From battlefield losses to poor living conditions, Confederate Pvt. William Elisha Stoker reveals the bleak outlook of his Texas regiment during the Confederate attempt to hold onto the Trans-Mississippi territory in 1863. While Stoker overestimated the number of Union troops that took part in the Battle of Arkansas Post, the five thousand Confederate soldiers defending the fort were still outnumbered six to one. Upon hearing of the Confederate loss, Stoker’s regiment attempted to curb Union control of the Mississippi River. He also points out the poor weather conditions and food “unhealthey to eat” that contributed to Confederate desertions. (By Shane Harding)
William Elisha Stoker to Elizabeth E. Stoker, January 22, 1863, William E. Stoker Papers, National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg, PA.
Stoker, Elizabeth E.
David Gillespie, Dickinson College