1863-06-30Camp in rear of Vicksburg
Camp in rear of Vicksburg

June 30th 1863

Dear Parents

This pleasant afternoon finds me out on Brigade guard and, as I have some little time to spare, I thought it would be a good time opportunity to write you a few lines. We are still in rear of Vicksburg some 15 miles and we are now on the road to the Big Black but how long we shall remain here is uncertain but I think in all probability not longer than the capture of Vicksburg which may be delayed for some time but we have all confidence in Genl Grant's ability to capture the whole force. There is no probability of our getting into the seige at this ill fated City but we are keeping Johnson away from Grant's rear. We are fortifying every hill where there is any chance for a battery and rifle pits. There is no exit to them. I have no news of importance. There has been nothing occured since I last wrote. The booming of heavy artiliary is still heard. Sharp shooters are engaged constantly on both sides. Several of our officers have been down to see the works. They say there is constant danger of getting his head cracked by some Rebel sharp shooter. The weather is so warm that our wounded men suffer a great deal more than those at the North in cooler climates but the wounded are being shipped north as fast as possible. I hardly know what to write that will interest you for I do not feel much like writing. This is the first time I have been on night duty but every other day we have all had to work either upon entrenchments or take our axes and chop as it seems necessary. We can do it very cheerful, though our food is rather light to work upon. It is not like our board at home when we have to labor but as it is to save ourselves from meeting the Rebels in the openfield but I guess I have written about enough for this time. I am enjoying very good health full better than I had expected.

Please excuse the brevity of this. I will try to do better next time. My respects to all enquiring friends. Please write as often as possible. I have had no mail since we came to Mississippi. Please excuse all mistakes. This from your ever Affectionate Son

J.D. Strait

Direct to Co I 45th Regt PV

1st Brigade 1st Division 9th A.D.