Manley Stacey Civil War Letters

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

October 18, 1862

Camp Douglas
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Oct 8th ’62

Dear Father

I wrote you on Friday last, that the boys were raising an insurrection. I think it is positive that some of the Paroled Prisoners started the Fire, the night before, On Friday night at Supper, were ordered to pack our Knapsacks, & get our things ready so that we could pick them up at a moments notice. we did not know but what our Barracks would be burned up next. It is very pleasant to think that the Roof over your head may be burned down during the night.

During the night the Boys tore down some new line Fence. I can not see what is in the Boys, nor how it can benefit them.

There was the last, that I heard from the General Hospital 7 cases of Small Pox. The boys all swear they will not stay here. I do not know what this will end in, I think the Government will have to do something or other and that very soon. They [seem] to move so slow. I wish they would do something & that right off

About half of the Guard Fence is torn down, & the Boys, go out & in when they choose, the Guard turning their backs when they see the Boys Coming.

I went up to see Douglas’s Grave yesterday afternoon. It was but a short distance from our camp & is in a pretty Shady place, but a few rods from the Lake. What seemed strange to me, there is no Tombstone.

This morning I went along the Lake Shore & along the the Illinois Central & inquired the wages of Engineers & Firemen. Fireman on Coal Burners get $40 a month & on wood Burners $35, So if I get discharged do not look for me home, I shall get a job here, as I could have got one this AM.

Mother seems to be down on our Colonel, I do not blame her, he is no Man.

I hope the Citizens of Lyons will hurry up the Petitions as the Boys are in an awful hurry to get home.

Sunday morning 6 AM. I received a good long letter from home yesterday, and am always glad to get one. If you were here about 12,30 PM when the Mail is distributed, & see the boys rush around the Orderly when he distributes the Mail, it would do you good.

Last night three of our men were detailed to Guard our Barracks against Fire, it was reported here that some of the [?]-[?] Boys, said they were going to burn every Barracks on the Ground. For my part I did not want to be burnt out.

Today at 9 AM we are going to have another Inspection. To be sure it does not last long, but who wants to be on duty every Sunday. It is very necessary to have the Inspection to see that the Boys keep themselves clean & keep their clothes clean, but then there is no use, in having them on Sunday.

How I would like to be home this morning, & get on a Citizens Shirt & go to meeting, but I cannot.

Charlie Cookingham, got a letter from home yesterday, which said that Mr Gavitt was coming either today or tomorrow, I hope this is so. I think I shall go out to Mrs Stones tomorrow, if it is pleasant, as I have such a Cordial invitation to come when I can, & enjoy my self tip top there.

Tuesday I am to have a Pass to go to the City, I think I shall get my Photographes [sic] taken then. They take Splendid ones here, for $2,00 a Dozen, the Size of Willis Vandermarks. If I had the money I would get a Large one You can get a large one here about 8 by 10 for a $1,00 & 50 cts for Negatives. I shall try something. I can get them taken with full Uniform on, as the Artist has full Equipments.

Now I have a word to say about our Hospital, & the Doctors. It is a saying here that as sure as a Boy goes into the Hospital that is the End of him. Doctor Hopkins1 is no more fit for the place than I am, all the medicine he gives is a little Quinine Opium & some other Trash which invariably brings the Boys right down. Some of the Boys have been in there, ever since they have been here & getting worse all the Time. I have yet to hear of a case that he has benefited. There is 89 cases, in the Hospital from our Regt, Yesterday 3 Died with the Typhoid Fever & we have got two or three men from our own Company that must Die next. It is a perfect shame that our Boys must be killed off at this rate.

Doctor H rides around the Ground, with his Buckskin Gloves on & his hair curled up, not caring whether the Boys live of Die. I never would believe before that more died in the Hospital than on the Battle Field, but now I know it. If you would go through our Hospital and see the boys Dying off, through nothing else but the want of better care, you would not wonder that Boys protest, against it. This thing is getting played out.

With love to Mother Maggie
& Rosa Charley

I am


I have got some little stones from the shore of Lake Erie for Rosa and Maggie

1 D. Stewart Hopkins  Comm: September 9, 1862 .  Promoted to surgeon 4th Delaware Vols. Feb 6, 1863

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October 21, 1862

Camp Douglas
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
O 21st, 62
Dear Father

News is rather scarce this week, so I have but little to write.

