1862-10-28Camp 2 miles from the Potomac Va.
Oct. 28th 1862

Camp 2 miles from the Potomac Va.

Dear Parents,

This pleasant morning finds me writing to you or rather scribbling for it is but little that I have to write so it will not take you so long to read it. Last Sunday morning we left our camp in Pleasant Valley bag and baggage for Va. We marched down the river to a little town where the pioners have erected a pontoon Bridge there we crossed over into Va. It commenced raining the night before and kept it up all day so you can imagine what a good time we had carrying our loads that when dry will weigh enough for a good horse to carry but we crossed the river and found the old dominion abounded in mud and if you will look back in one of the letters from the Regt that were on the Potomac it will be needless for me to try to say anything about it for it was all protrayed in that letter. Old Va is proverbial for her mud we were not disappointed. We marched but 7 miles and encamped in a mudhole for the night pitched our tents and went to a neighboring barn to get straw enough for our beds and spent the night very comfortable that (is) Seth and myself did but some of the boys did not try to sleep but set by the fire till daylight but about noon yesterday it cleared off and has remained quite pleasant since. How long we will lay here I do not know but we supposed we were to march this morning for shure but no news of it yet. I am getting tired of making a pack horse of myself while Uncle Sam has mules enough to draw our knapsaeks for us so I do not know but I shall join the US Regular Cavalry for the time that I have already enlisted for I see no prospects of our getting home before the 2 years is up and if we join the US service we are free when our enlistment for our present term of enlistment is out but I hardly know what to do about it but one rations regular and everything regular and I would sooner belong to Cavalry than to Infantry and carry what we do, but you knead not worry about me for I shall go into the war wide awake if I go at all and if I am out of this scrape I would not be caught in another, but I have written enough for the present. Please write as often as you can to your Affectionate Son.

J.D. Strait

Ethan and J ulania Strait

Direct as usual