1863-03-30Paris, Kentucky
Paris, Kentucky

March 30th 1863

Dear Parents

This pleasant morning finds me trying once more to write to you from the farfamed state of Ky. We left Newport News a week ago yesterday on the boat Mary Washington for Baltimore where we arrived Monday evening or rather Tuesday morning at 4:30 and lay there until 11 p.m. when we took the cars for Parkersburg but to give you a minute detail of all that passed and of all the towns and various little gatherings on the rout but dinner is ready and I must stop long enough to eat.

Dinners over and here I am again. I will merely give you the most important towns which we passed through, from Baltimore we went to Harpers Ferry, arrived there about 5 a.m. stoped and got coffee so we did not get started from Baltimore till late. We passed the most interesting part of the road after night. The Baltimore and Ohio RR is one of the crookedest roads to Harpers Ferry that I ever saw. From the Ferry we proceeded up the Potomac at a rapid rate. We arrived at the town of Cumberland at 3 o'clock p.m. Here we got warm coffee again. This town is situated among the mountains of Va at the mouth of the North Branch of the Potomac. The road is mostly guarded by Ohio boys of the last call. The scenery along this RR is of the most picturesk appearance. I would give you the names of all the towns but I cannot remember them. After leaving Cumberland we proceeded up the North Branch of the Potomac through a rough part of the country but romantic and beautiful. I hardly think anything in Penna can compare in grandeur and beauty to the scenery of the upper Potomac. The RR passes through the most mountainous part of Va. I used to think it was among the impossibilities to get a railroad up Pine Creek but since we came over the Baltimore and Ohio all doubt has disappeared. On our trip to Parkersburg we passed through 33 tunnels, the longest 1 1/2 miles. At Parkersburg we took the boat Lacrosse down the majestic Ohio River. Parkersburg is situated at the mouth of the Little Kanawah and 300 miles above Cincinnati. We did not have but little time to think about how the town did look for we were hurried on board the boat and about 48 hours ride brought us down to the great metropolis of Ohio. We did not go ashore at Cincinnati but crossed the river to Covington, Ky., where we took the cars for Paris where we now are. We are encamped upon the Fair Ground. Paris is a flourishing little town nearly as large as Jersey Shore and is the county seat of Bourbon County the Premium County of the State. I had read of the beauty of the state of Ky. but never did I think it would equal what it really is. We are now in the most beautiful section of country I ever saw. I think when the war ends I shall settle in this part of the world that is if I can get money enough to buy a farm or get into some other business that suits me. We are here to guard the place against the attacks of bands of guerillas that surfeit the county and are continnuly committing depredations upon loyal citizens. How long we shall stay here I do not know but I hope all the season and as far as I am concerned I would like to spend the remainder of my three years here. The timber is mostly beech and maple; ellem and oak are scattered in with the rest. The weather has been very cool since we stoped here. We got here last Saturday night just at dark and found good quarters in the fair houses, a large circular building capable of seating at least 10,000 people. There is good watter handy. Our Co is quartered in two small buildings surrounded by shade trees though they are of but little need yet, and beautiful green lawn and beautiful green fields on every side, all though it is one of the most lovely camps we have ever enjoyed. I do not know what I can think of any more that will interest you at present. I am not in much of a mood for writing. On our route we passed through 36 tunnels so you may judge whether is was a rough country we came through but I am getting tired and must stop writing. Please write as often as convenient. I like to have forgotten to tell you that I got the box just as we got ordered to pack up. The day we left Newport News it came through safe and just at the right time to be good on march. I was somewhat disappointed in not getting the boots but it is just as well for I have not rec'd any letters from home since the 12 ult. I presume when our mail comes up there will be a number of letters for me. My respects to all who may be entitled to them.

Write soon to your ever Affectionate Son.

J.D. Strait

Direct to Co I 45th Regt Pa Vol

1st division 9th AC Paris, Kentucky