Manley Stacey Gettysburg Letters

Soldiers of the Civil War

These are excerpts of Manley Stacey Gettysburg letters written during the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863.

A Corporal in the Union Army, he served in the 111th New York Volunteer Infantry, Company D. Stacey was a mechanic by trade and lived in Lyons New York.

Please find an entire website dedicated to the transcribing the dozens of Manley Stacey letters he wrote over the course of the Civil War. Few soldiers of the Civil War have so carefully captured the experience of living and soldiering during that time.

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"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 4pm 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 1pm 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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