Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

June 8, 1863

Camp Hayes

June 8th /63

Dear Father

I received you letter of the 2nd, day before yesterday, & should have answered it before, but there is a great scarcity of News in Camp at Present. I have sent you 10,00 in two different letters which I hope you will receive, all right.

Saturday, Genl Hayes had a Picnic Party at Stone Mills, for his wife who, had just come. The Colors, from all the Regts except the 125th, were used so of course, the Color Guard had to go. They had a platform made, & the Band played. Altogether we had a very pleasant time.

We are having very easy times now in Camp, Col Husk, is drilling us but a very little, & is letting us go out of Camp when we choose. We are waiting very anxiously for our Band, when that comes we are all right. This morning about 6, between 3 & 4000 Cavalry, under Genl Stahl, went out on a Scout, they had a Battery of Light Artillery, with them. We shall hear a good account of them soom. Two of the Men, that our Boys took the other day, were at the Ferry, when we were taken. They belonged to the 4th Va Cavalry.

If Col Mac, marries Sewards daughter, while he is home, we shall be at Washington in less than a month, doing Provost Duty. Wouldn’t that do me good. We are fixing up our new Camp, & will soon have things pleasant. We have got things fixed up, tip top in our Tent now. I shall try & get a Picture of my Tent taken & send it home. Barney Aleck & Al Hunt, are all gone on Picket this morning, no one left in the Tent but me.

I will write to Mother tomorrow

Love to all



(To Charlie?)

I was glad to hear from you again. I am sorry you had so much Trouble at Potter, if you had only known, the Colt, intended kicking you, you might have lit down the Fence. I did not send you any money this Pay Day, but I think I can let you have $5,00 between now & the 4th.

I suppose Father has told you, that if we remain here, I shall be home in August. I want you to keep the horse fit & clean, for I shall want to ride around a little.

I will write you again 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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