William Elisha Stoker to Elizabeth E. Stoker, January 22, 1863

    Source citation
    William Elisha Stoker to Elizabeth E. Stoker, January 22, 1863, William E. Stoker Papers, National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg, PA.
    Recipient (to)
    Stoker, Elizabeth E.
    Date Certainty
    David Gillespie, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    Camp Near Pine Bluff Arkansas

    Junar [January] 22nd. 1863.
    Dear Wife I embrace the presant opportunity of writeting you a few lines to let you know how I am. I am well and I hope when thees few lines comes to hand it will find you and familey enjoying the same blessing. I wrote to you when we was hear before it wasent more than an hour after I sent my letter off before we got orders to march to Arkansas post on a force mach to reenforce Church Hill [Churchill] but we dident get there in time. The fight had ended before we got there. We was about 48 hours too late. There was about 45 thousand of the feds attacted the post with there gun boats and land forces. There wasent more than six thousand of our troops there. The feds charged our batteryes severel times and was repulced but finaley sucseeded with a veavy loss and captured all of our troops and amunitions waggon teemes and other accoutlements too tedious to mention. We got in about fifteen miles of the place and stopped on the river and throwed up brest works expectting that they would come up the river and aim to go to little rock but they turned back after they taken the post. They are more on the Missippi [Mississippi] some where they attactted the post with the same forces that they attactted vixburg [Vicksburg] with. They got whipped at vixburg but they thaught they wouldent stay whipped. They got lots of our boys that livs in upshur Co. Sipsos that lived in gilmer his companey was all taken. Tell Net that Gib Buaz has gone up the spout besides lots of others that lived in that settlement. There was right smart of them got away. I understand that several of Ritchersons Companey got away. Earn Colyer and several others and has gone home. We hav left our best works and come back up hear. I dont know where we will go from hear. [We may] go back to Little Rock or we may go to Camdon [Camden] on the washtaw river. If we come back to camdon I dont think I can keep from comeing home. We hav a hard time now there has ben one of the deepest snowes up hear I ever saw. This is one of the worst placees for wet wether I ever was in. We are in the river bottom and it is hard matter to keep out of the water and we dont get any thing to eat but corn bread and the poorest kind of beef unless we bye it. The beef we draw is so poor we want hav it. It is unhealthey to eat it. The beef we drawed last night was so poor we wouldent hav it. We throwed it away and we havent had any thing to eat to day but bred. Betty I dont write the hardships and the suff way we hav to liv to distress you. I just want to let you know how soldiers had to liv. I hav heard lots of tails told about the hardships of soldiers life but the story hasent yet ben told but I would trye to grin and endure them all if they would let me come to see you occasionley but they aint going to let knowboddy off unless they desert and they are doing that pretty fast. There has 19 left this companey and there has lots left other comanes and other regaments. They are going to try to cut us out of our 60 dayes furlow that was promiseed us in each and every year but it was in the contract and if they dont giv it to us we will take it when the time rolls round if they will ever pay us any money to bear our expences home. If I dont get the chance to come home before long I am afrade Ile forget how you and priscilla looks. I would giv a $1000. this morning to see you. If I had it there is mo more prospect of peace now than there was 12 months ago. Nothing more. Ile close by saying I remain your effectionate husband untill death. Give my best respects to all enquireing friends and recive more than dubble portion for your self

    William E. Stoker
    To Mrs. Elizabeth Stoker

    How to Cite This Page: "William Elisha Stoker to Elizabeth E. Stoker, January 22, 1863," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/26544.