1862-09-28Camp near Antietam Ford
Sunday Sept. 28th 1862

Camp near Antietam Ford

Dear Parents

This pleasant afternoon and I am again writing to you in answer to your welcome letters of which I rec'd two and acknowledged them in the closing of my last letter but did not answer them for I had done writing but merely related that I had rec'd them but I have but littler to write today only to let you know I am still enjoying excelent health. Today we were all by order of our General called out and marched up before his tent and had the pleasure of listening to remarks from several different chaplains of different Regts in honor of the all protecting Power that guided and guarded us through the late severe battles through which he brought us safe and ever will so long as our cause is just. It was indeed a pleasant time to me to listen to the sound of the Gospel and know that we are still in a civil land, a land where we can worship God though not under own vine and fig tree but sitll we have hopes that the time is not far distant when we can enjoy this sacred privilege once more though I fear that I am often found mingling with the ungodly but I trust not so far as to forget the obligations that I owe my Maker and I hope that the time will soon come when we may all be freed from the contaminating influences that follow the army though I am sorry that such evil in?uences ferment our nation but it is more from wantonness and neglect that I am at a loss to think of anything interesting every time but I will do the best I can. I see by letters from the North that the people, that is some of them, blame our Noble Commander Genl McClellan for the defeat of the 2nd Bull Run Battle and for Stonewalls escape from Maryland but it is my opinion that if they would not listen to the trash published in the filthy newspapers but try to learn the truth of the thing before expressing their distrust of so meat a Genl. If old McDowell had not been at Bull Run but an honest man in his stead the Rebels would not have met with such signal success and at Harpers Ferry Col Miles found the traitor but he soon met his desserts from the hands of his own men. The Rebels state that McDowell was worth an army of 300 men to them. They expected to meet him here in Maryland but we had another NC for them here and you see the result, the Rebels a loss of over 3000 since they entered this state and had it not been for the surrender of Harpers Ferry we would undoubtedly have bagged the whole army.

The cry is they were not reenforced sufficiently to hold their position but the troops that were stationed there say they had plenty of force to hold their position had they but been commanded by an officer that was not a traitor. One of the NY illustrated papers stated that Col Miles was a loyal man but had not force enough but he confessed while upon his death bed that he sold his army but the Rebels did not gain much by the act after all for one Regt of Cavalry cut their way through his army and captured 30 of the enemys baggage train loaded with animals and forage but I have near filled this sheet and I guess it is time to stop. Please write me and let me know how you get along and if convenient you may send me a few more stamps as we have not got our pay yet and it is hard getting stamps here. My respect to all and love to you from your Affectionate Son.

J .D. Strait