1863-05-28Camp near Columbia, Ky.
Camp near Columbia, Ky.

May 28th 1863

Dear Parents

It is with pleasure that I now find myself trying to write a few lines to you. Since I last wrote to you we have had 3 days march. We are now at Columbia, about l6 miles from the Columbia River but how long we shall stop here is very uncertain. Two Reg'ts of our Brigade went out on a scout yesterday but I do not think they will find many Rebels this side the Cumberland though there may be some few scouts. My hand is so unsteady that I will not write any more now until it gets more steady.

Friday 29th. I did not feel like writing yesterday so I did not finish this letter. I do not feel much like writing today but thought I would try to finish this short letter. It has been over a week since I last wrote to you. When I last wrote we were at Hustonville. I wrote the day before the picnic was to come off. We had a much better time than I expected. The Citizens were very much displeased with the officers picnic so they set up one expressly for the privates and the officers seeing they were losing caste by treating the privates with contempt, thought to redeem their good standing they would do the duty of the privates while we had the pleasure of enjoying the bounty of the people undisturbed by any distractions so they shouldered the musket and went out on picket. It was good sport for us to see them shoulder the musket and go into the ranks. Some of them did not like to go but the General told them they had their sport and they must do our duty while we had ours. We had a splendid good time after the dinner. We were highly entertained by speeches by General Wolford and General Fry both Kentuckians and good loyal men as ever graced the field. I wish we had thousands of such men both North and South. If we had there never would have been cause for Rebellion. It is reported the Rebels have a large force this side the Cumberland but I hardly think there are very many Rebels near here. There may be some few that are lurking around to steal what horses and forage they can. Two Reg'ts of our Brigade went out on scout but we have not heard that they found anything of a force yet. They have been fighting in Vicksburg and it has been reported that Grant has taken the whole Rebel force but we have nothing official as yet but I hope it is true. I hope the Day is not far distant when the whole Rebel force will be driven beyond the Gulf of Mexico and this cruel war soon brought to a close.

It is not only incurring a great National debt but it is injuring the country both morally and socially and it will take ages for our country to recover from the stigma that will be cast upon her. If the young and able bodied men of the North wish to see the Rebellion put down, let them turn out in millions and overwhelm the South in numbers and crush them at once. I guess I have written enough for the present so I will close hoping to hear from you often as convenient. Give my respects to all enquiring friends. I wish you would get some of that itch ointment and send me a box by mail. I have a humor in my blood. If I was at home I would call it itch but the Doctor here says it is caused by heat and want of vegetable food. Eating to much meat without any vegetables. But I must close. I remain your ever Affectionate Son

J .D. Strait