Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

December 17, 1863 – The last letter

Camp on Dumpling Mount
Dec 17th 11 AM

Dear Father

I received your letter of the 12th. last night, so today will answer it.

There was 120, out of this Brigade Taken Prisoners, that I know to be true, It is now understood that this is to be our Winter Quarters. Genl Warren, told our Brig Genl, so yesterday, So now we can feel settled. For the past few Days it had been very fine, & we did not know, but Lee, would Advance on us. I wish He would, as we have a Splendid Natural Position here,

You ask Me if I have a Blanket Yet, I have, & had on the Campaign, without it I should have Frozen, We have nothing but Shelter Tents, but have them stockaded, so they answer very well. But for all that, it is some trouble to keep warm in them.

I think if you can send the Watch, to Mr Millards, that I could get a chance to send there for it. I do not know why you could not send it by Mail. Watches are sent that way, from New York, safely. I got the pencil you sent, and shall soon want another.

I never want to see Grant, in comand of the Army of the Potomac. Mead suits the Boys. Capt Holmes, went all through this last Campaign, with us, & is still with us, Capt Holmes, is not going to Resign until Spring, and is going to stay here with us. This will put off, all Promotions until this is done. He will Probably Resign when we Advance next Spring. I do not like this, it is not right [our] using the Boys right, by any means. [He] can do no duty, but just lays around.

If you want to come down here, I do not think You would have any more trouble getting Transportation, than you did to [Centreville]. There is something to see here, it is different from Centreville.

They are now granting Furloughs in the Regt, col Lusk has gone Home, MacDugal, is Home on a Sick keave. Major is in Comand we have easy times now, everything has to go just [so]. Lt Green, is quite Sick, in the Hospital, he is going Home on a Sick leave. Lusk has been trying to get him to Resign, and he wants to Put another Lt in. This will cause a Row in Co. D.

We have now 17 men in the Co to Draw Rations for, 6 non Comiss, 1 Drummer & Capt, Waited, leaving 9 men for Duty. This is pretty small. But for all that we do not want any Recruits, for then we would have to Drill, all the time, We want them for the Springs Campaign, however, & plenty at that. I am glad to get the Papers, though we occasionally get the Daily Papers here

I suppose you have Jeffs Message, what do you think of it

Hoping to hear from you soon

Manley

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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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