1863-03-19Newport News, Va.
Newport News, Va.

March 19th 1863

Dear Parents

Your most welcome letter of the 10th inst came to hand this afternoon and I hasten to answer. We have had our things packed all day ready to fall in at a moments warning but we are still in our tents and the snow is beating against the outside and occasionally a sprinkle finds its way through some crevice but we are comfortable now to what we probably should have been had we left our Camp. One Regt of our Brigade left early this morning and most of our division have gone. Our destination as usual I do not know but presume somewhere in the vicinity of Suffolk or Black Watter. We are somewhat loth to part with our comfortable dwellings but for us to lay idle all summer would not be policy and for the government to keep troops on expense when there is so much work in the field, yet we would gladly let others do such work as lays in our line of business especially the fighting part. There is nothing of importance going on at present. There was some rumor of a battle on the Black Watter but no correct news has reached us yet. I do not know that I have anything more of importance to communicate.

I was glad to hear that the Colts were so easily managed. They will be old enough to work another year. As to your getting rich from coal that is dug upon our farm I think it very doubtful. I think that and the silver will turn out about equal, all a perfect humbug in the end though l would be happy to have it otherwise but I am faithless. That peece you spoke was very good. It showed good mettle and l presume there might be many more found of the same material but it is now bed time and I want to write a few lines to Ella so I shall be obliged to cut this short a little from what I otherwise should for I shall not probably get another chance to write for a week or more but I will write again at the first opportunity. I rec'd stamps in your last letter. They came very acceptable and I am very much obliged. My respects to all and please write as often as convenient to your ever Affectionate Son.

J .D. Strait

Direct to Co I 45th Regt Pa Vol Washington, D.C.

Leave off the Col Welch for he is now Brigadier General