Alabama -> Georgia -> Texas

Born in Alabama in 1837, William Elisha Stoker moved with his extended family to Troup County, Georgia at some point before 1850. Then Brother Elisha, as his step-brothers called him, moved to east Texas, married a young woman named Elizabeth, and established a farm outside of Coffeeville in Upshur County. Credit: House Divided Project

East Texas

Stoker's letters suggest that he was conscripted into service. Private Stoker joined the 18th Texas Infantry in Jefferson, Texas on May 7, 1862. Credit: House Divided Project

March to Arkansas

Stoker’s Texas company marched to Arkansas over the summer of 1862, arriving by September. Credit: Library of Congress

Arkansas Post

The 18th Texas Infantry received orders in early January 1863 to reinforce Brigadier General Thomas J. Churchill at Fort Hindman, Arkansas Post. However, the Confederate forces were defeated. Stoker’s company arrived too late and did not participate in any fighting. Credit: House Divided Project

Fort Hindman, Arkansas Post

The Union force of 30,000 men easily defeated the 4,900 Confederates at Fort Hindman, which was located on the Arkansas River.Credit: Library of Congress

Vicksburg, MS

For thirteen months, Stoker’s military experience consisted mostly of marching. But that changed dramatically in early June 1863. Confederate generals decided to employ Walker’s Texas Division as part of a desperate effort to stop the Union campaign to seize Vicksburg, the last remaining Rebel stronghold on the Mississippi. Credit: House Divided Project

Vicksburg, MS

Vicksburg is a key town located on the Mississippi river. Credit: Library of Congress

Battle of Milliken's Bend (June 7, 1863)

Yet the result was a major engagement at Milliken’s Bend and then a series of smaller skirmishes across northern Louisiana –none of which succeeded in preventing the Union takeover of the Mississippi. Credit: Library of Congress

Battle of Jenkins Ferry (April 30, 1864)

Stoker’s involvement in the war ended in late spring 1864, following the Battle of Jenkins Ferry, which took place on the banks of the Saline River in Grant county, Arkansas. Credit: Library of Congress

Red River Campaign (Spring 1864)

This battle was part of the Red River campaign, a failed effort by the Union military to end Confederate resistance west of the Mississippi. Credit: Library of Congress