Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

April 26, 1863

Camp Hayes
April 26th
6,15 PM

Enclosed I send $30 by Mr. Cookingham. For which please give me Credit. Now I want you to use this money, just as I said. Mr Cookingham has succeeded, in getting here, & why can not you & Mr Francisco come. We shall stay here now most likely, & if you come, pretty soon, you will most likely see us. There is no earthly reason why you should not come. We were paid off, yesterday, & the Boys are feeling well.

Today I have been out walking around the Country, & managed to get a good meal, which made me feel a great deal better. This week, we have no Battallion Drills, it is Skirmish in the morning, & Bayonet Excersise [sic] in the Afternoon, this does not look like moving. I received a letter from Mrs Stout, today which I enclose.

27th 7,30 AM. Mr Cookingham does not leave until tomorrow so I will send the money tomorrow by him. Nothing new in Camp this morning, all quiet.

Love to all




Enclosed find $1,00 for your special benefit, to do just what you choose with. I suppose a Green Back will not come amiss to you. I should like to send you more but I can hardly spare it. This morning the 126th NY & the 39th, leave, we can not tell where they are going. I do not think however we shall soon leave. I am making up my mind to stay here some time yet.

Hope to hear from you soon


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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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