1864-07-13Near Petersburg, Va
Camp 45th Regt Pa Vet Vols

near Petersburg, Va

July 13th/64

Dear Mother

I have just perused your most welcome letter of the 3rd and 4th inst with the greatest of pleasure and now hasten to answer in assurance that your letters are ever welcome. I wish that you could find time to write more for I love to hear from home so well. I think if it were not for letters I receive from dear friends at the north I should soon become reckless of everything around and get completely demoralized but those little messengers from the beautiful North serve oftimes as guardian angels to the careworn Soldier. That little rose reminds me of other and happier days and strengthens the hope that those days may return with two fold happiness. I am sorry that you are not in the house yet. As soon as we get pay and I think it safe in sending money I will try to send $150 to help finish it. I often wish myself there to help you but it is useless to wish under the circumstances. How often have I wished when tired out with long marching for just one hours rest under those rosebushes in the shade. How pleasant it would seem but I hope the day is not far distant we we can rest in peace under our own vine and fig tree. What a jubilee that will be when peace is again declared but unless we can have an honourable peace we do not want any. Be patient and murmur not at taxes as long as it goes to help crush this Rebellion. I will send enough money while I live to pay all taxes. I had rather see the North taxed at 10 percent than see the south gain their independence. There has already been so many noble lives sacrificed in this cruel war that I want to see the south so thoroughly whiped that not one dare to mention the name of Southern Confederacy while the world stands. I may not live to see it but I believe this war will be the means of giving us a better government and better nation than you ever before known and if I should never be permitted to see that day I hope to live to see the Stars and Stripes float over every home and hamlet in the US. When I die I want to breath my last under the glorious old flag. I would never ask a prouder winding sheet. I have no particular news to write at present.

The boys that are with us from Elk Run are mostly well. Siler Barnes is sent to the Hospital. I do not know any more about John Barnes than what I wrote before I was at the Regt service. We have heard they knew nothing of him only that he was shot through the lungs and supposed dead or taken prisoner. They could find nothing of him. John Buck is complaining a little. The rest are all well. My health is still good. The Regt are out on picket. One of Co D was killed this morning. Our pits are not over 60 paces apart along some parts of the line. I do not have to go out on picket as our colors are not allowed on the picket line. Please write often as convenient to your ever Affectionate Son

J .D. Strait

PS My respects to all enquiring friends