I have been expecting Mr Gavitt & am getting anxious to find out about my Furlough.  Yesterday I got a pass for the City, & got a Dozen Photographs taken, I do not think you will object to these, they look tip top I think, all I want is a little Bill to pay for them with.

While down in the City, I went to the Top of the Court House, which is 192 Steps from the Ground.  There we have a Splendid view of the City & [Prairies] for miles around.  From there I went to the Engine Houses of course & had an offer to work I was offered $40 a month to fire a Coal Burner, Called the Lucifer, a splendid looking Engine.

I had a pretty good view of the City yesterday, walking all around.

Yesterday our Regt together with the 126th had orders to Drill, from 10 to 12 AM & from 1 to 3 PM.  About two thirds of our Regt refused to turn out some of the Companies did not turn out at all,  The boys all say they have no right to drill & will not. 

Chap Brown says we are to be exchanged right off, and I think we shall be [?] present appearances, I had hoped we should have the privilege of going home this winter, but I guess we shall be disappointed, I think it will be very doubtful if I can come home on a furlough even, for if there is any thoughts of our being Exchanged, I am sure we will not get home. I am not saying what I know, but what I hear & can not tell whether it is true or not.

I wish I could think as you do that the war was soon to be ended, from present appearances, I think it is further off than ever.  Do you think those Pettitions [sic] to the Governor, will do any good, would we have any power to get us home.  Nothing would do us more good than the Order Fall in with Knapsacks for New York, there would be some confusion.

They are going to take 100 men from this Regt every week to stand on Guard.  The Boys protest against this also.  The Garibaldi’s when they put them on Guard, they tore down the Fence [& lit] a Fire & Burnt up the Guns, & now they carry around, barrels & some bayonets.

6 PM.  We have Drilled twice today & but had no Dress Parade on account of the wind.  Our Ground is very Sandy & when the wind blows, it is very unpleasant.

I got your letters from home today & one [?] to Annapolis, with a $2,00 [?] in which will pay for my Photographs, which I shall hope to send home by Mr Gavitt.  I am glad Mr Gavitt is coming so soon & I tell you the First will taste very good yes a little better than that.

You tell me to be kind to Billy Waters, you do not know him as well as I, there is no danger but what he will live. 

There is no one that wishes more than I, that we will go to New York.  If there is any such a thing, I will telegraph, as soon as we start.

I hope that is so about my being promoted to Warrens place, as I do not think they used me just right, I know I can do better than he.

About 8 PM a Fire broke out just back of our Headquarters.  You may be sure there was some excitement, We moved all the things out of the Majors Chaplains & Quartermasters, but fortunately the fire did not reach here.  Some of the Artillery boys swore every Barracks on the Ground should come down, so last night we had double Guard on all around.  You may be sure it is very pleasant laying here & thinking every noise is the cry of fire.

I will write again


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October 23 & 24, 1862

Camp Douglas
Oct 23d

Dear Father

I have just received the Trunk, sent by Gavitt, And found things all right, and very glad to get them. who sent that package to [Lt] Crowl, I should think things might be sent to our own Company instead of others.  I [ ] already given out the things to the boys & divided the Fruit with Capt Holmes. Barney Francisco claimed the straps on the Trunk but as soon as I read the letter, I knew who they belonged to.  I have not got those other things that he got in the other but will get them yet

The Regt today is all on Guard, I was on Guard last night, Guarding the Barracks, so am excused today. Our Regt has been Drilling for the past few days.

I have not seen Mr Gavitt yet, so do not know whether he was successful about the furlough or not, I am afraid he will not be however.

I am sorry you got a poor horse this time, I had hoped you would get a good one this time.

Our Col made a Speech to us on Dress Parade, Gavitt will tell you about it.

Yesterday I took charge of the Cos Mail, after this am the Cos PM, this I volunteered to do.

We are living a little more comfortable now.  I have got a Room off from the Barracks with H Warren, it is a great deal pleasanter & I can keep my things nicer. We still have to watch the Barracks nights not knowing what time they may be fired.

I will not send home the Revolver, by Gavitt, as I need it now when on Guard.

