1862-04-18Pope's Plantation
Pope's Plantation

April 18th 1862

Dear Parents

Your most welcome letter of the 6th came to hand today and I hasten to answer. It will be needless for me to tell you that I perused your letter with the greatest pleasure as your letters are always hailed with the utmost joy, though I presume you look full as anxiously as I do for the mail. I have but little news to write since I last wrote. I believe though I don't know but I told you in my last letter that our troops were bombarding Fort Pulaskey. Well they have taken that far famed fortification upon which the rebels boasted so much, with the loss of but one man on our side, and it is thought none of the rebels but since our men have been in occupation of the fort they have dug up some 28 bodies the rebels had buried to keep them from being discovered by our men. The last I heard from that direction our men were advancing toward Savannah City distant some 70 miles from the fort and about one mile from Fort Jackson which is nothing but a brick work and can never stand the shells. It was thought the city would be taken before this but we have not force enough to spare at present to hold that and other places. It seems the rebels are fleeing in every direction before the advancing columns of the Northern Army. News reaches us daily of victories our men are gaining in other parts of the country besides many conflicting reports that reach us sometimes. We hear that our troops have gained some very important places and taken a large amount of prisoners and met with heavy losses ourselves, at other times it will come that we have taken but half the number, but I have to go out and drill a little while, then I will try and finish this.

Evening and I am again seated with pen in hand scribbling a few lines to you. There is a report here of a fight at Norfolk and Yorktown but how true it is I do not know. There is a report also of the Merimack having run out and sinking three more of our boats. You will probably get a detailed account ere this reaches you if it is true. There is also a battle reported on the Mississippi in which our men gained a splendid victory. I hope it is all true, if so I think the rebels nearly played out. I saw a notice in the Agitator of the 18th of an order from the war department forbidding the soldiers writing home to their friends, that order does not extend to this part of the army yet but I do not know how soon it will. I hope not at all, though it may be all for the best, but I cannot see it so. Genl Hunter has issued several new orders for the camp of this division. Some I think are very good so far as health is concerned, though most of our boys are very healthy at present though probably as the season advances it may be more unhealthy. I hardly know what to write that will interest you as I have written all the news of interest at present. There is not much prospects of our getting into a fight unless the rebels see fit to attack us in some of our travels though I don't see much prospects of our ever getting away from our present situation nor do I wish very bad to get away only I like some exercise beside drilling and guard duty. I have been on picket duty and in one place three months lacking 4 or 5 days and up 8 hours out of every other 24 and 5 out of the other 24 although this is but light duty or comparatively light yet it wears upon a man's constitution after awhile being broke of his rest every night though we have not been called out on alarm of late. There was one while that we were called out every other night but this does no real harm. I would like to be up home to enjoy the sugaring and eat warm sugar with you but I guess I could not do much work if I was to go directly home and commence work. I should not make much headway, not doing anything in so long. It has been nearly 7 months since I left home and it seems hardly as many weeks but such is the fleetless of time and mortal man cannot stay in progress, but I guess I have written enough already to weary your patience before you make it all out. I have written in a hurry and now I must close for I have to go on guard at 2 o'clock and stand two hours. Give my respects to all enquiring friends if any there be and reserve the greater share for yourself so I will bid you good evening once more. Hoping to hear from you soon.

This from your Affectionate Son.

J.D. Strait