1863-01-23Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va.
Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va.

Jan 23rd 1863

Dear Parents

This afternoon finds me trying to answer your welcome letter of the I3 inst which I rec'd last evening. I was glad as I always am to hear from home but sorry that the box had not started yet. If you had sent it when first packed it would have come safe for several of the boys have had boxes come that were packed about that time. The old boxes sent last fall are all through that is those for our Regt. I don't think there is any danger but what we will get it if sent to the NY and Erie line at Addison. When I last wrote you we expected the next morning to be called out on a reconnaisance in force but it seemed the hand of Providence saw fit to prevent the movement for it began to rain in the forepart of the evening and continued to rain until last night and had not fairly stopped raining. Part of our troops had already commenced the move but the heavy rains so completely soaked the roads that it is now impossible to get around consequently this forward movement has to be abandoned. This may be all for the best but it seems that everything is against us here even the elements combine their strength with the Rebels to defeat our plans but it has saved us a great deal of suffering which we should have undoubtedly have underwent had we started out upon such an erend but how long it will be before we undertake another movement is uncertain but probably as soon as the mud dries up sufficient to admit of a move being made without too much delay but the Rebels seem to be prepared for us on every hand but you thought Genl. Sherman was doing a good job for Johnny Reb at Vicksburg. I should not consider it much of a victory when our troops were repulsed on every attempt to gain the heights and finally the expedition moved back to the mouth of the bayou and at Wilkens Bend but I hear that McClelland (the one that superseded Sherman) has gained a victory in Arkansas but had Banks with his flat and Grant with his force met Sherman at the appointed time I presume Vicksburg would have been ours but as it is the Rebels are safe at present from further molestations in that quarter but I detest the whole affair that is the way it is carried on because Genl Sherman was on hand at the appointed time before Vicksburg. He has been superseded and that is the way with every good general. If they would throw aside party spirit and political feeling in this war then there would be some prospect of the war ending but now I have no hope Only in the independence of the Confederacy or else foreign intervention and it will be hard to submit to either but the way things are conducted we will never whip the South. But I have written enough for the present such as it is. If you send me a box separate from the rest you may if you can put in two good cotton shirts and the boots large 6 or small 7 and be sure to have them long legs and heavy soles and then I would like to be at home to wear them out but if I should live through and get out unscathed I shall not be sorry but I must close hoping to hear from you all soon. This from your Affectionate Son.

J.D. Strait

Mothers letter was highly appreciated. I wish she would write oftener for I like to read her letters. I do not know how I should feel if I did not receive letters from home.

J D Direct as usual