Camp near Pine Bluff Arkansas April te 12th 1863.
Dear Wife. I with much pleasure set down over a little old box for the purpors of pening you a few lines to let you know how I am. I am well at the presant and I hope when thees few lines comes to hand they may find you and familey well. Ive no nuse to write that is churshing. Every thing is still. We dont hear any nuse attall. They are seartingley fixing for peace or the hardest fightting that every has ben done one. I am inhops it is for peace for I am tierd of this buisiness and not onley me but thousands of others. I might say all but the big officers. They are doing better than if they wear at home. They are makeing more money and they get a plenty to eat and that that is good and they hav as much camp equippage as they want and a big six mule teem to hall it for them and if they aint worth a negro they hav the privolidge of hireing a white man to cook for them and they hav a horse to ride. Thus you see they dont care if the ware lasts all the time. If they all had to walk and pack there [napsacks?] and want allowed to hav any thing more than they could toat like the privats they would bring about some way for peace. The winter is past and the spring has come. Every thing putting forth. It makes me think of home. O that I coul see you this morning and talk to you personley. It would be [much?] more preffirable but alas it is so I cant. Ile hav to be contented by being blessed with the opportunity of writeting. But when I reflect back upon the happy days we hav spent together at that sweet little home and then think where I am now it nearley makes my heart sink with dismay. You may think strange of me calling such a looking place as that sweet but I wouldent giv it if I had the chance of staying there with you for ten thousand births in a ware. The harness dont fit me in the ware. There is no place that would soot me so well now as well as to be there between a pare of plow handles following Jarrel. I got a letter from Dock a few days ago. He stated that there was no nuse at that part. Every thing was still. He said that him and John was both well. I havent seen Sid nor Thomas in too or thre weekes. We hav mooved off from near them. We are about 6 miles from there camps. They was both well the last time I saw them. I dont know when I will see them a gain. We hav got a new brigadeer general and he is such a big man. When the boys gets passes they hav to get them from there Capt. and then get them assigned by the Col. and then by the brigadeer general. Before they can pass the gard and the pickets and when they carry passes to the brigadeer he tars them up after being assigned by the Capt and Col. His name is Haus [Hawes]. There has ben several pertitions sent up since he has ben in office for furlowes and he would just tare them up. I am still driveing a waggon. I am at the waggon yard at this time. I am in a mess with Francis Olliver, James Tarver, Jo Day, and another fellow by the name of Flemmings. We hav ben fareing fineley. We are about a half mile from the regament. Let me tell you something. I got some buttermilk for dinner. Olliver and day went out and got a gallon and a half. Ile tell you I made it rattle down. We had to pay $1.00 per gallon for it. We boys has come to the conclusion to liv. If we cant get it at the commissary we are going to get it by the slight of hand. I dont know when I will get the chance to come home. I ast the Col. yesteddy if there was no chance to get a furlow. He said not. It is time they was furlowing again but I dont hear any talk of it. We aint doing any good hear now. The river is so low the feds cant run up it with there gun boats. While we are hear doing nothing they might furlow us. The river will rise again after while. They may stay hear untill about the middle of june and then go up in Mssourah [Missouri] or down in Lousiana [Louisiana]. I cant hear wether the conscript law taken Mr Basset and Mr Griffin or not. If you know let me know in your next letter and let me know how you are getting along with your crop. Write how much corn you plantted and if you think you can make enough to live on and also let me know what you done with fealian. Nothing more. Ile close by saying I remain yours as ever. Kiss Priscilla for me and Ile kiss you in turn when I come. William E. Stoker
To Mrs. Elizabeth E. Stoker.