Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

June 28, 1863 – Monocacy Junction

Monocacy Junction
3 Brig, 3 Division 2d Army Corps
June 28th

Dear Father

I wrote you a letter yesterday, & put it in my pocket, intending to write more & seal it up, but I sweated & so it got sealed. I left off, in the morning, after I wrote the letter, I laid down to sleep, & was awakened, by the Order at 3 PM, Fall in, for the March. We all expected to lay over Sunday, at this Camp, We then started, for Poolsville 5 miles distance, this we marched in a very short time, the next place we came to was Barnsville, We marched, until 9 PM, when we halted, for the night. I never have been so Completely exhausted in my life, as I was then, it seemed as if I could not drag one foot, before the other. They marched us cruelly, so fast, that the Capt, said he did not expect, to have half, of his men, when they Halted. We should not have gone quite as far, but the General was Signaled, to march his men as far as possible.

This morning at 8 AM, we started, for Frederick City, 15 miles. This has been the easiest days march that I have ever had. Genl Hayes had comand [sic] & rested us often, we have just taken it slow & easy arriving here at 4 PM, we have Pitched our Tents on the Bank, of the River, & tonight have had, a good wash. We are Camped near the RR Bridge, but a short distance, from where we were, last fall.

Tonight, it is reported that McClenan has got command, of the Army again, The old Troops are Cheering a great deal over it. It is reported, here that they are Fighting at South Mountain, 17 miles from here. We should not be surprised if we have to go there yet, tonight. Now we are at a stand still. of course we know not what a day may bring forth. I shall hope to hear from you tomorrow, When we are marching, around so, we shall not get, nor can we send it regularly.

This is a Beautiful sunday morning evening, I would give a great deal, to go to Church tonight, it has seemed but little like sunday, to us today.

I will write 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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