1865-05-14Camp near Alexandria, Va.
Camp 45th Regt P.V.V.

Near Alexandria, Va,

May 14th 1865

Dear Parents

This pleasant evening finds me trying to write you. I have not rec'd any letters from you yet. I shall look for one from home in the morning and I hope it will not be in vain for I am anxious to hear from you, It is now almost a month since I have heard from you direct, I have had one letter from Annie and I presume you are all well or she would have said something about you.

This has been a beautiful day but the Soldier finds no rest, This morning we went over to Division Headquarters and drew new guns. I was in hopes we would not have to use any more arms during this war, but it would not do to let men lay idle ever where there is nothing to do. After getting our guns and equipments we had to clean them and prepare for review which has occupied near all the day so you see we are not entirely idle now that the war is over. Yesterday we had nothing to do, but to get cleaned up and prepare for inspection and review. I expect there will be a grand time when the great review comes off but when that will be I do not know, but if we are to wait until after that event transpires I hope it will come soon so that we can get home, but some are betting that the Vetrens are to be kept their time out, yet I cannot see things in that light. Perhaps it is because I do not wish to. I shall be glad when this affair is over and we get our spread eagles. I want to be a free man once more just to see how it would seem. Four years bondage is almost enough to be bound out. I would not complain if the war was not over. I could stay willingly in times of hostility for then I thought it my duty to stay then. Our country needed all the help she could command and now I want to see the expenses reduced as fast as possible. I have no doubt but we will all get home within two or three months. I have set the first of July for my time to get home and I shall not give up until I have reason to believe we are to be kept longer. I have no news of importance to communicate at present.

This mornings paper stated that our men had captured Jef Davis and whole staff. I hope it is true. I want to see him hung but I must close. Write soon. your ever Affectionate Son

J.D. Strait