1864-01-06Blaines Cross Roads
Camp 45th Pa. Vol. Tenn.

Blaines Cross Roads,

Jan. 6th 1864

Dear Parents

This cold snowy day finds me trying to write you a fiew lines, that you may know that I am still among the living and hearty as ever with good spirits. I am again a new recruit for the service of our Country. Our Reg't have all nearly to one man reenlisted for the war. Henry Watrous is the only one of our Co that is in this department but what has enlisted for the second term. I do not blame him for I think his health is not good enough to stand the hardships of the field. I have no doubt but you will think me foolish for reenlisting when you first hear of it but when you take the second sober thought you will see that my Country needs me just as bad now as at first. If not worse, then I do not think our term of service will last much longer that what it would if l had not enlisted again for I do not see how this war is to be kept us more than another year.

If the Rebels are bound to destroy the best Government that ever existed, we are bound to preserve that Government, cost what it may. If we do not live to see the good effects of that liberty restored, posterity will, and future generations will reap the rich rewards. There is a twofold reason why old troops should be kept in the field. One is because they are already fit for immediate service and another, the Rebels were looking forward to the time when all of the old troops would be out of the field and they had rather fight a whole brigade of new troops than one old Reg't of old Soldiers, therefore I think our enlisting is going to do more good than twice the number of new troops from home. We would have to stay through the hardest of the campaign next summer and I think by that time the war will be over and we might do well to get the $402 as any one else. We are entitled to it if anybody. We have seen the hardest of the war already.

We expect to leave this department by the first of Feb. at least, and we may go sooner but what time we shall reach home for 20 days I do not know but that we are coming some time this winter is sure. Next pay day we draw our $100 bounty and $60 of the new and one month pay in advance and $15 premium making in all $175. That with our back pay will make over $200 that we can take home. That will be quite a help toward paying up debts and toward the house. You need not be surprised to see me climbing that old hill once more but you need set no particular time for my coming for I do not know how long it will take us after we start from here. We are all to go in a body to Harrisburg and from there we go home as we choose. We shall not probably get there until toward Spring. I guess I have written enough for the present. Please write often as convenient to Your Affectionate Son

J .D. Strait

Direct as usual