Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

June 4 & 5, 1863 – Camp Hayes

Camp Hayes
June 4th 1863
7,30 PM

Dear Father

I received your latter of Saturday last night, annoncing your safe arrival home. I am glad you got through all right, & found things, all well at Home.

We have hardly commenced doing Duty yet, in our new Camp, The boys are fixing up their Tents, & the Streets are yet to be Graded, & Ditches are to be dug, so that we shall not be ready, to work, or get settled down, before next week. We were expecting to be paid off today. I hardly know, whether we shall or not. The Paymaster, has made some mistake about the Allottment Roll, so that he had to send to Washington.

I have had a lovely old Boil, on my Back, for a Day or two past, the first I have ever had.

Co’s B & L, leave here, today, to Guard the Rail Road, at Fair Fax Station. This is Just the kind of work that I would like. For then you are free from the restraints of Camp. I wish you could see, my Bunk, here, It is a Bed Tick, nailed on a couple of poles, & is a great deal better than laying on the Ground.

We now are having the Warm days & cold nights. last night, we all came near Freezing. Enclosed I send a letter from Rev Mr Brown, of Dansville. I intend writing him a letter, giving an account of my visit to the Smithsonian Institute. What has become of Mr Holt, I have not heard from him in a long time. The Boys are getting 10 Day Furloughs in the Regt now. The Col, has gone home for 20 Days, when he returns, we are to have Scotts Band. This is settled. Now we will feel better.

There is nothing going on in Front of us, everything quiet, out side the Lines. When I get the Pay, I will send a $1,00 for which I want some Stamps, I will write just as often as, there is any news

Love to all
Kiss Maggie for Me



Camp Hayes
June 4th /63
7,30 PM

Dear Father

Enclosed I send you 10,00, & a 1,00 Bill, that I want you to get me a 1,00 worth of Stamps & send on immediately, as I am nearly out. We received our Pay, this PM, about 4, & of course were not sorry to get our $26,00. Write me just as soon as you receive this.

June 5 6,15 AM I think I will send $5,00 in this, & 5,00 tomorrow. I can think of nothing to write, there is nothing going on. Major Lusk has got his Silver leaves, & is now acting as Lieut Col. We hear nothing about the Major.

I will write again tomorrow

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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