Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

August 19, 1863

Elmira Barracks No 1
Aug 19th 5,30 PM

Dear Father

I have just read your letter of the 18th & will answer immediately.

In regard to Charlie he has behaved all right since he has been here, we have staid in the Barracks, most of the time he has been here, All the sights in Elmira, can be seen in 2 Hours, so I have [ran] but little. This morning Charlie, Rice & I went down to a little lake, about a mile & a half, from here. There we had a pretty good time. I think he has enjoyed himself since he has been here. Charlie says he made arrangements with George Francisco, to meet him at Geneva, on Saturday morning, he says he will be home on Saturday, with out fail. He has not spent much money, since he has been here, but a very little.

In regard to my next Furlough, if nothing happens, I shall get one Monday of Tuesday. I think now I can get off then. There was a little trouble today, the General refused to sign all the Furloughs, that was sent down, that I think will wear off, in a day or two, When I return, I shall come to Clifton & stay all night, & Charlie meet me there. I should like to go, to Auburn while Home this time, if possible. I do not think I should have any trouble in getting a pass for Pen Yan (Penn Yan), over Sunday, it will depend upon how busy we are.

We have not got a conscript here today all left. Our Lieut told me today, that we were back in the 22d Corps, I hope not, I prefer the 2nd by all means. It is reported here tonight that our Corps, has fallen back on Alexandria.

Nothing new in Camp
My 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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