1862-05-04Buckingham Ferry SC
Buckingham Ferry SC

Sabbath May 4th 1862

Dear Parents

This pleasant forenoon finds me trying to answer your very kind and welcome letter of April 22. I am again out on picket. After some ten days of partial rest we have again been sent out, this time to the Ferry Station. I was in hopes we could remain at the quarters to enjoy a few hours rest but that is not the SC stile but we have it some easier on account of the guard duty as Seth D. Baxter and myself do the cooking and do not have to be up on guard duty nights, but the musketoes and gnats are so thick that it is almost impossible for us to sleep for fear of our getting eat up by the varmits. We have a very fair view here of the rebels and steamers passing up and down the stream and if it were not for the aforementioned pests this would be a very delightful place. The weather down here is getting very warm, nearly as warm now as it is up in Old Tioga in mid summer. We have little or no war news that would interest you. The letter you spoke of stating an account of a fight at Georgetown -- I did not get it and several others are also behind. It was two weeks last Friday since we last had news until yesterday and then I only got two. I was very glad to get them but it seems to me I ought to have had some 6 or 8 but am thankful for what I did get. You did not say anything about a letter I wrote to you for a box of things, some butter and shugar and a pair of double calf boots no 6 and 25 lb. of butter and the same of sugar. Marshall and I wrote at the same time for you and his parents to send our things together and make out a box of a hundred lbs. I presume you did not get the letters. I wrote in the same that I had sent $45.00. I sent it the same way I did the $20 to Sherwood.

I have written home so often that I hardly know what to write that will interest you. You spoke of sowing wheat and planting corn. Down here they never sow any wheat, that is on the island, but corn the darkies are hoeing and cotton is up some 4 or 5 inches but this has been a very backward season down here according to the account the darkies give of the weather. They say it is the most backward season they have seen for many years. I would like to be up there to help you do your spring work, but in all probability my spring work will be handling the old musket and packing sand in Dixie. I hope this war will end before long for I am getting tired of laying around and doing nothing. Last Wednesday we were mustered for our next pay and shall probably have to wait until June as Uncle Sam does not wish to pay the boys too often for fear they might waist their money. I shall not send any more home until July as I borrowed $20 to send the last pay day thinking probably it would do more good all in a lump than to have it by letters and the boys were not going to send any home. The boys are all well as usual and we all enjoy ourselves as well as we can, but the flies bother me so that I can hardly write and I presume it will weary your patience to read what I have written. Dinner is ready and I have to stop for the present and I guess I have written enough such as it is. Give my respects to all enquiring friends and reserve the greater share for yourself. Please write as often as you can and I will continue to write every week. Direct as usual. I must bid you good by for the present. Hoping to meet you all in a few months at the first train and in good health.

This from your Affectionate Son.

J.D. Strait