1862-02-09Pope's Plantation
Feb 9th 1862

Pope's Plantation

Dear Parents

Your most welcome letter, came to hand Friday last. I was very glad to hear from you, glad to hear that you were well. Your letter found me enjoying very good health. I like living down in this southern climate very well this season of the year, but when summer comes I think it would be more pleasant in our Northern home. I think it will be very sickly in warm weather though the darkies say this is the most healthy part of the island. It is the most pleasant country I ever saw, though I suppose it is not as pleasant here as it is in some parts of Alabama and Georgia. I suppose in some parts of the state on the mainland there is some very pleasant plantations. I am thinking some of those wealthy planters will have to leave their pleasant homes and flee farther into the interior though they do not seem to have many fears in that direction, for the darkies that come from the mainland say the Old Massa fixin' de groun' for de plant up near Blufton. One of the darkies who came from that place says there is an immensely rich old fellow who says he is goin to fix fer de plant fore de yanks can mebbe come up dar, but I think he will find the yankee boys will be in the vicinity before long. Our fleet seems to be making preparations as fast as possible to attack the rebels in this quarter, but it does seem to take them a long time to get things ready. But I suppose it cannot be done in a minute, but when they make a strike I think it will be a grand one. It seems to me there is force enough in the fields to whip out the South in a short time, but the South have the best officers on their side. Then we are fighting them upon their soil and driving them from their homes, and they have some most splendid homes. I can assure you they are surrounded by everything that pertains to luxury and ease that wealth and affluence can procure. The whites are far more wealthy than our northern men. I do not think they are as brave as our northern men. If they are they do not manifest their bravery when they are in the field of battle. At the time when they were driven from this island they were scared nearly out of their wits. They were in such haste they left nearly everything behind that was not on their backs. The rebels are threatening to try to retake this island again. We are daily expecting an attack from them. If they should come, they will probably try to effect a landing near where we are stationed. I think they will find the Yankee boys on hand for them. The other day one of Co D men was shot through the arm. The Co had moved two boats and went over towards the white house to see what they could discover when the rebels, discovering them, fired into their boat and happened to hit one of the boys in the arm, but they will pay dear for the shot before long. I do not know that I think of much more that will interest you and supper is ready. I have tn go on guard after supper so I shall have to stop for the present.

Evening and I am again seated before the writing desk (for we have a marble top one) clear parents for the purpose of talking for a little while with you this evening. I should like to be up home to spend a few days with you. I am sorry to hear that you are not making as much this winter as you did last. I would like to be there to help you, but I do not wish to leave the Army until this war is closed and peace restored to our nation. You spoke of my joining the regular service. You need not have any fears on that ground for I shall have to stay where I am long enough, but if there was any prospect of the war lasting longer than 5 years I should join the regular army, but I do not think there is any possibility of its lasting over 3 years, if it does that long. I am sorry times are so hard up there with you. They are hard enough down here. We have not got our pay yet and I do not know when we will get it. When we get it I shall send you all I can spare. I will try to send you enough by the First of June to pay for the colts if nothing happens to me to prevent. I do not know that I have any more to write that will be of interest. The boys are all well as far as I know. We are stationed about one mile apart but we see each other every day or so. They are all as fleshy as they can very well be. We do not like the idea of Marshal's going into another Reg. and I do not think he will have to, but I must bid you good night as I want to write another letter tonight and I have to go on guard at 10 p.m. I have to stand guard 3 hours out of every 24, but it is easy. Please write as soon as you get this and direct as before.

This is from your Affectionate Son. I shall send mother a Sesesh rose.

J.D. Strait

Co. I

Reg. Col. Welsh PA VOL

Port Royal, S.C.

Via NJ.