March 24th 1862
Your most welcome letter came to hand yesterday evening and I assure you it was received with feelings of pleasure. It has been quite a little time since I had heard from home hut the delay was probably owing to the delay of the vessels. I should have written yesterday but I heard that there was mail at the fort. so I thought it best to wait by so doing got a letter from you. I am enjoying good health with the exception of a rather severe toothache. It has been growling for some time back. I think if it does not stop pretty soon I shall go to the fort and see what a pair of turnkeys can do for it. We have had rather livelier times for a few days back than usual. You spoke of spies in our army. They are just the class men we have been looking for the last two or three days back, it was thought a few days ago that there were two spies from the Rebels and a dispatch was sent up to our quarters for the pickets to be on the watch for any suspicious looking persons. The dispatch reached us a little after midnight and we were all out on the watch and the next day the island was searched from top to bottom but nothing was found. That day about night three of us had a delightful time going on to a little island out in the marsh that looked rather suspicious but had our labor for our pains only we had to wade in the mud up to our necks. The 3rd N.H. boys landed as far as the mainland without firing a gun and captured 4 Rebel prisoners, tough looking fellows too. They were not as well dressed as our soldiers. They had no uniform dress but were ragged and dirty. There is considerable going on down here just now. The Rebels make some threats but the Yankee boys have no fears. Fort Paulasky is in sight of our quartets and with a glass the guns can be seen distinctly though the fort is some 14 miles distant from us. We are still on picket and have been for the last two months. How much longer we shall stay is uncertain. Now that we have become used to it it does not come so hard for us as at first. News had reached us from Florida Genl Sherman has taken several important places and 4000 prisoners and 4000 more applied for protection and have taken the Oath of Elegience. Genl Burnside has taken several important places in N.C. The work is going finely. While we are doing guard duty this seems to be our business.
I guess I will get this letter done after awhile. My tooth bothers me so that I had to stop writing for awhile. l received a letter from Addison a few days ago. The folks were all well or getting well, some had been pretty sick. The letters were from Hat and Henry. From all we hear I think the war will end before long at least I hope so I am getting tired of this idleness. I want to get back on the farm to work once more. I would like to be at home to help you make shugar but the season for that is so near at hand that it would be impossible for me if the Regt was ordered home immediately, but you must save me a good large cake. The last that I heard from our money that we sent home it was at the boro. If you have not drawn it out when you get this you will find it at the boro in Sherwood's hands. It will soon be time for me to draw another $20 and then I will send some more to you. I do not know that I have anymore to write that will interest you. The boys are all well from the run. Your must write as often as you can and not wait for me. I make it a practice to write to you and mother every week whether I get any letters or not and if you want to hear from me as bad as I want to hear from home you will write often. The reason of my letters not reaching you more regular is on account of the mail. I am in hope I shall soon be with you though I am not sick of the service while it is necessary for men to be in the volunteer service. I must close soon for I have to write a good many letters for others in the Co. and some are wanting me to write for them now. I have another to write for my self first but I must bid you good by for the present. Give my respects to enquiring friends if any there be.
This from your affectionate soldier boy.
J .D. Strait