1863-03-13Camp near Newport News, Va.
Camp near Newport News, Va.

March 13th 1863

Dear Parents

Your most welcome letter of the 3rd inst came to hand today and I hasten to answer. It is the first I have rec'd that has been numbered. This was number 3. I numbered one and forgot to number the others so I so not know how many I have written since I thought of numbering them. It seems strange that you do not get all of my letters or that you do not get them sooner. I have written few of them from your writting. There is nothing of importance going on here. There is some talk of our moving but I do not credit it much. We have 4 drills a day when the weather is fair. We have had some pretty rainy days of late and a lowry day comes very good when one gets tired of so much drill but I will not complain when they keep us out of fighting. I do not know that I can better describe the sentiments of the Soldiers at large then to refer you to a letter in the Agitator from Esq. Emery written while he was here. The old jurist made his home with us while here. He has a pretty correct idea of Soldiering, he differing from us in reguard to McClellan. He is down on him but I have yet to learn anything against his character or loyalty to the Union. I still believe he is the best officer in the United States and shall until I am otherwise convinced but I have nothing more to say upon the subject.

I think Uncle Nonnan has not kept his promise very well for he has not written me since he left Falmouth but I presume he is busy most of the time. I do not know what to write that will interest you. I would like to be there to take a few rides after the Colts. There was some talk of furlows but that has played out. The Generals do not think a private ever wants to see friends or anyone else but if we live and can get through another year and a quarter then we are free again. Wished that the time was at hand. I do not know that I have any more to write at present and I want to write a few lines to Ella yet this evening. You may send me a few stamps if you have them on hand. The box I presume you will have started before you get this, if not send it on the first opportunity.

There is no danger but it will come direct from Tioga or Addison. John Emery got one right after his father was here and it came last Sunday morning but my sheet is full and I must bid you good by. Tell John he must write if he has got so that he can. My love to all with a good night and pleasant dreams. Yours ever.

J .D. Strait

I see two numbers on your letter on looking them over.