1863-01-04Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va.
Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va.

Jan. 4, 1863

Dear Parents

This Sabbath afternoon finds me trying to answer your kind and most welcome letter of the 25th. I should have answered sooner but have been rather negligent and being out on picket every third night makes one feel very little like writing especially when it is very cold though we have been highly favored so far this winter. I spent both Christmas and New Years out on picket. I should have enjoyed a visit home better than anything else but I fear that that day is too far distant to be realized this winter yet I am in hopes our government will settle ere spring opens, but there is dull prospects of a settlement at present. There is no prospects of a move here now though I do not know how long this quiet will remain. We get news of victories still being gained by our troops in the South Western department but I think the expedition to Richmond by way of Fredericksburg has proved an entire falacie probably owing to want of energy and proper fineses on the part of the Commander in Chief in delaying the Ronton works and keeping us so long in waiting and giving the enemy a chance to fortify a naturally very strong position. I have nothing new or important to write. Camp life is about as uninteresting as ever. You spoke of my being at home to break the colts. I should enjoy the sport very well, but as the case stands they will probably be old horses before I get home. 1 1/2 years seems pretty long to be yet away from home and its enjoyments but it is my own fault. I kneed not have come unless I had a mind to so the fault is all in myself. We were mustered again the other day for two months more pay but when we shall get it is uncertain. When I do get it I shall send home all I can spare but I have nothing more to write of interest. Please write as often as convenient and I like to read long letters from home but short ones are exceptable. You have never written how your winter wheat turned out but I must bid you goodby again. With my respects to all who may be interested. This from your Affectionate Son.

J.D. Strait