Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

November 24, 1863

Camp near B Station
Nov 24th [1 PM]

Dear Father

I did think of waiting, till I heard from you, before, I wrote, but as there is some prospect of moving I will write.

Last night I was on Camp Guard, at midnight, we got Orders to move, this morning, at Daylight. So at 4 AM, we had Roll Call, & had Orders to pack up everything, & be ready to Strike Tents, at a moments Notice. We fell in line about 6 AM, & after standing in line a few moments, an Orderly came from Hd Qtrs, & told us that the Order was Countermanded, So we put up our Tents, again. Today there is no signs of moving, It was intended, for us to cross the Rapidan for the Pontoons, were sent ahead of us. I think however, we shall soon advance across the River. things look like it, Some time this week, I think. One thing is certain, we can not move long. Now we are having very unsteady weather, now One day, it is Rainy, and the next pleasant.

Nov 25th 6 PM.  I have just recd your letter, of the 21st, and was glad to hear from you again. I was glad to get the T -, and in reply you say, send T F r n e. (editor’s note:????) And I will liberally reward you, one of these days.

You do not say in your letter whether you got the Money or not, I hope you will get me a good Watch, & send it some way soon, for I need one soon. There is no News in Camp today, I have had heard some Firing today, towards Culpeper, When we move, I think it will be towards Fredericksburg, I shall write, as often as I can find any News, to write. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving but I am afraid, all the Dinner, we get, will not hurt us, any. Capt Holmes returned tonight, looking well. I do not think he will stay long. He thinks we shall soon Move on, & so do I.

I shall be glad to hear from you as often, as possible

Love to all



Miss Rosa

I have just time to write a few lines, to you. You must excuse my not writing, a letter. I am much obliged to you, for sending the Tobacco to me, & will do as much for you some day. I think you are in pretty large business breaking up Matches, but then if you have made up your mind, to have H Case, go right in, Stop for nothing. I will write a letter to you soon.

Kiss Mother & Maggie for me, & tell Charlie, if he Enlists & comes here I will Shoot him

Your Brother

Nov 26th 4 AM. We have just read Orders to march at 6 AM, that is the way, we spend Thanksgiving

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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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