Things look now like, [ ] exchanged & go into winter Quarters somewhere, The story was around here yesterday, that we were to be exchanged [ ] & Guard the Fort & [ ],  I would like this, I can not write nothing deffinite [sic] as, I have not had to talk with Gavitt

8 AM Fri Oct 24th

Since I wrote the other letter, I have heard a great deal news.  Yesterday afternoon, I carried the mail around to the Boys on Guard. 

I got one for one of the Boys in the Hospital.  Capt wanted me to take it to him & read it for him.   his name was Jimmy Waddle1.  I read a part of the letter to him & showed him a Photograph of his Sisters, he got so excited that I could not finish it.  the nurse & Chap Brown thought I had better keep it & if he Died during the night, to send it back to his Sister.  So this morning I wrote to his Sister in Gates County & enclosed the letter & Photograph I wrote to her giving her all the Particulars.   He died at 11 minutes past 8, his last words  [“]Bill I want the Doctor[“].  he died about 20 minutes after I left the Hospital.  I had been up to see him 2 or three times during the Day & had sat & talked with him.

So goes another of our Boys through neglect & carelessness of Doctors.  The Doctor Hopkins had given him so much Quinine that his mouth was coated & black with it.  He was in great pain & I thought he would Die while I was at the Hospital.  May I be spared from ever having to go to the Hospital.  You may have to preach the Funeral Sermon, So I give you all the Particulars.  I do not hesitate to say that with Propper [sic] care he might now be alive.  If I ever am taken very sick, I want you to take me home as I will Die before I will go to the Hospital & take that Medicine.  The boys all say, that a man, never comes out alive.

I suppose you will be disappointed in my not coming home but none than I am, still I can not say that I am disappointed, for I was afraid I should not succeed in getting a furlough.  I have not had a talk with Gavitt yet but Chap Brown told me that the Col was willing, but could not so it.

The Story is around this morning, that the 126 Regt has marching orders for [Sgt] Roy in NY.  It is said that the citizens of the three counties where the Regt was Raised, have raised $8,000 to take them home, The War Department, refusing to bear the Expense of their Removal.  If this is so you will hear of it soon. I think if one Regt goes, our Regt & the 125, will come too.

I got the Trunk all right & opened it, without the Key the Capt having it & he being off on Guard.  He did not like it, he said the Trunk was for Him.  I think, a man ought to have the right to open is own Trunk.  The next time you send me anything Please send nothing for any one else in it.   The mottoe is every one for him self here & that will be the only way to save trouble.

I divided the Fruit with the Capt & gave him his Fruit & what more could he ask,  It made me Mad To think I could not open my own Trunk.  I shall send home the Trunk but have not got much to send home in it.  In this I send one of my Photographs in this, perhaps you may not like this, it looks well with the exception of the face,  I do not think That they can be improved much.  I got a Dozen, the rest are not finished, & I think will look a little better.  I will send you more when I get them. I will send you 8 out of the 12.

I would give $10 if I knew what is to be done with us.  In this mornings paper it is reported that we are to be under Siegel when exchanged, This would be good news, if so.

I will write you again in a day or two I am very much obliged to you for all those good things & you may be certain I shall enjoy them.

Love to Maggie Rosa
Mother Charlie


1 Waddlo, James–age,19 Enlisted 6 Aug 1862 at Lyons to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. D, 20 Aug 1862; died, 23 Oct 1862, at Chicago, IL.
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October 26, 1862

Camp Douglas
Co D 111 Regt
Oct 26

Dear Father

Mr Gavitt did not take the Trunk the other day as I expected, We sent the Trunk down with the Hearse & through some mistake he did not take it.  It will come however, by Cornelius Johnson, one of our men that has got his discharge.  He will bring it directly to you & you can distribute them. You will find a Knapsack for Johnson & a blanket on the outside of the Trunk.  A Knapsack for Jimmy Waddle & also Blanket & Overcoat.  A Package for Mrs Sharp & Goblet for Maggie, from me, that I brought from the Ferry, from a Secesh House, A Cane made from a Rebel Flag Staff, picked up on the Pontoon Bridge at the Ferry Dan Hutchins sent it to you.  Also [ ] belts for Charlie Hunt.  I had nothing to send home. 

