1862-12-21Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va.
Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va.

Dec. 21st 1862

Dear Parents

This Sunday evening finds me once more trying to answer your most welcome letter of the 10th inst. and you may be assured that it was welcomed with delight for I had not rec'd any letters from home in most 2 weeks owing I suppose to the delay in our mails which for the last few weeks have been very irregular.

We have had some very cold weather for a time but very little snow and from what your letters say it is very near such weather as you have in old Tioga and I presume full as cold but we do not suffer as much from the inclemency of the weather as you would suppose for we have a snug little hut with a fireplace built of sods. I often think of the home with its comfort as I lay and listen to the howling storm beating against our hut and wish I were there to enjoy its comforts with you. You suppose by my letters that I am disheartened. It is not enough to discourage and even disgust any person the way things are managed but my feelings are as loyal as ever and as you say I too care which forty whips though it is doubtful in my mind whether we can whip the South as long as we have such officers as are now at the head of our army. Just look at the last moves of our army falling back from Fredericksburg with a loss of about 15,000 men and who is to blame. Just before we undertook to cross Gcnl Halleck met Genl Burnside and ordered him to cross the Rapahannock and was told that it would be a piece of foolishness but cross he must, accordingly he did cross and we now see the results and when President Lincoln found the Army of the Potomac had crossed the river he was surprised to find that a crossing had been made and wished to know who had ordered Genl Burnside to cross and was told that is was by orders of the Commander in Chief. Now you can blame who you choose. I have my views from good authority. The papers say that Seward is resined and I saw a notice today that Halleck is about to be replaced. I hope from the bottom of my heart he will be removed. Our only way now to get the Rebels routed from their present works is by a heavy flank movement but whether that will be done this winter I do not know. Were I to have my choice which to do I would go home till spring. I would gladly be at home on half pay or even no payment at all but that is out of the question so I might as well say nothing about it but I will tell you what I would like and that is a good large mince pie to top off a good supper with. If I could get a bob I should send for me some little notions such as butter and cheese and a few nicknacks. I have sent to Daniel Suttle for 2 pair of nice gloves and if he is afraid to send them for fear we would not send the money you may pay for them and I will send you the money. They are for myself and Albert Waters but I must bid you good by once more. This from your unworthy soldier boy.

J .D. Strait

Good night and pleasant dreams and my love to all who may be interested personally.