1862-06-27James Island, S.C.
James Island, S.C.

June 27th 1862

Dear Parents

It is with pleasure that I improve the present oppertunity of writing to you. I thought probably my spare time could not be better employed than chatting a little while with you through the medium of pen and ink. I have not read any letters yet this week, but _I shall look for one Saturday evening. You cannot imagine how much good it does me to get letters from you. There is nothing of home affairs that you can write. but what will interest me. In your letters before you have not said anything about John Barnes dog. As to those goslings I am glad I have not got anything to do with them though I would like to sleep upon the feathers when I get home.

There is nothing of importance going on at present except the building of batteries to defend ourselves against the Rebels and to shell them off the Island. Last night about 9 oclock when we thought we were going out for roll call we were ordered to fall out with our guns and acourtretnents and so accordingly out we came and were marched out toward one of the batteries now in progress but before we got a great way out of camp we had to wade through watter nearly knee deep. This did not make us feel first rate waiding through the watter and then lying out on the damp ground all night. Tonight another squad has to go out again and either dig and shovel sand or guard I do not know which, but we are getting used to everything. Our old soldiering days are at an end. We are now seeing the dark side of a Soldier's life. Instead of being a pass time it has become a stern reality. The heat has become very oppressive and is still getting hotter. I do not know what it will be by and by. There are a good many getting sick now although the boys from Elk Run are well except Marshall. He is rather unwell at present but nothing serious. Since the last battle I told you about Rebels have been very quiet. Now and then a deserter comes in from the Rebel pickets. They tell many different stories. Last Monday we were out on picket, I climbed a tree and could see the Rebel works at Fort Moultree or Sumpter. Whichever it is it looks quite formidable though the artillery men say it will not take long to shell the Rebels out of their strongholds. It is reported here that Richmond is certainly taken by McClellan. I hope this is true. If so I think the war will not last much longer. I have heard that they are already organizing Gurilla Bands in Virginia. I do not know how true it is. Well I guess I will wait a day or two before finishing this letter and perhaps I may get one from home, so I will bid you good by for the present. Hoping to get a letter from you this week.

Saturday -- Dear Parents I am again writing to you. I had thought to wait until tomorrow but as the mail goes out today I thought I would send this out. I have nothing new to write more than I have written already. There are many different reports floating through camp but without a doubt we are soon to leave this Island. Some say we are to go to Western Virginia but I think we shall not leave South Carolina this summer though I should be glad to go north at least until after the hot season is over for it is too sickly for us down here but I presume we can stand the heat better than new troops for we have become used to the climate.

Monday is our next muster day and then we have two months pay due us. I think we shall get our pay soon after we are mustered. If we do I shall send 20 dollars home. It is but a small sum but every little helps. I am in hopes the war will end this summer so that we can all get home by fall, for I am sick of the southern climate, and I think if ever I get home I shall have no reason to complain at poor living if I only get one roast potato and a bowl of milk. I often think of what Mother told me before I left home when I used to complain of poor living for here we get only a little coffee and a few hard crackers and I am getting sick of such fare as this, but we are Soldiers and we must not complain. Well I guess I must stop writing for I shall not get my letter in the office in time. Please write as often as you can conveniently and I will do the same. Direct as usual. The boys are all well except Marshall he is a little better today or appears better but I must bid you good by for the present.

This from your Affectionate Son.

J.D. Strait

Ethan Strait

Co. I. 45 Regt. Col Welsh P.V.

Port Royal, S.C.