Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

December 8, 1863 – Camp on Dumpling Mountain

Camp on Dumpling Mountain
Dec 8th [9] PM

Dear Father

Yesterday morning, we have Orders, to pack up everything, again, for a move. We marched on top of the Mountain, where we now lay, where wood is plenty, & everything nice for Stockading. Yesterday & today we have been fixing up for Winter Quarters, as we have been Ordered too. We have everything Convenient, so we can live Comfortable. We are now living a great deal better, our Rations are better now, than ever before. If we lay here, we take Comfort.

There is but little news, in Camp, The old Story about going home, is revived. I wish you would send me, on my Diary, be sure & send me a good large one, well bound. We had a Funeral, today, in our Regt, a man in Co H, Driar. He has been sick a long time & has been Carried about in the Ambulances, on this last Campaign, when the man was nearly Dead.

Wed Dec 9th 10 PM. It was reported in Camp, last night, that we were to move across the Rhapanock [sic], today, or in a few days at least. I suppose you have heard, that the 1st & 6th Corps, are being sent to Reinforce, Grant, So we are to fall back, across the River. There may be no truth in the Story, but I should not be surprised, if we had too.

When we Crossed the Rapidan, we took over 150,000 feet of nice Pine Lumber, The Officers are building Stockades of them. Genl Warrens Hd Qtrs, are at Lees House. You have asked me several times, if Hooker has returned to the Co, he has not nor do I think He will. Perhaps you remember, when Home I told you, of a Sergt, in out Regt who Volunteered, to burn a Barn at Gettysburg, which was filled with Sharp Shooters. He has just been Promoted to 2nd Lieut, in his Co. Col Lusk, has been trying to get a 2nd Lieut, in Co G, Promoted to Capt, in our Co, if this is done, there will be a muss in our Co.

We are living very well just now, out of the [Sutler], I will tell you some day the Modus Operandi. Capt H is still with us, though doing no Duty. Lieut Green is as Absent Minded as ever.

I hope you will soon send the Watch, as I need it Daily. Shall I send my diary home by mail or keep it. I am very glad to get the Daily Papers, also the T. The Tea you sent me the other day, went tip top. It was a good change, from Coffee.

Maj Hinman, says we shall do Duty, in Auburn this Winter, I hope so. No News yet from our Boys, I think there is no Doubt, they were taken Prisoners

I shall hope to hear from you soon

Love to all



(editor’s note: the following letter to Charles is undated, but was kept filed with the one above and seems to fit the time period contextually)


I suppose I must write you a few lines, this morning. In regard to the money for the Horse, I am afraid I can not help you much. I am short of Friends, at present, not having Drawn much, at the last Pay Day. I should like to help you, but can not at Present,

I suppose you see by this time, that I belong to the Crack Army Corps, the one that had the Post of Honor in the last Campaign, the one that Volunteered to do, what the 6th Refused, namely to turn Lees, right Flank, & Storm the Heights, Bully for our Side & the 2nd Corps, I am too tired today to write much, having just built my House, the Furniture, that I have Ordered from New York, has not come yet, when My Piano, comes I will write you, to come & see us.

We have a Dime Society here next Wednesday night. Fare, Hard Tack & Coffee & Coffee & Hd TK

Write Soon

Your Loving Brother
2nd Corps
Pride of the Army

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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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