1863-05-05Camp near Middlebury [Middleburg], Casey Co., Ky.
Camp near Middlebury, Casey Co., Ky.

May 5th 1863

Dear Parents

Instead of writing again in a day or two after my last letter, I have waited nearly a week. The next day but one after my last letter we left Camp Dick Robinson and moved on toward the Southern border of the State. We at first supposed we were going to Somerset but when we reached Stanford we took road to Columbia but for some cause we have halted upon Green River. We reached this place on Saturday evening and layover the Sabbath to rest. Yesterday just at night we moved our camp to dry ground and I do not know how long we shall remain here. We may stay 2 or 3 days but most likely we shall go on this afternoon. The 2nd Brigade came up this morning and passed us and I think altogether the whole thing will move forward toward Tennessee. We hear that Genl Hooker is driving the Rebels from Frederieksburg and cutting off their retreat toward Richmond. I hope all the papers state may prove true. If that army can be annhiliated it will be a death blow to the rebelion but if that army escapes, this war will continue for years to come unless a compromise is resorted to which I hope will never be. I am heartily sick of the service but I never wish to see a compromise unless the North have their own terms and the proposition of compromise made by the South but enough of this at present.

Perhaps you would like to hear how we get along marching this warm weather though I hardly think it is as warm up North as here. It has been very warm to march but we manage to get our knapsacks hauled by paying for it ourselves which we had rather do that to carry them upon our backs. We have had Company fund to pay our expenses in that line as yet. We have over a hundred dollars yet but it is in the Lt Col hands. He has never turned it over to our Co commander yet. I believe I have already told you our Capt was promoted to Lieut Col and our Col to Brigadier General. The old general has to come around occasionaly and see us. Our camp is right in sight of his quarters now. He likes to spend a few moments in camp better than any where else but we have an excellent man for Col now John E. Curtis, a nephew of the Governor and a fine man, but I was telling you about the march. The first day we marched 21 miles and the other two days we only marched 10 miles each day. We would lay still until 1 or 2 o'clock P.M., then make short marches so that we stood it very well.

Most part of the country through which we passed has been very nice, though along the river where we are now the country is about as rough as in old Tioga but the soil through Kentucky is the best to be found in the whole country together I ever saw, but the land is much higher per acre than in our State. The people through here are generally the poorer class and mostly Union, the rich as a general thing are Secech, though there are exceptions to all rules. There are a good many such people through the State that are good Union but I wish that the war would end so that we all could get home but I fear we shall be obliged to wait a long time before that wish can be realized. When I sent you $10.00 I told you I would send $10.00 more but govemment rations since we have been in this state have not relished very good so I shall not be able to send any more at present but I guess I have written enough about money for the present. My respects to all enquiring friends. I rec'd your letter of the 21st in due time and was glad to hear from you. Write as often as convenient and I will do the same.

This from your ever Affectionate Son

J.D. Strait

Direct to Co I 45th Regt Pa Vol

3rd Brigade 1st Division 9th AC

Via Cincinnati