1861-10-25United State Capitol Headquarters Ret 45 Camp Welsh
United State Capitol
Headquarters Ret 45 Camp Welsh Oct 25, 1861

Dear Parents,

It is with pleasure that I now improve the present moments in writing a few more lines to you. I did not have time to write what I wanted to nor have I time tonight for its is nearly time to extinguish all lights in the camps but I shall write to you a few words. Our orderly has got back and we have all the rations we can eat. They told us we were going to a warm country but if they call this warm climate I do not know what they call cold for we have had very cold weather down here since we came here. There has been some very hard frosts. We all find cold toes in the morning when we wake up but we shall have stoves before long then we can have fire in our tent. In Camp Curtain we had 6 in a tent. Down here we have 14 in a tent. I have not time to write much tonight. We are not very far from the enemies of our union. We often hear firing from different directions but most of them are from those companies that are practicing their skill in shooting or trying some new gun. They are erecting a new battery near the relay house on the road between Baltimore and Washington. We lost a very good man, Cal Baker, in a fight near Leesburg a few days ago. We heard some heavy fighting in the direction of Chain Bridge but we have not heard of any battle yet but they are having some very hot skirmishes around. Some seem to think we shall see some sport very soon but I do not think we shall be called into the field very soon but I must stop writing for it is time to go to bed. You must write as soon as you get this letter and you may send me some papers if you choose. Those directions I sent you were not right but I did not find it out until the letter had gone. You may direct according to those given underneath. If you get this it will be through the kindness of a friend. You must excuse poor penmanship for we do not have very good conveniences for writing. The candle is most out so good night from your son,

J.D. Strait

Direct to Washington, D.C. Camp Welsh
Col Welsh's 45th Reg't
Co I Pa. V