A B Williams is coming home on a Furlough, as he has been sick for a week or two past, so I can send home any thing else. I think there are two or three other of our boys that will come home on a Furlough, But not me.  I suppose Mother will be, disappointed in my not coming home, I know I am.  I have given up all hopes of our Regt coming to New York now, every day things look darker, & look less like coming home. And every day I dread the more to spend the winter here.

On Saturday last we had the First Snow Storm of the Season, It snowed quite fast for a few minutes.

When Jimmy Waddle left here, we had Six Pall Bearers, march on each side of the Hearse, also a Guard of 8 men march to the Rear, with their Guns Reversed, we marched half way to the City & would have went all the way, if it had not been so late, but we found that they had got just time to get to the Depot.  There was three Corpses taken from the Ground when they took Waddle, two from our Regt.

You need not be alarmed, about my being a nurse in the Hospital where there is the Small Pox.  How can they detail me, when I am a non commissioned Officer. At any rate I would not go there.  I think there is no danger now of the Small Pox spreading, as we hear no more of it.

All the trouble now is the proposes of our staying here all winter.  Gavitt did not say a word to me about the Furlough, I was in hopes you would send me a little money by him & a few Stamps as we have no chance to get good clean Stamps here.

We had Inspection yesterday morning as usual It most generally falls on Sunday.

If the Supervisors of W County intend to get [us] home in time to Vote, they must hurry up.  We will all vote if they will bring us home.

We keep hearing the Report that the War Committee of [Britane] Seneca & Yates, intend to have the 126th come to NY State & make that their Winter Quarters.  We heard they were going to winter at [S ] Roy. I know if the 126th goes home & we do not there will be musing in Camp, as the 111th Boys will not stay.

I saw a verse that the 138th Sing in Camp & that reminds me that I have never told you what we sung at the Ferry.  The Tune Happy land of Cannan

There’s 1000 men from Cayuga & from Wayne Down to Harpers Ferry there Remaining But the Rebel’s they came there And they made us cut & clean & sent us to our Happy land of Cannan Chorus HO HO HO Dont you hear me now Our day of Retribution is a coming But will never mind the weather & we’ll all march off together And will go to our Happy land of Cannan

One of Co [ ] boys has made up a song about our Camp here that is quite amusing.

I saw a letter in last weeks Republican, about our model Doctor & Hospital, this is all a Lie & I can prove it, any one can see it was an Officer that wrote it.  A man that will write such a letter as that ought to be Shot.  I think we boys ought to know.

I am now Mail Boy fro Co D & you had ought to see the rush of the boys when I distribute it & the down cast looks, when there is no Mail for them. They will have anything to read a letter I do not know anything of importance to write But will write again as soon as I hear anything.

Love to all

 More links to the tune Happy Land of Cannan:

sheet music – Library of Congress (1)

sheet music – Library of Congress (2)


Library of Congress image

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October 28, 1862

(first letter)

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Oct 28th

Dear Father

I sent you a letter yesterday, but have heard a little more news, so will write again.  Now I can write a little more hopeful.

Yesterday morning there was a Dispatch in the Chicago Times, that the War Department had ordered us to return to our own State, or the New York Troops that were taken Prisoners at Harpers Ferry.  You can imagine what excitement this caused among the boys, before all looked dark & now things look bright again, I hope we will not be disappointed.  Last night a Lieutenant in the 126th told me that as soon as they can get Conveyances for us, I think it is positive.  The [Sergeant] told the Orderly that it was a sure thing.  So you may expect us in NY in the course of a week.

They are making out the pay & muster Roll now so I think we will some money.  I think we will do Garrison duty some where in New York, any where only get away from here.

Yesterday I got a pass & went down in the city in the morning looked around a little, then went to Mrs Stones about 2,30 PM.  There I got a Splendid Lunch & had a tip top visit.  I gave Althea Yager that Lyons Paper that you sent me, She thought that was a splendid letter, so did Mrs Stone. When I got ready to leave, Mrs S gave me a nice jar of Pickles cucumbers, a basket of Sweet Potatoes & some nice Fruit Cake & then to finish it, she brought me up to Camp, with my things.  I never shall forget her Kindness to me & all she has done for me.  She is very anxious to have me come out & stay all day & night.  If we do not leave here, I think I shall, for it would feel good to sleep in a good bed again, as I have not slept in a bed in three months.  The only trouble with Mrs Stone, she flatters me too much, she says, she enjoy herself more in my Company than in any of the other Boys. I never have enjoyed myself better since enlisting than at her house. She gave me a pile of old Magazines in the bargain.

