Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

June 6, 1863

Camp Hayes
June 6th /63

Dear Father

Enclosed please find $5,00, which I hope you will get without any trouble. We have been very fortunate this week, in regard to Drilling, All we have Drilled was Monday. Major Lusk, has command of the Regt, that accounts for it. One other thing he has done, that is reduced the No of Camp Guard & let the boys go out & come in, when & where they please. The Boys all wish he had command of the Regt, we then would have easier times. the Major does no [sic] believe in rushing things through so fast.

Yesterday 5 company’s out of the Regt, went out towards Warrenton, on a Scout. It was reported here, that, White had 2000 Gurillas, between him & Warrenton, So the General would sign no Papers for Washington, or to leave Camp at all. The Companies returned this morning, from the Scout, they brought back 5 Rebs. B & C, left yesterday, for Fair Fax Station, I only wish it had been our Company.

There is no extra news in Camp, today, only it is a settled thing that we are to have the Band.

Hoping to hear from you soon

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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