Title: Anson Ryder Jr. to Walt Whitman, 9 August 1865
Date: August 9, 1865
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Drum Beats: Walt Whitman's Civil War Boy Lovers, ed. Charley Shively (San Francisco, California: Gay Sunshine Press, 1989), 174-175. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.00607
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, and Nick Krauter
I1 feel as though I ought to apologize to you for leaving Washington in the manner I did but I had so very little time to spare I did not have time to say good by to anybody scarcely but do not think for a moment that I forgot you then or now. Wood is with [me] here at my old home says it is not very natural here does not seem at all like an hospital. The weather here is splendid so cool and nice and real pure country air. I wish you could see us and be with us for a time. I think it would do you good. And now I must ask you about that photograph you promised me so long ago. I have never seen it yet, please do not let me have occasion to doubt your word though I think you agred to write me if I wrote you if you cannot (but I hope you can) please let Fraser have one for me and he will send it for I have written him.2
Please excuse haste, Yours with much love,
Anson Ryder, Jun.
1. Anson Ryder, Jr., a soldier, had apparently left Armory Square Hospital and returned to his family at Cedar Lake, New York, accompanied by another injured soldier named Wood (probably Calvin B. Wood; see Edward F. Grier, ed., Notes and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1961–1984], 6:673). [back]
2. Walt Whitman responded to Ryder's letter on August 15–16, 1865. See also Ryder's letters to Whitman of August 25 and October 22, 1865, and Whitman's letters to Ryder of May 16 and December 14, 1866. [back]