1863-05-21Camp near Hustonville, Ky.
Camp near Hustinville, Ky.

May 21st 1863

Dear Parents

This pleasant afternoon finds me trying to answer your most welcome letter of the 12th inst which came to hand last evening and you may be sure I was glad to hear from you as l always am to learn that you are blessed with health and were I there to breathe the free pure air of the mountains I should be far happier than I am at present but I make the best of this mode of life and look upon the bright side of the picture. Things are all quiet in camp though we had a night excursion a few nights ago on Monday evening at 11 o'clock as we were called and told we were to march at 2 a.m. We did not march until 3 when we formed in line and the Reg't was divided, the left wing was sent out the Lebanon Pike but until the Reg't was divided we all thought we were going a long march but when we started off and left the right wing we knew there was something going on. We marched out some 2 1/2 miles to a gap in the mountains through which we were to pass, or the Rebels would be obliged to come did they advance to make an attack. We sent out scouts but finding nothing we moved up to a turn in the pike and took our position just after light. The Battery, that is one piece that was with us and planted so as to command the road and thus we lay until near noon waiting anxiously expecting to see some of Morgan's men dashing upon us but finding that no Rebels were coming and that there were none near we came back to camp satisfied with the expedition for it kept the officers from attending a military picnic got up on purpose for the Reg't but the officers would not allow the privates to attend. I understand the citizens are going to have a picnic tomorrow in camp on purpose for the privates but I hardly think I shall attend for it will be my turn on picket. I presume there will be a good time in general.

But there is a day not far off when a private will be on equal footing with an officer and many that now hold commissions and despise a private will be glad to get assistance from those that were privates now. We have two of the best lieutenants that there are in the Reg't. They do not feel any above the private if he behaves himself. They have both been boys with us ever since we came out. My sheet is full as you will please excuse the brevity of this but I don't know that I shall write a longer one next time. My respects to all enquiring friends. Please write as often as convenient to your ever Affectionate Son

J.D. Strait

Direct as usual