June 8th 1862
Sabbath afternoon finds me writing to you after two weeks silence. You very probably think before you hear from me that I have left for parts unknown. But under the present circumstances it was impossible for me to write before. We have been moving for the past week. A week ago today we rec'd orders to go out on picket for twenty four hours and only 24 hours rations with us. Accordingly we took nothing with us but our blankets and arms but before 24 hours was up the remainder of our detachment came on for the advance movement. About seven Monday we were told that the grand movement had started for Charleston. I wrote you, in my last letter that we expected to move in a fiew days, but it came unexpected to us, being out on picket with nothing with us except our blankets and no rations. About 40 of our Co. were sent some 3 miles back to the landing for what rations we could bring in our hands, which was but a small quantity for 3 days rations. It being hot we suffered very much from the heat and dust, the roads being very dry. We went about 2 miles beyond where we lay on picket the night before and camped for the night laying down upon the ground with the clear sky for a roof over our heads for a shelter, but as it was clear we were well contented with our beds supposing we should be called out for the march before light but the sun was high in the heavens before we awoke the next morning. We arose and breakfasted upon a fiew hard crackers without any coffee. Receiving no orders to march we lay upon our oars waiting for marching orders and about 10 p.m. it commenced to rain and was all set to work setting up shelters of our guns and blankets hoping the rain would not last long, but it continued to rain all that day and night and the next day and night but about 2 p.m. We were called up and told to get ready for the advance. We were to occupy the advance in the right wing of the division. We were the second reg't in advance and you may imagine what a time we had. It still continued to rain and the roads were well soaked it having rained for the last three days and was still pouring down like shot, now and then holding up to get a new holt and again coming down with more vengence than before, but we stemmed the mud and water for it was now about ankle deep hoping soon to encounter the enemy, being told that the Secesh were mummies in their forts, but we continued our march without molestation until we reached this place where we found quite a number of our troops waiting to be ferryed across the river to where the Secesh were some 14,000 strong or at least were reported to be about that strong as near as could be asertained by our troops stationed there. The 100th reg't took one battery of 76 guns the day we arrived here with the loss of 15 men taken prisoners. We have not been here three days and have not got over to where the rebels are yet and how long it will be before we get across the river but it will probably not be long for we expect to leave in a fiew days at the longest. We are now about 5 miles from Charleston City and I hope ere another week passes we shall be in the city, but we shall probably have some hard fighting before we reach the above named place, but we are all anxious to put an end to this war. I think this war will not last much longer for if all stories are true we have but fiew more victories to gain. It is reported here that Corinth and Richmond is over and Charleston will soon be, perhaps ere you get this letter it will be in our hands.
We are in Genl Stephens division. The number of troops under his command is more than I can tell at present. The boys are all well as usual, at present better than could he expected after marching in the mud for some 13 miles and nothing to eat for three days except a fiew hard crackers and not having half enough of them, but we are getting rather more now. I have filled this sheet full and have not written half what I wanted to and cannot write any more for I have no paper here. I had to borrow this sheet, mine are all in my knapsack and I will give you a description of our march and all that is interesting when I get my paper and stamps. I suppose they will come before long. If you can read this you will do well, but you will excuse me for I have to write this upon my knee and my penning is poor. Tell the folks on the run the boys are all well and please write as often as you can and I will do the same, but I guess I have written enough for this time so good by for the present.
This from your Affectionate Son.
J .D. Strait
Direct as usual to Port Royal, S.C.
I am sorry that the box you sent me could not get through, but it is probably all for the best. You can keep those boots until I get home. They will come good any time so good by.