Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

October 4, 1863

Barracks No 3
Elmira October 4th
3 PM

Dear Father

I received two letters from you, the past week, & should have written sooner, but to tell the truth, I had nothing to write about. There is actually nothing going on in Camp. Things are moving off, about the same as usual, We have recd nearly all the Conscripts that, we shall get under this Draft, but very few are coming in now. If we, do not have another Draft, I think we shall be through, & go back to our Regts, about the Middle of the Month. I do not think, there will be another Draft, though there may be. For some reasons I wish there would & for others, I would prefer them to raise, the men by Volunteering.  I do not want to stay here all winter, by any means, unless we have a change in Officers. Col Brown that has Command of our Barracks, is Tyrant & is hated by both Officers & Men.

I should like to have, both Mother & You come up here before I go back. We have nearly a Regt here now, Old Soldiers & Invalids. We make, quite a Show on Drills & Parades. We have a great many Visitors, both on Week Days & Sundays, at Dress Parade’s.

I hope to come home for a few Days this week, though it is Doubtful, we can only get 3 Days Passes & it will not pay, to come Home for that time, $5,00 for 2 Days at Home. I got my Pay last week, after some little trouble, I shall get me a Pr of Boots here, I can get a good pr for $6,00, Double Soles. If we stay here this Winter I shall certainly come home again on a Furlough if not it is Doubtful I will write often[er] this week, News or no News

My love to all
Kiss Maggie for me


I should like a letter from Charles, if he will Deign to write me one

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(will not be published) (required)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