1862-03-03Pope's Plantation
March 3rd 1862

Pope's Plantation S.C.

Dear Parents

It is a pleasure that I now attempt to write you a few lines. The mail came in today, but it brought no letter to me from home, but they say that only part of the mail was brought up from the fort. If that is the case, there may be some letters from home for me yet. I rec'd letters from cousin Ella. She said that they were all well. She said that father was there the day before and had gone over to Addison. I am still enjoying good health and hope these few broken sentences may find you enjoying the same blessing. I wrote you a letter about one week ago in answer to the one I rec'd from you about that time. I shall look for one from you tomorrow, but I may be disappointed. There is not much news from the West. Our men are doing a good thing for the rebels in Tennessee. That is, if reports are true our troops are in possession of Nashville and several other important places in that state. The Rebel papers state that if they lose their positions in that State they might as well give up first as last. I saw an account today in the Missouri Democrat of the battle at Fort Henry in Tennessee. It was a desperate contest, but victory crowned the bravery of our troops. Burnside's expedition is also doing a good job for the Rebels. The expedition near Savanna is not doing much as we can learn. There is now and then a skirmish between the enemy's gunboats and our batteries. We can occasionally hear the booming of cannon in that direction. But you probably get more news at home than I do down here. It is but very little news that we can hear and what we do get is old when it gets to us. We are still on guard duty. I have to stand three hours out of every 24, two at night and one in the daytime. It breaks (one of their) rest considerable, but we get used to that after awhile. I have been on duty here sinee the 23rd of Jan. How much longer I shall remain up here is uncertain.

It is most ten o'clock and I shall be under the necessity of bidding you good night and finish this letter in the morning, for I have not had much sleep for two nights back and I shall have to make up lost time. Last evening I was down to Prayer Meeting. We have first rate meetings. There are but few of us but the Lord is with us here as well as at our homes. There has three come lately out lately and resolved to lead a different life than they have been living. I think our meetings have a good influence in the Co but I must stop until morning.

March 4th. Tuesday morning

This is a regular March day, clear and cold though we have no snow nor frost, but the cold I presume affects us as bad as it would if we were at home. We have become so acclimated to the climate down here. It is a cold blustering wind and as it whistles around the house reminds me of home in the North and its fireside. Oh, how I would like to sit down and warm my feet by the old stove this morning, and if all reports are true I think I shall not be far out of the way in saying that the first of June will find us at home if alive and well. But life is very uncertain. By the letters that we get 1 see that death is visiting those at home as well as in the army. The news reached the Maj yesterday that his daughter was dead. I have heard of some other deaths around here, that is none in this division of the Reg't. As a general thing the boys are very healthy and very content. I have not much more news to write at present, more than that I have rec'd my pay and have sent you $20 in a draft. We all sent our money in a draft to Henry Sherwood so you can get it at the borough. If the draft is lost the money will not be. I would like to have sent you more, but we did not draw but two months wages. There is two months wages due. Now we are mustered for our next pay, but when we shall get it is uncertain. When I get it I shall send you all I can spare. You must write often as you can and I will do the same. Give my regards to all enquiring friends. I do not know as I have any more that will interest you. Direct as before. I must bid you good by for the present.

This from your Affectionate Son.

J .D. Strait

Port Royal, S.C.