1862-07-23Camp near New Portnews, Va.
Camp near New Portnews, Va.

July 23 1862

Dear Parents

This Wednesday evening finds me again writing to you from Camp in New Portnews, Va. When I last wrote you I did not know whether I should come with the Regt or not but here I am in old Va. we landed here last Monday just at night and marched about 3 miles to our camp. The boys are a good many of them sick though none of our boys from Elk Run are sick. Some of them are slightly unwell but nothing serious. I have not felt very well for a few days back but feel some better now. We are here to reenforee McClellan. We are in Burnside's expedition, how long we shall remain here is uncertain. We may lay still here in camp some time, probably we may drill a little. We had a very pleasant trip from Port Royal to Fort Monroe. We started from Port Royal on the 18th of July and cast anchor in the Chesapeake Bay on the 20th. Our whole Regt is together now. We have a pretty large Regt but a good many of them are unfit for duty. Many of the boys from Old Tioga Co. have been killed in the expedition against Richmond and it may be our turn in the next attack against the formidable work of the enemy. I guess the project of taking Charleston has been given up until after we get Richmond and I think that will be some time yet. I am afraid this war is not ended until it is ended by fighting it will not end very soon for I begin to think the Rebels are stronger than we thought them to be at first but they must certainly give up before long or, that is, they must give up in the end though they may hold out for some 3 or 4 years yet. It is the report that they are drafting men in the North. If that is so the boys of the North begin to learn something though I should not like to be forced to go to war against my own will. I do not know but I should want to go if I was at home but if I knew what I do now I should not come in as a private. I think if I can get a pass tomorrow to go to the fort I shall try to find out if he is around here. He was sick the last I heard from him and I do not know but he has gone home. Aunt Sallie wrote he talked of going home. Well I guess I shall have to close my letter for tonight. Please write as often as convenient and I will do the same so I will close. Hoping to hear from you soon.

This from your Affectionate Son.

J .D. Strait

To my much beloved parents Ethan and Julania Strait

PS Direct to New Port News, Pa Via Fort Monroe