1864-08-08in front of Petersburg, Va.
Camp 45th Regt Pa. Vet. Vols.

In front of Petersburg, Pa.

Aug. 8th/64

Dear Mother

Yours of the 29th inst came to hand this morning. It was welcomed as all of your letters are. I do not know that I should be at all contented in the army but for all the assurances that dear Parents and friends at home are daily thinking of and praying for me. I believe that it is in part if not altogether that my life has thus far been spared through the intercession of friends at the Throne of Grace that I am still permitted to enjoy health and the privilege of writing to them today and yet I am oftimes thoughtless and perhaps sometimes ungrateful for those blessed privileges.

Dear Mother, you asked to know if I was still trying to live a Christian Iife. I cannot give you such an answer as I would wish. I do not enjoy my self as well as before the Rebellion broke out but still I hope to meet you in that happy land where war and rumors of wars are known and feared no more. I know this answer will pain you. I would gladly have spared you but since you request it I cannot do otherwise truthfully and I would not deceive you. I trust I may be numbered among that happy number that are permitted to enter at the narrow way.

Since the battle everything has settled into its old routine of duty. A fiew nights ago we were greeted with the explosion of one of our forts the Rebels had undermined. Fortunately our men had found out the plot and had removed all the guns from the fort and masked them at a safe distance from their former position so the Rebels met only with a shower of grape and shell with the satisfaction of knowing that they had their labour for their pains. What the morrow will bring forth we do not know, therefore I cannot give you any news of importance at present.

We have not been paid off yet. I hardly think we will get pay until after next muster. If I have any money to spare when we are paid off I will send it home. I wish I could be there to help with the work, but it is useless to wish. I rec'd a letter from Miss Avery this morning. She sends her respects to you.

The stamps came safe and were very acceptable. I do not know when I can repay your kindness. I fear it will be a long time before this war closes. By the papers I see Volandingham Copperheads are rising in mass against the government in Indiana and Ill. I wish the government would send our Corps to put down the insurection there. Mr. Hunsinger is sick and in the Hospital. This southern climate does not agree with him. The rest of the boys are well that are with us. Henry and Walter are not with us yet. Henry is lucky if he does not come up very soon for his time is most out. I hope he will get home safe and all the rest of us but I must close for want of something to write. Please excuse the brevity of this. Write soon to your Affectionate Son

J.D. Strait