2007-07-08The Wood family connection
Jehiel Wood and Justus (J D) Strait served togeather in the 45th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers from 1861 to 1865. During that time they were both taken prisioner .

In the Confederate South food and supplies were so scarce that periodically some prisoners were allowed to draw lots for release to reduce the number to be fed. Jehiel Wood, drew a twig entitling him to be released, while his friend J.D., then desperately ill, did not. Since J.D. was near death, Jehiel, not wishing to leave his friend to be buried in the prison yard, slung him over his shoulder "like a sack of meal". They were challenged because the "lot" was for one only. Jehiel informed the guard that he would not leave without his friend. The guard lifted J.D.'s head by a lock of hair, then ordered them on, saying "You'll be burying him soon enough". Miraculously, Jehiel got J.D. from North Carolina to his mountain home on Elk Run.

During his service, J D was faithful in writing home to his parents and friends. The letters were saved and eventually published. Those letters are available here.