1864-08-03in front of Petersburg, Va.
Camp 45th Regt PW

In front of Petersburg, Va.

Aug. 3rd 1864

Dear Parents,

I have just perused your most welcome letter of the 26th inst. Oh how I love to read those welcome letters from dear ones at home. How often while reading your letters do I think of the many pleasant days spent upon that old hillside though I often got tired and sick of the fatigue of climbing the hills, but I would willing climb the hill today for the privilege of once more beholding the faces of those who are no doubt anxiously awaiting my return, but when that day will arrive is very uncertain for my turn may come next time we go into action. I wrote you the 31st giving a short description of the battle in front of Petersburg and I presume you will get the full account in the papers ere this reaches you so I will pass that by.

I rec'd a letter this morning from Aunt Roxana. They were well when she wrote. Sabin is in the army. He went in May last under the call for 100 day men so his time will soon be out. There is no news of importance going on at present. I am glad you got the bonds and since I am accredited to Westfield there is $100 due me from the township. I will send an order for the script in this letter and if you can I would like to have you see about it the first oppertunity for $100 does not grow on every bush. Perhaps it would be well to go the first time you have a day you can possibly leave. I believe they give a bond payable this fall. If you can get the money do so and use what you wish to do your work with and if you have a good oppertunity perhaps it would be well to turn the county scripts into money or some kind of property that will be safe, for should the war suddenly close we might not get the half of it. As the war goes down, County and all other bonds may fall with it and it stands us in hand to look out for the future should our lives be spared which I hope they will. I think it best to secure the bonds if possible in some way. You spoke of my writing to the PM at Annapolis about forwarding the papers to me. That would be useless as our mail does not go there. I rec'd one number while we were lying there. It came direct to the Regt and all mail thus addressed comes direct to the Regt unless miscarried or lost on the rout. The latter l presume is often the case. Since the battle everything is quiet as ususal and settled into the same routine of duty as before. I do not yet know our loss total. Our Regt loss is 7 officers and 61 enlisted men. Part of the army are being payed off and it is the supposition that our Corps will soon be payed. I hope so for if I have any money to spare I want to send it home. If we get our bounty I want part of it invested where it will draw interest so that if I live to get home I can have some to use. That $200 local bounty will nearly get you out of debt this fall. If you can, get it so that you need have nothing to fear from that source, but I must answer Aunt Roxana's letter today so I guess I will have to close. I would gladly write from now until tomorrow if I could interest you. I think I will send a badge in this letter of our Corps made from that clay taken from under the Rebel fort that was blown up. Keep it as a memento of the brave boys that fell in the charge. My respects to all enquiring friends, the greater share for yourselves from your unworthy but ever Affectionate Son

J .D. Strait