1864-07-27in front of Near Petersburg, Va
Camp 45th.Regt Pa. Vet. Vols.

in front of Petersburg, Va.

July 27th/64

Dear Parents

I have just perused your most welcome letter of the llst and l assure you it was perused with pleasure as your letters always are. I do not know what I should do if it was not for the letters that I get from dear friends at the North. I rec'd a letter from Cousin Ella the morning she was at Uncle Luke's. When she wrote on the 20th and 21st the people were well at that time.

Petersburg is not taken yet nor any prospects of its being taken very soon. We could not hold it if we were to take it unless we could gain the heights upon the other side the Appomatox River and that would be a bad undertaking unless we could get a flank movement and I do not know what the chances would be for that, but I presume Genl Grant will operate all in good time. I have all the confidence in Gel Grant's abilities yet there has been no move here since I last wrote you. We have a drift completed under one of the Rebel forts in our front but how soon it will be blown up I do not know but when it is blown up there will undoubtedly be a charge made. We have some very strong works in our front. The Rebels will hardly attempt to force us back. On our right they are sapping up to the Rebel works. They are so close that they throw hand grenades over into the Johnies works. I hardly think there will be a general advance more than working us gradually and winning and sapping everything worked by regular siege. I presume some of our northern Shervatics are daily asking why Grant does not move forward. If they were here in front, they wold soon find out why he does not make a general attack. They do not know that things of this kind cannot be done in short time as it takes to write a piece for the papers that are continually blowing about the tardy movements of the army and President Lincoln's political schems, as they are pleased to term them. They are trying by every means in their power to cause his defeat at the coming election and this late rumor about peace embasidors is nothing more or less but a political schem to help defeat Lincoln. I am anxious that he should serve 4 years more. We cannot get one that will fill the post better but I am aware that a good many Soldiers will vote against him this fall if allowed to vote, but I think we can outnumber them in favor of him. There is but little news to write of importance. I was over to the 187th Regt a fiew days ago. The boys were all well. Alsolem is not very well at present. The Rebels are gradually thinning our ranks every time we are out on the front line. There are more or less wounded pickets. There were two wounded with one ball in camp. The balls fly thick through our camp and continuous shells come rather uncomfortable close, but I must close I have written all of interest this morning. Please write often as convenient. This leaves me well and I hope it will find you enjoying the same blessing. From your Affectionate Son

J .D. Strait