1863-03-18Newport News, Va.
Newport News, Va.

March 18th I863

Dear Parents

Sabbath evening and I am again trying to answer Mother's kind and welcome letter of the 1st and 6th which I rec'd last evening and I assure you it was welcome. l would be glad to get a letter from home every day but I will not complain if I get a letter once a week regular and I have rec'd two within the last week. I have answered the last one and will answer this though it will be poorly done I fear for I do not feel in much of a mood for writing. I have nothing new to write. I do not doubt but you will be lonely when Aunt Bet and the children go home. I wish I could make a visit before they go but I am bound for another year and 1/2 yet then I shall, if alive, be free once more and I hope our country will be free also of the Rebellion which is causing so much misery both at home and in the field but for my part I have no reason to complain for I have had but a small share of the burden to what some have. I rec'd a letter from Sabin this afternoon. He is as patriotic as ever and takes his Father for abolition sentiment and I do not know that he is to blame or anyone else at home. He still wants to come into the service but his parents will not give their consent but he thinks the late Conscript Bill will give him a chance to come but he will not find much pleasure unless he takes more of a military turn of mind than I do. I used to think a Soldier's life must be a glorious one but experience has taught me that it is a stern reality but it is not much worse than what I expected when I enlisted. I hope the draft will bring O.A. Smith and give him a chance to try his mettle. I believe he would make a good Soldier but I presume he would loth to leave those fine Colts and his farm but he is no better that the rest of us. I have nothing of interest to write. I do not know how long we shall remain here. The 3rd division has already gone to Suffolk and I do not know but we may go there but some say that our division is to remain at Fort Monroe and this place but all we have to do is to wait and see what the move is but I do not know that I have anything more to write at this time. I want to answer Aunt Bet's letter tonight and it is now nearly roll call. I hear the drums rolling off at other Brigades and our bugler is now blowing so I must bid you good night with pleasant dreams and presume Aunt Bet will be home before this letter reaches her but I will send it with this and run the risk. Write as often as you can. your ever Affectionate Son.

J.D. Strait