Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

October 8, 1863

Barracks No 3
Elmira Oct 8th
1 PM

Dear Father

I am afraid 3 Day Passes are played out, Col Brown has shut down on it.

We now have to Drill from 9 to 11 AM, from 2 to 4 PM, Dress Parade at 5 PM, This is a big thing. Yesterday it was reported in Camp, that 2 Comissioned Officers & 4 men, were to be sent back, out of each Detachment, and today the Report is, that the Men are to go Home for 30 Days, after this Draft before the next one, I think if there is another Draft, some such thing will be done. That is the Question now.

I do not think now that I can come Home, in less than 15 Days, we have got 2 Boys to go Home on a Furlough yet before my time come again. It is very hard now to get a Furlough. They grant but few.

There is nothing going on now, in Camp, It is raining too Day so we are not Drilling. There is a great deal of talk here about going back, but I dont see it.

I bought me a good pr of Boots, for $6,00. tip top Calf Skin. I also got me a Cap, & Shirt. I am now rigged out for Winter. I also got a pr of Gloves.

I shall hope to see you up here before long. The only way that I could get Home would be if any of you went Sick. I read a letter from A B Williams this morning from the Regt, they are all well & are 10 miles beyond Culpepper.

Hoping to hear from you soon

Love to all


(some notations on the back side)

Wood 50,00
Flour 25 [lb]
Meat 1 Doll a [ ]
Groceries 2 Doll
[ ]

50 4,32

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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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