Arkansas Perrairie [Prairie] Co September the 7th 1862
Dear wife I embrace the presant opportunity of writeting you a few lines to let you know my where abouts and how I am. I am well at pres and I hope thees few lines may find you all well. We have got to the place we started at last. We got to Little Rock the third day of this month and we have gone about 30 miles north eas of Little Rock near a little place called Austern [Austin]. We had a long and wearry some trip of it threw the dust. The way we come it was over three hundred miles. We come out of our way on the account of provisions. There was so many troops from Texas they nearley cleaned up every thing but we got a plenty such as it was bread and beef and a little bacon. I have got so tierd of beef. I just wis I couldent see any more in 12 months. It makes me sick nearley every time I eat it. I have ben puney nearley every since I startted but I have ben able to walk all the time but too peaces of days. I got to ride about 15 miles out of about 325. We lay bye at Louisville four weekes this side of red river and occasonley we would lye bye a day or to. I dont know how long we will stay hear. We may stay hear all the winter or we may go to saint Louis this fall or we may go to Vixburg [Vicksburg] but we will stay hear a while. There is a right smart armey hear. There is 14 or 15 regaments hear. Clarks regament got hear yes-tedey and there will be another in hear in a day or too. Waterhouses hasent got hear yet. We under stand that they are at rondeau [Rondo] suffering verry much with the measeles. I wrote to you just before we left louis-ville [Louisville]. I reckon you have received it before now. I sent it by parson Chaddie and also sent you $10. I drawed $47 before I left Jefferson and I paid Seeb Mooney and bought some little tricks and I had 25 dollars left and I new that you wanted some smaller money than you had. I thought it best to send you all I could. I left my gun voucher with Mr. Bassett for him to collect at Jefferson and also Sids and Thomases. I reckon he has collected it. If he has I told him what to do with it. I told him to give Mother $25 for Thomas and give the balance to you and for you to pay your big siss $20. I also wrote that there was a man going to ride the mail from this regament to Texas and that he was comeing threw Coffeeville comeing this way and for you to write to me and send it by him but he hasent caught up yet if he is comeing. We are looking for him. If you dident get the chance to send a letter by him write as soon as you get this and direct yours to Little Rock Arkansas Ochletrees [Ochiltree] Reg. Co. I for I love to hear from you. I keep your letter that I got from you just to look at and when I look at the heading of it I cant keep from weepping about you feeling so loley bye your self. I know how you feel. I think of you and when the fourth Saturday comes I wonder how loley Betty will go to meetting and how she will go to see her big siss. When I think of the pleasure that we have enjoyed and then think of the situation that I am now placed in it almost breaks my heart but just do the best you can. Visit around among your neighbors and go to see mother and you big siss and you and your big siss spend as much of your time to garther as you can for you both are bye your selvs. Elizabeth the express has come since I comenced my letter. From Texas he brought a heep of letters for our companey but nary one for me. I expectted to get one from you when he come but I was disappointed. John Heathcox got one from his wife. She wrote to him that you was uneasey about me. She said that you hadent received but one letter from me since I started. I [roas?] sorry to hear of that. I have wrote to you every too weeks since I started. I am in the hopes you have got one since Mrs Heathcox wrote. I expect there was one in the office at the time you was talking to her about it. We all rote when we was at Louisville and sent them back to Coffeeville by Parson Chaddick and I sent you $10. At the same and I wrote in about 10 days again when we was at Camdon [Camden] on the wash-taw river [Washtaw River]. I wrote to you to send me too or three invelops in your letter for we cant find any at no price. We found a few quiers of struck sherrif blanks in Little Rock. Onley too sides of a sheet blank at $1.50 a quier on a bit a sheet. We got all there was. Ther I got 6 sheets and when this givs out Ile have to write to you to send me a blank sheet every time you write. You can get a plenty of it in that blank book. That is all the kind the boys can get and they have to pay from five to seven dollars for them and tobacco. We cant get but ver little. I have ben without too weeks. I have ben triing to quit. I havent chewed a half a dose chews in to weeks. I get so bad off some times that I have to beg a chew. I am trying to be contented to live any way. A soldiers life is a hard one. The best they can make of it. I havent any nuse to write. We under stand Stonewall Jackson is gainin great victoryes up north of us but I cant giv the particulars. I thaug [thought] that I would send you a Little Rock paper but I dident get the chance. We was throwed in to line and marched threw town and we dident get the chance to go back. We under stand that there is yankes out hear on white river and there is a big armey at Helany [Helena] on white river about 75 miles from hear. We havent ben armed yet. There is but verry few regaments hear that is armed. There was another regament got in to day.
I commenced this letter yes tedey and I was on gard yestedey and last night. I couldent get the chance to write much. This is the 8th. Betty when you get this answer it immediately and write all of the good nuse. I am anxtious to hear from home. I want to know what you are doing for salt and molasses. I am contern dreaming about home. I am afrade that I am going to hear something unfavorable. I dremp about Net the other night and I dream of being with you often. I wrote to you to see William and see if he would come with you to see me or not. Write what he says about it. Tell mother and net and leander to write to me and Mr Colyer and Siss and the old man. I would be glad to read a letter from any of them. Tell them that I would write to them but I cant get paper. Give them all my best respects. Write how your big siss is a getting a long bye her self and if she hears from Sid. Tell her that Clark has got hear and that he is appointed brigadeer gener over Ochletrees regament and Waterhousees and his one and burnetts and he is going to carry the boys back to his regament and I expect that he will do it. He comes verry near having the rain in his one hands. Write if Priscilla has forgot me or not. I wis I had yours and her degaratipe [daguerreotype]. I would give anything in the world that is reasinable to see you and her but I dont know wether Ile ever se you any more or not. I hope that I will but know boddy knows the the good on in [illegible.] I trus will land me back home safe. Give my best respects to all enquireing friends and receive a dubble portion for your self. So good bye untill I see you again. Write soon. Direct your letter to Little Rock Arkansas to Ochletrees regament to Co. I or Duncans Co. Nothing more but remain your effectionate husband untill death. William E. Stoker to Mrs. E. E. Stoker.
“Seeb mooney” –
Confederate Col. John H. Burnett – 13th Texas Cavalry (dismounted), Walker’s Texas Division
Confederate Brigadier General Edward Clark – Walker’s Texas Division
Confederate Col. William B. Ochiltree – 18th Texas Infantry, Walker’s Texas Division
Priscilla Stoker – William and Elizabeth’s young daughter
Confederate Col. Richard Waterhouse – 19th Texas Infantry, Walker’s Texas Division