Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

November 2, 1863

Camp near Warrenton
Nov 2nd 1863

Dear Father

I have written you a letter, about every other day, since I returned, which will partly make up, for what I lacked, while at Washington. Tonight there is a report that we soon move, but I do not see it. We have to keep 8 Days rations on hand, all the time, this will be nice to carry. Tonight, we Draw, Potatos Beans & Dried Apples, 1 Potatoe, 4 Beans, & 2 pieces of Dried Apples, a piece Heavy Rations. A great many of the boys, are Stockading their Tents, also the officers. I think we shall soon move, when I can not tell. Tonight I expect, to go on as Lieut of the Guard, the first time I have been on Duty since my return. We average one Drill in 2 Days so are not worked hard at present.

I am sorry Charlie, exposed me but then I am not as harmed, Officers & all have the same Complaint, you can not keep clear of them, while laying on the Ground. About the Overhauling, all I have to say is invite in the Neighbors. Do you think we can not, boil water here, That is a mistake. It turned out to be the best thing, I could do my not reporting, to the Provost Marshalls, for if I did, I should have been sent to the Convalescent Camp, as some did that went down with me. At any rate I was in no hurry, to report. We are living very well here, though we soon expect to Draw Soft Bread.

I do not cough but little now, have not since I left Home. I am feeling tip top, sleep well & take my rations as natural as ever. How often do you want me to write, will twice a week be often enough. There is but little to write now. I wish you would tell Charlie, to send me some Tobacco, in a newspaper, right off. He knows what I want. My clothing Bill amounts too 64,75, my allownace is 42,00 big thing. Lieut Green is fleshing right up, & is getting quite Stout.

Hoping to hear from you often, with 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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