I am so excited that I cannot write, it is all I am going home, that is enough for me.  Today our Regt goes on Guard again, I get clear of it by being on Guard the night before, that is the way I work it, when I do not want to do duty.  I could hardly get my Photographs taken in time, I shall hope to send them next time.  The rest of them look a considerable better.  I could not get a Picture taken of any kind with out showing the Pity in my Face.  One thing is certain if I get clear of this, I shall come right back here to work in the [Roads].  I do not know any more news to write

Love to all


(second letter)

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Oct 28th /62

Dear Father

I received yours of the 26th this AM, & will try to answer it, though have but little news to write.

Of course you have seen Gavitt before this, & found out my Fate, which is to say with the Regt.  I was disappointed in Gavitt’s not taking the Trunk with him, I do not see what he did while he was here, I saw him but twice & no talk with him at all, he did not mention Furlough.

You asked me whether the Small Pox was spreading or not. We do not hear anything about it now, so think there is no danger.  You asked if there was anything the matter with me.  There is nothing but a bad Cough. I have felt quite well, ever since I have been here, more so than any one else.  Almost all of the boy’s have been troubled with something. Aleck has been quite sick for a week or two past, & has run down a great deal, he look’s very white & poor.  Tom Hooker has not been very well, but is all right now.

To day the Regt is on Guard but I being on Guard last night have not got to be on. The only reason that I do not write oftener is that I can find no news.  Perhaps you think there must be some news, among 10 or 12000 men but then a great deal would not interest you.  I see in your last, that You think I am getting sick of the Service, this is not so, I am tired of being used the way we have been, but not sick by any means of the Service.  I do not want you to think that I am sorry for what I have done.  not so.

there is one thing that I have always forgotten to write, that is an expression used, both South & West, it is Right Smart, such as, that is a right Smart Horse etc.  It sounded very odd to me at first.  There are a great many more that I have forgotten.

All that is talked about in Camp now is Going Home, Our Quartermaster, told our Sergeant that draws Rations, today, that we would draw but a few more Rations here.  The boys heard the Major say that it was a settled thing that we were going home.  They all say that we shall go as soon as they can get Transportation for us.  There is Four men from as many different Rail Road Companies, trying to get the job of carrying us. It is reported that Gen Wadsworth is here to see about our leaving.  They say that we are to do Guard Duty on the Frontier in NY somewhere, we do not care as long as we go to NY.  There is about 11000 different rumors about our leaving, so I can not tell anything positive. That is one reason why I have not written more, I did not want to write unless I was positive.

29th 6 AM.  I was on Guard last night, so feel but little like writing.

I must tell you an order given by the Rebel Lieutenant, that was heard by one of our Officers, It is this instead of saying Two Ranks into four Ranks march, it was Two Rows into Four Rows Right Smart Git, what do you think of that for an order Capt said last night.  My Opinion we shall all Go home in a day or two.

All are well
Love to All


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October 29, 1862

Camp Douglass
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Oct 29th
2,30 PM

Dear Father

I have just received your long letter from home, for which I am much obliged. I should not have written to Capt Holmes, he does not deserve it, I think but little of him since he did that.  Precious likely that the boy’s that had things in the Trunk & especialy [sic] I could not get our things out.

You asked me about Billy Waters & about my Watch.  I lent him my Watch at the Ferry, the day He went on Picket with the Company.  He kept the watch until he got to Frederick, then he Traded it off, to get Money to come home with,  This Waters owns himself.  I am not sorry, because I got a good Price, for the Watch.  You can say all you choose, but they can not make me believe, but what he deserted.  I know how he felt & how he talked before that.  He always said he would be taken Prisoner & be Paroled & go home.  They did not do anything with him here.  I have heard that the Capt, tried to get him Court Martialed, but the Major, said there was no Cause.  He says he did not know that he had to report to Annapolis.

