March 31st 1862
I received two most welcome letters from you this forenoon and I assure you I was glad to hear from you. Your letters were dated the l4th and 18th of this month found me enjoying good health and I hope these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessings. I should have written to you yesterday but went down to Pope's Lower Place to a meeting and fortunately your letters came before I had time to write. Chene and Seth were or are quartered down here and they have some good meetings. The negroes often meet there with the boys and they have some splendid singing. They are a simple minded race of people and seem to enjoy themselves better than one would suppose.
Dear Parents this pleasant morning finds me again writing to you. I should have finished writing this last night but when I had fairly got commenced, supper was ready and before I had done eating George Hadoks came from the quarters and told us that Marshall had arrived so I went down to see him. He came from Fortress Monroe on the steamer that brought our mail. He is as fleshy and looks as robust as I ever saw him. It seems more natural to see him with us again. He saw the fight at Fort Monroe between the Merrimack and Monitor it must have been a very savage scene. You probably have read a detailed account before this. We are getting good news from all ports. Most of the people think the Rebels about played out but there will in all probability be some hard fighting before they will come to terms but I don't know hardly what to write. Times are rather dull down here. Our troops are rather lying down upon their arms waiting for someone to lead them into the fray. It is thought Genl Hunter will drive this part of the war ahead faster than it has been doing for some time back. It is getting pretty warm and sultry now but nothing what it will be like later in the season. It is a general report down this way that our troops have possession of Richmond but I fear this is too good to be true. There is so many false reports that one hardly knows what to believe when he hears anything in regard to the war. My hand trembles this morning that I hardly think you can read this. If you cannot please keep it until I get home and if I don't forget what it is I can read it for you. Things look as fresh as midsummer and the weather is about as warm as it is in the hottest month up north. Peas and corn are up quite nice. Just before me on the table I have a splendid boquet of roses and thinks it would do you good to look at, but I hardly know what to write so I think l will not worry your patience much longer this time. The boys are mostly well in our Co. The boys from the run are all hearty as bears. I am glad to hear that times are growing more easy and that money is more plenty. It is getting most time for us to get our pay and then I will send some more home. Though it is but little at a time little enough will so the thing after awhile. There is two men from the north arrived here yesterday to take charge of the niggers to educate them and keep them to work but it is most time for me to go on guard so I shall have to bid you good by again for the present. Please write soon. I am still at Old Station picket.
This from your Affectionate Son.
J .D. Strait