Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

October 31, 1863

Address No 1
Camp near Warrenton
Oct 31st 11 AM 63

Charles Henry Augustus

Well Charlie, here is the first, of a series of Letters, I shall address to you. Now my Son, be steady, take the place of your oldest Brother in all things at Home. Now what do you think of this order, we can not cook our Dinners until the Bugle sounds nor after such a time. no cooking between meals.

Lieut Green told me last night, that, Col Mac ordered me to act as Sergt, in the Co, & that I should have the first Promotion. He said I should be Promoted the first one. If the Co is filled up, I think I shall be Orderly, the way things look here, it will be nothing else. I think Capt Holmes will be in the Invalid Corps, Green will be Capt, Charlie Cook, 1st Lieut & Catlin, 2dn. At any rate, I do not expect to get anything now. Green says I shall draw pay from 25th of June, when I get my Promotion.

We have got 13 men for Duty, though we only turn out, 7 or 8, for Drills. I can not tell how long we shall lay here, I think however we shall soon go into Winter Quarters. the Rail Road, now is open, to Warrenton, so we shall soon Draw Soft Bread, & get our Mail regular.

I wish you would tell Father, to send me a leather Watch Guard my chain is broken, I broke my Crystal out, last night laying on it. I am afraid I shall not be able, to send you the V I owe you, this Pay Day, Nearly $30,00 will come out of my Pay, for Extra clothing. I wish you would send me a good Pocket knife, you know mine was stolen. Also send me, 2 lbs, of — you know what, it is worth $3,00 per pound here. Things are moving along all right in Camp, in our Dig Tents, I wish you could see us come out of our holes, It rained all night last night, I tell you it was fun,

I will try & get you a Revolver, in the next Fight, now Charlie I want you to write, me a great deal oftener, than you did before, tell me all the news, Send me a Waverly Magazine, once in a while. I will make it all right, when I get my $75,00 Bounty, at the close of the War, I wish I could send you some money, but I can not. Wait awhile. Wait I say.

6 PM. The report is now in the Regt, that we, are are soon to advance, to Richmond some say tomorrow, Some of the Officers think we shall yet go to Chatanooga Tennessee, I would rather go there than Fight in Virginia.

I will write, every day or two, until this is settled. Give 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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