1864-08-17in front of Petersburg, Va.
In front of Petersburg, Va.

Aug. 17th 1864

Dear Parents

Your most welcome letter of the 9th came to hand this morning. I was glad to hear from you again. I should have written before this but we have been moving our position to the left of where we were formerly and I have been very busy fixing up quarters but we have our quarters done. We have had some very heavy rains. On the 15th we were drowned out of house and home. The Water in our Co street was full I8 inches deep, our bunks all afloat. It was rather unpleasant for a time. It is dried up now so that it is quite pleasant. Our lines are not as close at they were in our old place but the pickets are closer. They can converse in natural tone of voice. There is no firing between our pickets and the enemy. Here at this point everything is quiet as usual.

I have not seen Henry Foot or Dan Ruggles since Sunday. They were not very well then.

I rec'd a letter from Aunt Sally day before yesterday. The people were well when she wrote. Grandfather had been sick but was getting better so that he was quite smart. I acknowledged the receipt of those stamps but for fear you will not get all of the letters I will mention it in this. The weather is very warm here. One has to keep pretty well in the shade or melt but I hope it will be cooled next month for it is very unpleasant with such warm weather out in the open field. I hardly know what to write that will interest you. I write so many letters that they get to be an old story and I am lost for something interesting. I only wish I were at home through haying. It would not be quite as hard work for you. I think after about two weeks I should get hardened and used to work so I could do about as much as I used to before coming to the army. I hear by way of Thomas that Miss Suky Barnes is married. She must have been in a hurry but give her my best wishes and a peacefull journey through life, but I suppose the girls are all getting discouraged the war lasts so long they think there will be no use waiting for the Soldiers. They will all get killed off.

My papers do not come yet and I guess we had better let them go for they will not come, do what we may. We are looking for pay every day now. When we are paid off I will get a check from the paymaster if I can. It will be safer sending that way than any other. I do not know how much I can send home. All that I can spare I will send. We may not get pay until after next muster. If not, I shall have a good lot to send together if I can procure a check. I sent an order for my town bounty in a letter some time ago. If you get it, see if you can get the money on it. If you can, make use of it if you are in need of money. Some are being paid off in those 7 per ct notes. If we are, I shall send the notes home for 7 per ct interest is worth saving a fiew notes for. If the money is not wanted for use at home, it will not rust to lay by a while but I can think of nothing more to write this time. My love to you from your ever Affectionate Son

J.D. Strait

Direct as usual