1862-03-08Pope's Plantation
March 8th 1862

Pope's Plantation

Dear Parents

Sabbath morning finds me seated at my table for the purpose of answering your most welcome letter which I rec'd yesterday afternoon and read with feelings of pleasure. It had been quite a length of time since I had heard from home, but the long looked for letter came at last, and I assure you I was glad to hear from you. Your letter found me enjoying excellent health and in good spirits, thinking perhaps ere another six months have passed I shall be at home and we shall see our union restored to us once more. I have nothing new to write. I have given you a description of the place so many times that I am tired of writing that and there is nothing going on that will interest you. The last report I heard from Savanna was that they had evacuated Fort Paulasky and the city of Savanna, but how true it is I do not know though I hope it is true. I was down to Hilton Head the fore part of last week and saw some of the effects of our shot and shell thrown from our guns at the time our men took Port Royal from the Rebels. The place has much stronger fortification than it did when our men first got possession of it. It is getting to be quite a Navy. When we came down there was no conveniences for unloading vessels. Now they have a nice dock some thirty or forty rods long. It seems hardly possible that our men took it from the Rebels for they had the best kind of cannon and pretty strong fortification, but it appears that no works however strong can stand before the Northern Army. Probably it is because our cause is just and God is upon our side.

Everything wears the appearance of early Sumner. The leaves are just putting out. figs are about as large as robin's eggs. Oranges are in bloom. The niggers are beginning their Spring work. They do not use a plow for turning the sod, but use large hoes such as you have seen in pictures of Southern slaves. It would kill me to use one 2 days in this hot climate. I am in hope that we shall not be obliged to stay through the summer season and I hardly think we shall, for Col. has got back and I think the Reg. will soon get together and if here is any chance to get us off the island I think the Col. will get us away. Some of the boys rec'd letters from Washington stating that they were about making a strike on Manassas. But how true this is I do not know but I hope they will close up this war as soon a possible though I do not dislike the soldiers life as bad as some though it is anything but a quiet life and one that is surrounded by every evil temptation that is imaginable.

I received a letter from Sebrin yesterday, he wrote they were all well out there. He wrote he had been offered $25 per month to go as a piper in the 19 WIS Reg. but he declined the offer. He is going to school this winter. I was sorry to hear that it was so sickly out there. I hope you and mother will have your health. You spoke of its being nearly time to go to making shugar. I would like to be there to help you but probably shall not therefore I shall have to be content to remain where I am. You spoke of me sending my money to W. Riley. I have already sent $20 to Sherwood at the Borough. The rest of the boys sent their money in a draft so I thought I would send mine with them but I have written to you about it in another letter sent last week. By sending it in a draft if the draft lost the money will not be lost. You can get to Henry Sherwood and draw the money as soon as he gets it cashed but l do not know of anything more that will interest you. If you can read this you will do well for I have scratched it off as fast as possible for I have six letters to answer and I want to answer them all today if I can. Please write often as you can. I make it a practice to write home every week. It is reported the old pay master is down at the fort. If that is true we shall soon get the two months pay that is due us. I shall send all the money home that I can spare and you can make such use of it as you think best and if I ever get home it will be all right. Please write soon without delay. Give my respects to all enquiring friends. So goodbye for this time.

This from your affectionate son,

J.D. Strait

Direct as before only VIA NY for it will come through quicker