Title: Byron Sutherland to Walt Whitman, 5 September 1865
Date: September 5, 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), 197. 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.00609
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Kathryn Kruger, and Nick Krauter
Your letter of Aug 26th reached me1 in due time.2 I had began to think (allmost) that you had forgotten me. Then I imagined that some press of work had prevented your writing me sooner. Well as for myself (And I have nothing elese to write about) I am at work on a Farm at present. And managing to save $30.00 per month. Considerable leisure time, entertaining Books, good company. My employer is at home but a very small portion of his time. Have enjoyed myself pretty well (Hard times when I cannot) considering that I am Just from so much excitement when compared with this. Have been reading, Our Old Home (by Nathaniel Hawthorne,) Home and Abroad (by B. Taylor) Color Guard (by J. R. Hosmer) all light reading but entertaining, for news I have the Buffalo Express (daily). So you see dear friend that I am pretty well provided for. I should like very much to see you and be with you.
Corry is a pretty rough place. Property is very valuable. it is the Junction of three R.R. Atlantic & Great Western, Pa & Erie and Oil Creek. Large Refineries, Saw Mills, Manufactorys are located here and doing a flourishing Business. Lots with the stumps & logs on are sold at the rate of $40.00 per foot.
This winter I shall either learn a trade of go to School, I shall be governed by circumstances.
The Weather is very warm for this time of the season considerable rain has fallen lately but the weather is quite pleasant nevertheless.
Seems to me you are about to leave Washington in its most pleasant season. I was allways delighted with the fall of the year in that climate.
Dont have any good pictures here. People are thinking more of money here than of Beauty.
Sometimes I have disputes with the detested Copperheads. I treat them rather uncivilly. Havent any special regard for them.
I hope you will write me a long letter. Your letter was very interesting to me—very valuable. Well Good Old Friend I must bid you good night.
1. Whitman corresponded with Byron Sutherland, a soldier, between 1865 and 1870. On September 20, 1868, he wrote to Sutherland: "I retain just the same friendship I formed for you the short time we were together, (but intimate,) in 1865" (Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection, New York Public Library; Edwin Haviland Miller, ed., The Correspondence [New York: New York University Press, 1961–77], 2:44–45). [back]