Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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


If you have any comments or suggestions about this site, I would be happy to hear them.  Please leave comments here.  Thanks!

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11 Comments so far ...

1. Jim L.

I just wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed you providing these letter re: Manley online. They were fascinating and truly depicted what an ordeal the common soldier had to go through during the American Civil War. Thanks and kudos for enabling folks like myself to partake in such a fantastic endeavor. Jim L.

Comment on July 19, 2009 07:16 pm
2. Sharon

Well done, Marty. Well done. Not sure how you could top this, but I’ll bet you’ll think of something. I admire you for all the time and love you have put into this project.

Comment on August 4, 2009 04:38 pm
3. Martin Husk

Glad to see you completed the transcriptions. They would make a great book. I want to pass along word that my book on the 111th New York Infantry is now in print. You can see it here:


Comment on December 17, 2009 09:51 am
4. Administrator

Martin, thanks! I’ll have to get a copy which I think will help add much depth to these transcriptions and the 111th, which I know so little about.

A book is in the works. A lot of proof reading still to be done, and then of course finding a willing publisher.


Comment on December 17, 2009 11:12 am
5. Martin Husk


That’s great news that you’re going to publish the letters as a book. Please feel free to let me know if I can help in any way.


Comment on December 21, 2009 09:13 am
6. Doug Deuchler

These letters are thrilling to read. They personalize the Civil War and make it come alive in warm, unique ways. Hats off to you, Marty, on your fine work. Very impressive. I kept thinking as I read how here’s a young man from 148 years ago and we’re all “getting to know him.” You rescued him from history. Like I said, it’s thrilling–a true labor of love.

Doug Deuchler

Comment on May 31, 2010 07:53 am
7. Cindy

Hello, Marty.
Thank you for these letters. It seems that your soldier knew or at least worked with my hubby’s great-great grandfather.

@ Martin Husk – if you are still reading this thread … your book mentions Adrian Contant writing a letter about his tent mate dying at Andersonville. Where did you find that information? His is my hubby’s relation.

Thank you both for your work.

Comment on May 22, 2012 02:03 pm
8. Pat, Tuscaloosa Alabama

Just stumbled upon this fascinating site and would like to thank you for what I am sure must have been a monumental task. This really brings insight into the daily life of a Union civil war soldier. Having a son the same age, I can’t help but feel the loss of his parents albeit 150 years later.

Comment on December 28, 2012 08:46 pm
9. Jan

What are “paroled prisoners”? Were they captured and then sent home?

Comment on January 14, 2013 10:06 pm
10. Administrator

Jan, It is a release, or exchange, of prisoners of war. Here is a link: (Google will find you a lot more.)

Comment on January 15, 2013 12:15 pm
11. Chris Loperfido

I stumbled upon this website while looking for letters written by members of the 111th NY. I am the author of a book titled: A Surgeons Tale: The Civil War Letters of James D Benton. Do you know if a James Benton is mentioned in any of the letters? Thank You

Comment on June 23, 2013 10:31 am
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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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