Camp Near Alexander [Alexandria] May the 29th 1863
Dear Wife I embrace the presant opportunity of writeting you a few lines to let you know that I am well hoping that thees few lines may find you and familey enjoying the same blessing. Ive no nuse to write that would interest you. The last time I wrote to you I was at monroe. Since that time I forgot I wrote to you at Campty [Campti] near Nacilush [Natchez?]. We went aboard of the boat that night and went down the river about 40 miles below Alexander and got off and got in persuit of about 6000 yankes but we never overtaken them. They heard of us and skiddaddled. Some of our cavalry took a few of them in out of the [wet?]. They done lots of damage. They taken all of the negrous that they could get hold of and destroid all of the crops of corn as they went they hav left redriver [Red River]. I think at least we hav turned back and on our rout to Vixburg [Vicksburg] or some other place on the Missippi [Mississippi River]. I dont know where we will go. I saw Billy day before yestedey. [He told?] me he left home the first day of May. He told me that you and familey was well. He was out on picket and came to our camp to see me. I was proud to see him. I met him as we went on down and spoke to him but I dident get the chance to talk to him untiLl he came to see me. Betty he told me something that I dident like to hear. He told me that alf just done as he pleased and that he would says you tell you that he belonged to me and that you shouldent whip him. Betty if he every tells you that again just take a stick and break his hed. If you dont do that send after the old man or Uncle Tommey and tye him down and whip him as long as he can bare it. When you get him tide whip him some your self. Billey told me that you got uncle tommey to dress him once. Tell him that I am much obliged to him and your [par?] too and Mother. Betty you never wrote me a word about it. When Billey told me about it it made me right sick and I never got over it untill I had to take medisen. I was verry sick all day yestedey but I am better but quite nervous. Tell alf if I ever liv to get home Ile make him lift up. Betty dont you let him ride them horsees without permission from you. If he dos make the ones before stated ware him out. Tell [illegible] that I hold her accntibble to tell on him if he rids them every nights. Betty do the best you can. I dont know when I can come home to see you. I saw Sid and Thomas about a week a go. They was well. They are a hed of us know. I think we will get into a fight before long. I understand that they are fightting again at Vixburg. I think we [are?] going there to reenforce them or to cut off some of there reenforcements on this side of the river. If we go on the other side of Missippi. Ile say
Farewell home and [farelet?] friends
Adue each tender [tye?]
We are resolved to mingle in the tide
Where charging [squarers?] furies rid
To quanke or to dye
Rafs adams has got back. He told me that he saw you in Coffeeville but he dident speak to you. I want to read another letter from you verry bad but I dont know where to tell you to direct your next letter to. Ant Johnson is at home. You can send a letter by him if this gets there in time. If you can send a letter by him give me all of the nuse and what for crop you hav got and what sort of a wheet crop you made. Ille close excuse bad writeting and selling for I am in a hurry and verry nervous. Giv my best respects to all enquireing friends and receiv more than dubble portion for your self. William E. Stoker To Mrs. E. E. Stoker. Mr Gaskins sais if you see any of his folks tell them that he is well and that he hasent got the chance to write. He dont know when he will and if he gets the chance to write he will hav no chance to mail it. Kiss Pricilla for me and Ile return the compliment if I ever liv to get home. Adue adue Mrs. Stoker.