1863-09-09Crab Orchard, Ky.
Crab Orchard, Ky.

Sept 9th 1863

Dear Parents

This Wednesday evening finds me trying to write a few lines before retiring for the night. We are to march in the morning at 8 a.m. with 8 days rations and it may be that I shall not get another opportunity of writing for quite awhile for we are to move toward Tennessee. If I understand the movement rightly it is a long march and I presume we shall see many a weary night before we get a chance to rest any length of time but we will perform our duty without murmuring if they will only furnish plenty of US hardtack and salt pork or good bacon. They tell us we are to carry our 8 days rations in our haversacks and knapsacks but I think I shall carry that. With my house, bedding and cooking utensils it would make a load for a good healthy mule but thank fortune our cooking utensils are very simple and easily managed. If we live till the war ends we will all be very good cooks. It is the supposition of our officers that we are moving on to hold the positions Genl Burnside has taken while he and his force moves on to the Rebels in some other place perhaps to form a junction with Genl Rosecrans and so get into the rear of Richmond.

It is now half past nine and I shall be obliged to make a short letter of this. I wrote home Sunday but thinking this might be the best opportunity I might have for some time I am keeping my light burning after taps which is against regulations but we pay but little attention to regulations in that respect here.

I am getting tough as a bear again and I shall probably need all the strength allowed me to stand the tramp we are setting out upon. I was in hopes we would remain here and the furlows continue until my turn came round but I think I shall give up all hope of ever seeing home again before my three years are up. I have been wishing long back that toward the forepart of winter to give you a pleasant surprise if the furlows should continue but this movement will stop the whole thing for we have so many sick that are back who will not be up in a long time that the Commanding General will not sign any more leaves of absence only on a Surgeon's certificate which a well man cannot get. My eyes are getting tired so I shall have to bid you good night and pleasant dreams. My respects to all enquiring friends. Please write often to your unworthy son and I will try and not neglect writing so long as I did in Mississippi.

Direct as usual. This from your ever Affectionate Son

J .D. Strait

Ethan and Julania Strait