As his infantry division marched through Louisiana, Confederate soldier William Stoker wrote to his wife Elizabeth about his despair over the war and the terrible conditions in which the men were living. He claimed that many soldiers have given up all hope and were “whipped,” but the officers did not want the war to end because then their "big pay would stop." Stoker estimated that at least 15 have deserted his division since the fall of Vicksburg. The men have been short on provisions and have not washed in so long that Stoker proclaims himself unrecognizable. (By Morgan Mintz)
William Elisha Stoker to Elizabeth E. Stoker, July 29, 1863, William E. Stoker Papers, National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg, PA.
Stoker, Elizabeth E.
David Gillespie, Dickinson College