1863-03-05Camp near Newport News, Va.
Camp near Newport News, Va.

March 5th I863

Dear Parents

Your most welcome letter of the 20th inst came to hand yesterday and was greeted with extreme pleasure. I should have written last evening but did not get at it until now. We do not get much time now to write except evenings. Drilling and inspections and reviews occupies nearly all of our time. They are trying to make Sunday Soldiers of us again, white gloves and everything shining or else we get reprimands severely but never mind, so long as there is no fighting to do. There is some talk of our getting into the fort and I hope we shall be the lucky ones for there we get a chance to keep clean and neat. For my part I have seen enough fighting and would like to spend the remainder of my three years in some good garrison and Fort Monroe is a splendid place, pleasantly situated, with daily mail from Washington and everything that one wishes can be bought there but we have to pay large prices for all we get in the army.

There is nothing going on new or interesting here. The same routine of duty each day. You spoke of the draft. I think it is to be completed by the first of July and under new law won't some of those fellows that refused to come when we did feel cheap when we come to go home and leave them to do the drudgery. They are to be drafted for two years but there are some excellent clauses in the law relating to who shall be exempt from the draft. I think Governor Seymour will have his hands full if he undertakes secession which he in all probability will not attempt. I sometimes get nearly discouraged but then to think of our own loyal States rebelling is enough to arouse any free man to arms but I hope the fuss will be honorably settled without any more fighting. It is now after 9 and I must close this short letter soon. If you have not sent that box yet direct to Newport News Va. We get daily express here. You say you were offered $250.00 for the colts. They must be good to bring that now but I must bid you good night and pleasant dreams.

Yours Affectionately.

J .D. Strait