1861-12-24Gen'l Hospital Fortress Monroe
Gen'l Hospital

Fortress Monroe Dec. 24, 1861

Dear Parents,

The 24 finds me again writing to you. I am sorry to inform you that I have not been able to join the reg't yet.

I have had another sick spell but am getting better. I was getting quite smart after the measles left me until after I was taken with a sort of fever chill. The chills do not come on any more but the doctor says I must keep still for awhile yet, and tomorrow is Christmas and I have got to stay housed up. The most of the boys are getting along very well and seem to enjoy themselves pretty well. If I had had any idea that we should remain here so long I should have had you send your letters here, but I did not think then we should stay here long. It seems almost an age since I have heard from home, but I suppose there are some letters for me at the reg't. They will come good when I get them. Things are rather dull here. They are making some preparations for Christmas though it will not do us much good. I think my Christmas dinner will come out rather slim, but I must wait until after dinner to Finish this. By the way we do not get much to eat that is palatable, but there is some talk about going to Fort Royal, and I will wait to see what the issue is. It is possible the Dr. may send me off with the rest, but I do not know.

29th Sabbath afternoon finds me again writing to you. I should have finished this before but have been waiting to see whether I should go with the boys to Fort Royal or not, but we are here yet and are likely to stay how long I do not know, but I hope not long.

I am quite well again and hope to remain so. We had a very good time Christmas and a very good dinner, roast turkey and chicken in abundance but as a rule we do not have very good fare. If any of the folks ask you where I spent Christmas you may tell them at the Great Hygeia Hotel, Va. This was once one of the most fashionable places of resort for pleasure seekers as a summer resort in the state of Va., but is now used as a hospital. It is rather late in the afternoon and I shall not have time to write a great deal but will give you the price of a few articles, such as butter, cheese, eggs, etc. Butter per lb. 30 to 50 cents, eggs by the dozen 30, cheese 16 cents per pound, milk by the pint 6 cents and other things accordingly. You can see what things are worth in southern market, but never mind, Uncle Sam has to find us grub, though sometimes it is rather poor. I have not time to write much as I would like to. We shall probably leave this place some time this week, but you may direct your letters to

Company I

45 Reg't Col Welsh Pa. V. Fortress

Monroe, VA.

Until you hear from me. You must be sure to write as soon as you get this. If there is any chance to get a box of things through to Fort Royal, I shall send up for one after I get to the reg't and have you send me some things after awhile, but good by for present from your son.

J.D. Strait