I am sorry Mother does not like the Photographs.  I am sure I could not have one taken with out it’s showing some of the Marks on my face.  As to my Eyes I did not look directly at the Camera & tried my best to get a good Picture. However I will not try any more, on any account Picture or no Picture.

I do not think it best for you to send me any thing else until I know what is to be done with us.  If we go to New York State, I shall most likely get a Furlough to come home for a Short time.  Our Colonel said to day that we were going Home that was Certain, I am sure every thing looks favorable now.  This I Know, the 126th NYSV, taken with us are cooking three days Rations preparing to leave. If they go why not we.

I think you are mistaken about my losing Flesh, since I have been in the Service, the Boys all say, that I am Stouter & have gained.

With regard to my Room, it is the Orderly’s room, but he did not occupy it, so I took convenient.

I do not know how, Brown can live with the Boys, An Officer can be Fined for Eating with them or for Drawing Rations from the U S.

I think a great deal of both Lieutenants & get along tip top with every one, until this last scrape which I can not forget, nor never will.  I made up my mind that I would not take any of the Doctors stuff and have not but once, it is worse than nothing.

We are not Drilling to day, as the Regt was on guard yesterday.  I take good care to get on Guard nights as to get rid of this Guard Duty.

You must not think that I am so lonely here, I can assure you that I have a great many good times & some times pretty lively ones.

how it stands, It think the Republicans would have a big Majority.

This Oct [30]th 6 AM.  Since I wrote the Above, things are looking a little more encouraging.  About one AM, we had a Barrel of Fresh Beef come & was ordered to cook it immediately.

The Chap says we are going to draw our pay this week & then the Chap thinks we are going to Auburn.  Capt Holmes says his opinion is that we shall see Home in the Course of a week.  Last night was the first night that I have slept in quite a while.  I think I am doing pretty well this week, writing a letter every day.  I shall continue to do so until we hear something definite, with regard to our going home.  Aleck has got his Furlough & is waiting now for Money to go home with, he feels good about it.  I wish I was in his place.

I let Chap Brown have, those [Minutes] last night he had not seen them.  I think I shall call on Mrs Stone again before I leave, at least I shall try to. I do not expect you will get as good a watch as I had before, but I would like a good one as you can get, Could you not get a good one at Fords in Rochester

Hoping to hear soon

I am


Tell Maggie that I shall hope to see her in a few days, & take a ride with her, in that Famous Rig.  I shall try to bring her something, also Rosa


(to Charlie)

Charles Henry Augustus

I have got a small account to settle with you, when I see you. If you do not write me some good long letters I shall disown you.

I suppose you are all right now you have got a horse to take care off [sic].  You must persuade Father to get a Sleigh Harness & a Sleigh open waggon [sic].  by all means I shall expect to take some rides with you this winter.  I have got a Splendid Blanket for the Horse & if I come home you shall have it.

One of our boys Johnny [Paylor] has just brought in a Splendid little Dog & has named him Camp Douglas.

We have a great many good times here & I just wish you were here, for a week.  You could have lots of fun especially at night seeing the Rats have Battallion [sic] Drill

Write soon



(to Mother)


You must not think becauseI have not written to you, that I did not want you to write, far from it, but I supposed, that the news I had written, you would all like to hear.

I am trying to carry myself about right & think I can get along by behaving myself and carrying myself about right.  I have attended some of the evening meetings at the Post Chapel, but can not attend regular, on account of my being on Guard.

I am very sorry, of course that I could not come home.  I would like a change, both of Diet & lodging.  Here we have no conveniences of lodging, nothing but Blankets, to sleep on and under, so I can not take off pants.

I do not know, what I should think to set down to a Table & sleep on a bed again.  Do not think I am complaining far from it.  I tell you what I want, next week when I take Supper with you, that is Wheat Pancakes & Syrup, I think I could relish this.

You should see the how excited the boys are, at the prospect of coming home, & I a little.

Hoping to see you soon



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October 30, 1862

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Oct 30th/62

Dear Father

A daily scene here is men, with Barrels over them marching around the Ground. a Hole is cut in the Head just large enough to get the head through. Some are standing on the Top of a Barrel. these punishments are mostly for Running away, & for getting drunk.

