Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

October 21, 1863

Oct 21st 63
2,30 PM
Elmira Depot

Dear Father

After a very pleasant ride, this morning we arrived at Gorham at 7,30 being just 2 hours on the Road. I arrived in Elmira at 10,30 AM, and found that [Kinnie] the Young Man that was going back with me, had gone, on monday. But he left word with the Boys, that He would meet me in Washington.

There is nothing new here. The 97th NY & 149th NY Detachments, go down to the Army tonight. I had no trouble in Getting my Transportation Tickets so shall leave here at 5,25 PM.

I must confess, that I have been Homesick all day. I am glad that I came to Gorham, it was much pleasanter.

Baltimore 7,30 AM. We have just arrived at the Provost Marshalls, & will get our Transportation, so as to leave on the 10 AM Train for Washington. I had a pretty rough night but little sleep. So this morning felt rather rough. the last of the Conscripts at Elmira, came down with us, so their work is played out, There is nothing going on, in Baltimore this morning, all quiet.

As soon as I get in W. I shall go to Mrs Millards, & leave my things, then go where I please.

I will write you as soon as I leave Washington, or in a day or two.

Hoping you are all well, [ ]
love to all

(the bottom of this page is torn off)

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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."

The Letters

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