colonel & is the first Capt, in the Line of Promotion. Granger is working for Capt, if Capt is Promoted, but He will get slipped up on it.

I am feeling very miserable this morning, I have got a very bad cold, coughed a great deal yesterday & last night, so that my Lungs feel very sore.

there is a Report in Camp that we are to move towards Washington. Our Orderly told me yesterday, that Genl Hayes, had received an Order, for his best Regt, to be sent to Washington, & that He says we are the best Regt. Another thing makes me think something is up, we have got Orders, to Draw new clothes, by the first of next month. Now if we were going into the Field, we would not want good looking clothes. We would not want good looking clothes to fight in.

There is but little news in Camp, Yesterday we had Reg Inspection, this morning, we have Co Inspection. just so much Form, to go through with. I shall hope to hear from you today

Love to all



Camp Breaking up
8th Co right in Front
Battallion Guard [Fa..]

Camp Hayes
Centerville Va
Co D 111th Regt NYV
April 12th

Dear Father

At last we have got marching orders. About noon, the whole Brigade, got orders, to march, tomorrow morning at 10 AM to Falmouth, or to join Genl Hookers Army, Some say, we are going to Cul, peppers [sic] (Culpeppers, Va.) by the way of Warrenton. We have orders to have 3 Days Cooked Rations in our Haversacks, & the QM, to have 3 Days, with him. This will play, out the Furlough, for if we move to the Front it will be hard to get one. Well I am glad to get the orders to move, though I should have liked the Furlough first.

We Draw, the Shelter Tents before we leave here. They are Lovely Things, we have to carry them, on the top of our Knapsacks. My Sugar, will come good on a march, also the Tea. Things are all in Confusion, in Camp today, but not as much as there will be tonight, you had ought to see a Regt, when it is Breaking up, talk about Confusion. I expect, the Detail of the Color, Guard, will be made on Dress Parade tonight

April 13th 5,45 AM the Detail for Color Guard was not read last night so I may not be in after all, just as the Capt says. The order on Dress Parade last night, read, we was allowed one Shelter Tent for 2 men, & that we were to move early today. We shall not get away very early, thats certain. I am going to carry with me 2 shirts, 2 Pr Drawers, 1 Pr Pants, 1 Blouse, Dress coat, 1 Over Coat, 1 Pr boots, 1/2 Shelter Tent, 1 Woolen Blanket, 1 Rubber Blanket, 1 Cartridge Box, 1 gun, 1 Haversack, My Paper & a few Extras. We have filled the Trunk with Things we are going to leave here, it will be sent to Washington, & stored for us.

All is Confusion in Camp. My cold is a little better this morning, shall soon be all right again

Give My Love to all

I will write as often a Possible, until we get settled, If we go by Alexandria, I may Drop a letter from there

Your Son


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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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