3 PM. I have just received your letter from home. You said that you got the Trunk by express $3,00 charges on it. That was a great mistake. the Trunk was sent down by Jimmy Waddles Corpse & was to go with Gavitt. It seems that Gavitt & Holmes were running around some where & did not get the Trunk to the Depot in time, He said that the Trunk would stay where it was until Cornelius Johnson was ready to go home, but it seems it was sent by the Undertaker where they got the Coffin.

Billy Waters has got a package in the Trunk, for Mrs Sharp. Cornelius Johnson1, has got a Knapsack & a Blanket on the Top of the Trunk, Jimmy Waddle has got a Knapsack blanket & an Overcoat in the Trunk, Martin [ ] has got a Satchel, which you can leave at [Mrs] Stone, a Parcel for [Jeb] Travis which you will keep until called for.

there has been a great mistake all the way through all owing to Capt Holmes. it is Just like him.

31st – 6 AM. The other Trunk I shall take good care, will not be served so. Today we are to be Mustered & get two months pay. I was on Guard last night so feel pretty sleepy this morning.

Do you think I would stay here as long as this without fixing up a little, I have fixed up everything nice in my Quarters

Love to all


1 Johnson, Cornelius –age,32 Enlisted 7 Aug 1862 at Sodus to serve three years.

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October 31, 1862

Camp Douglass
3 PM Oct 31st

Dear Father

I have written once to day, home, but have just got another chance to send by Aleck Williams.

This morning we were mustered in, preparatory to being paid. I think we will be paid about Monday next but can not tell. Things do not look as favorable for our going home, now as they did. I am afraid I shall be disappointed. It would be a disappointment, truly. Some say we are to leave next monday, but can not tell. The truth is, they dare not tell us a day before hand. If they did the boys, would Burn & tear down all the buildings. I think if we do come home, it will be after we are paid off and not before.

This life is so uncertain. It is all nonsense. A B Williams going home, he is no more sick than I am, not a bit. One thing is certain, I shall not play up sick to get home. I do not think Chicago would hold me, if I got a Furlough.

To night I am going on Guard again so as to get rid of Guard Duty tomorrow, that is the way to do it. I will not send the Revolver, for if it is not fit for Charlie to carry, I will carry it.

there is but little news, in Camp now. I expect there will be some to night on Dress Parade. I have heard Rumors about Warrens being Reduced to a Corporal but do not know, whether it is so or not, I hope so

I can think of nothing else to write, Except to answer the Question about Robert Hoy1, he is quite well & is standing this life [very], I like him very well

Love to all


1Hoy, Robert W.–age,42 Enlisted 6 Aug 1862 at Lyons to serve three years. Discharged for disability, 16 May 1863, at hospital, Philadelphia, PA.

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November 1, 1862

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111th Regt NYSV

Nov 1st /62

Dear Father

I was dissappointed last night, in not getting a letter from home. I know it was asking value received, for I wrote every day, but Saturday. I suppose by your marking, the Democrat, the reports that we were coming to New York State.

In yesterdays Daily Paper, the report was that the Reporter of one of the Dailies, had an interview with Tyler, the General comanding [sic], & he said their was no orders to go home yet. According to that things do not look so promising.

One of Cos E Boys, he and our Colonel say that we should start for home, next Monday (Nov 3d).  If this were only so, but I am afraid to believe it. I am afraid we shall not go so soon, because we have got on hand, a weeks Ration of Wood & coal for burning, we may go however, for all that. These ever teasing Rumors, is what is the troubles I believe now [that] [we] believe things too quick, & here is a good place for that.

Our Regt was on Guard yesterday, the boys seemed to think it would be the last time here, but they may be dissappointed in that. Do you know for certain, whether Genl Wadworth had made an application to the War Department, for our removal home, or is it a rumor, like the rest.

I suppose you have seen Williams & heard his story.. I wish you would tell me what he says about our life here, of course it will not do to place much confidence in what he says. He will try to make, you believe that we are living tip top. See the difference between his & Gavitts stories, to be sure he knows more about it than he, but then you will see the difference.

I do not think I shall fix & improve my Quarters, until I know something what is to be done. I do not know but you are tired of hearing so many rumors, here, I know I am tired of it but if I did not write what I hear, the news would slim enough.

