Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

June 17, 1863

Camp Hayes
June 17th 63
7 AM

Dear Father

Yesterday all of the Troops here, drew their 4 Days Rations, & packed up, their things & this morning at 3 AM, they commenced moving. Where no one knows. I think however they will turn up in Lees Rear, either in Maryland, or near Harpers Ferry. The boys themselves think they are going to Maryland. They are all in good Spirits, all anxious to meet Lee again, & clean him out this time.

I have had a good many talks with boys, from the 11th Corps, they explain things a little, & throw the blame where it ought to be, on Howard. It seems that he had notice after notice, that Jackson was Flanking him, but made no move to better his position. The 11th Corps was on the extreme right, & some of Howards, Generals, rode up to him & said, repeatedly, for God’s sake General, let us change our Front, they are Flanking us, his answer, go back to your Posts, you are more scared than [hurt]. Jackson Massed his Troops & threw them on this Corps, in such a way, that he could rake them down in the Rifle Pits & they could do nothing. The 11th Corps Boys swear he never will come out of another Battle alive. Take them altogether & they are a noble looking, lot of men which with a good General would do something.

Yesterday there was some talk of our joining the 1st Corps, but they have left us. The Waggon Train, is passing through now, & is 5 miles long. I have been through the camps this morning & could get clothing enough, to set up a store. There has been a great deal of excitement, here for the past few days, but now it will die down. I only wish we were going on with them. Looking out of my Tent, I can see Acres of Waggons, it is quite a Sight.

Hoping to hear from you soon

Love to all


(ed’s note: Written upside down in the top margin)
I saw Mr Brown, yesterday of the 44 NY, he looks hard

Tags :

No Comments

(will not be published) (required)

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."

The Letters

Recent Comments

Friends and supporters