Camp Near Mansfield L. a. May [April] the 6th /64.
Dear Wife it is with plesure that I seat my self this eavning to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well and I hope when thees few lines reaches you they will find you and familey in the verry best of helth. Ive no nuse that is cherrishing. We hav some of the offleast [awfullest] skedaddles sometimes that you ever saw. It is all that we can do sometimes to get our train out of the way. There is a large force persewing us and there is a large force comeing across from monrow to shreveport and there is a large force comeing across by the way of Camdon [Camden]. We are retreatting back in the direction of shreveport. I think when we leave this camp we will go there. I think we will fight them there. Some thinks that if we fight them there that it will be the desisive battle on this side of the river. The feds will be too strong for us if we hav to retreat back threw Texas. It will ruin it. Our armey is sufficient to drean the cuntry and then if the fedderal armey persuse us they will clean every thing up right clean. I studdy about it a great deal. I dont think I could pas home and leave you to the mercy of the enemy though I hav sean men since we hav ben on this retreat pass in four miles of home and the officers would not let them go home. There wivs come to the road to see them but they was not permitted to go home with them. I thought it was pretty tight though if they had of went and the officers had of got them any more they would of had them shot. I dont know what we are to come to. It looks like if this ware lasts much longer it will run into tyrany and tespotis [despoitsm]. I hope the good Lord will not suffer it to last much longer. We hav ben on the retreat ever since Ive ben back and fareing verry hard part of the time. We hav ben five days at a time since Ive been back without any thing to eat but the courseest kind of corn meal. I am driveing a commissary waggon now. I am detailed to drive for a sick man. They keep us bissy. Sometimes we hav to drive all night. Betty it is getting late and Ive got my teem to attend to. I will hav to close. May the good Lord bless you. Betty dont quint trying to seak for religion. It is the greattest consolation and all the thing that a person has to revive them in the time of trubble. If it want for the little hope that I hav I beleave that I would almost sink with dispare. I pray for this ware to end so the people can go home in peace one more time. Nothing more. Onley I remain yours as ever. Kiss Priscilla for me and Ile kiss you in return on sight. – W. E. Stoker.