So here is some more,  They Say the Paymaster of the US Army is in town & that we are to be paid off on Monday next, (tomorrow). So much for rumors. It is reported that we are to be exchanged & that right off. I very much doubt if our Officers , if our Officers [sic] will have to lead us to Battle again, knowing us to have broken our Parole. I do not believe but what we have & that some one of them will have to suffer.

On Guard 11 PM Sat night,

I am writing now by the light of the Fire, at our Cook House. One of my men is asleep & the other very nearly so.

I will tell you how our reports come here like this, One of Co A’s boys heard one of Co B’s boys, say that this Lieut heard the Major say that the Colonel said that we were going home. I wish if there is no such thing in it that no such report had been started. It makes the boys discontented. I think it is Glorious Fighting for your Country like this. Who would have thought that I was to pass through all this when I left home or that I should be here.

What is your opinion now of this War. does it look any more like being ended, or are things to be pushed right ahead. We can not tell any thing about such things here.  I can not afford 5cts a day for a Daily Paper, or 10cts for Leslies Illustrated Paper.

You should see how many applications I have for my Republican every week. I think more of that than any other. I am glad to get the Democrat & Those are the only Papers that I see, only once in awhile I see the Daily Papers.

Lieut Moor has been Joking me about writing that letter in the Republican about the officers. He wanted to know who hired me to write it. I think a great deal of Moor, though I am afraid he will not stay with us, he can not stand the life. Lieut Granger has been sick for a week or two past. We have been here Just five weeks, now & yet the Time seems to pass very fast.

Sunday morning 7 AM

Just had my breakfast, It is a very disagreeable day, raining a drizzling rain. I am looking anxiously for a letter & Paper to day

Love to all


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November 5, 1862

Camp Douglas
Chicago Illinois
Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Nov 5th

Dear Father

I do not know what to make of not getting a letter from home, in so long a time.  I have not received a letter since last Thursday, one week tomorrow.  that is hardly right considering that I wrote every day last week.  I do not know what to make of it.

there is but little news in Camp, now.  It seems to be the General opinion that we are going home, but when we can not tell, It is reported that Genl Tyler is ordered to Washington to be Court Martialed on account of our Drilling here.  It is said that we have broken our Parole & can not be exchanged.

I reported for Guard duty this morning & was excused, as there was corporals enough, I heard some Captains talking about it & they seem to think we shall return home & be disbanded, they do not think that we shall be exchanged.  It is reported here, that Genl Tyler, had orders 10 days ago for us to return home, & that he Telegraphed to Washington about our behavior & that the War Department, countermanded the order, & that we are to stay until we can behave ourselves, this I think is so.

Mr Sharp arrived here this morning, & found his boy pretty sick.   He is looking very bad & I do not think He could be moved home, even if he got a Furlough.  I hardly think he will Die, but I think he will be very sick.

 Albert Hunt is quite Sick to night with a Fever, I think he will be a Sick Boy. He has been complaining for several days past.  To day he went to the Hospital & to night I have been to see him, & he wanted me to tell his Father he was sick. I think he had ought to have a Furlough & shall speak to the Captain in the morning.

There is one man in this Company that you can not place any dependence in his letters, that is Charles McCumber1, he is worse than Williams.

According to all reports I shall not get promoted to Warrens place, only to 4 or 5 Corporal.  I do not think I shall get up as high as that yet I do not think the Capt has forgot the Trunk Arrangement yet.  did he write you a letter about it.

I think a Dutchman by the name of Louis [Dryer] will be 4th Seargeant, that I think will be the [rig].  Any thing but having a Dutchman over me.  Dan Hutchings is in the Hospital now, I have but little sympathy for him.

I had quite a talk with Mr & Mrs Sharp to night about [Waters] & about things since we left home.  I have explained about my Watch to them.  I did not know there was so many stories about the Watch, that I wanted to make it all night.

What in the world is the matter of you that you do not write

My love to all & hope to see them soon


1 Mc Cumber, Charles L.–age,19 Enlisted 6 Aug 1862 at Lyons to serve three years. Wounded in action, 5 May 1864,  at the Wilderness, VA.; promoted corporal, 31 Aug 1864; sergeant, 25 Nov 1864; mustered out with company, 4 Jun 1865, near Alexandria, VA.
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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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