Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

June 30, 1863 – Union Town, Md

Union Town Md
30 miles from Frederick City,
Co D 111th Regt
June 30 /63

Dear Father

I sent you a letter yesterday from a place called Liberty, a few miles back, & now this morning I will write again.

Yesterday we marched 30 miles, We left Frederick at 10 AM, & Halted at 11 PM, Oh how tired I was, I was completely worn out, & exhausted so that I groaned at every step, When we Halted last night [last night], there was not 2 whole Co’s left in [in] the Regt, the Boys had marched just as far as they were able & then fell out. The Road was lined with men, for 5 miles, before we halted. We lost 2 Boys that I know of out ot the Regt, that died, yesterday. God knows how many, there was in the Corps. Talking about Forced Marches, this was one, no mistake. Barney fell out, about 7 miles back, he could go no farther, Aleck also gave out & Albert was completely exhausted. For my part, I just managed, to get through & thats all.

This morning, we have laid over, & will muster, during the Day, we are to Pitch our Tents & stop over, you may be sure I am not surprised, if we have a Fight, today or tomorrow, it is reported that the Rebs are in Force, not more than 10 miles from here, if this is so, we may have a Fight. In regard to the Country, it is Beautiful, I never saw, such Splendid Country, & such Splendid Girls, they give us everything. No one knows, where we shall turn up next, I think from present appearances we are to drive, the Rebs out of Maryland, & then Fight them in Va. I shall write you as often as possible.

Capt is Tired out this morning, it was rough on him yesterday. It is reported that we are to go to Pennsylvania to stay, that Genl Couch, has sent for it. He was formerly the Comander of it, If we go to Pa, I shall expect to see you there, without Fail, You could see a great deal of the Army

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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