Confederate Private William E. Stoker

William Elisha Stoker was a Texas farmer who served in the Confederate army for nearly two years before dying from his wounds in May 1864. Private Stoker hated the war and complained about practically everything in vivid letters home, but he somehow endured the conflict with remarkable bravery and fortitude. Part of what kept Stoker going was love for his wife Betty and little daughter Priscilla and an overwhelming desire to return to their “sweet little home” in Upshur County. This website from the House Divided Project features Stoker’s memorable and moving letters which are now held by the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Featured Exhibits

Stoker's Letters

Read more than thirty letters from William Stoker describing Confederate army life during the period 1862-1864.

Biographical Film

View a short film about William Stoker’s life from his birth in Alabama to his death during the Red River Campaign.

Interactive Essay

Explore a new essay format that allows direct access to documents and background for William Stoker’s narrative.


William Stoker's Geography

Analyze historic maps and images from across the various southern states where Stoker lived and served.

William Stoker's Family

See images and details about Stoker’s extended family, including the sad fate of his young daughter and the story of his two slaves.

William Stoker's War

Follow a visual timeline of Pvt. William Stoker’s wartime experiences from before his enlistment in 1862 until his death after the Battle of Jenkins Ferry.