Title: Anson Ryder Jr. to Walt Whitman, 22 October 1865
Date: October 22, 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), 176. 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.00610
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Eric Conrad, Kathryn Kruger, and Nick Krauter
My Dear Friend,
Tis a long time since I1 have had the pleasure of hearing from you so I fear you did not receive the letter I sent on receipt of your photographs quite a good while ago so I will write a short letter again hoping better luck this time. I am getting around quite lively on just a single cane and my health is good. I am quite strong but not very fleshy as you will observe by the enclosed pho[tograph], which you may think was a long time coming I am getting ready to day for a short journey out to Livingston Co. to visit some relatives and freinds so you must be so kind as to excuse this short note.
I have not heard from Fraser in a number of weeks but hope you have seen him much oftener. The last time he wrote he was a little better but thought he would be able to leave hospital at the expiration of 1865, but I most earnestly hope he will not be obliged to remain so long.
Tis very pleasant to day but pretty cold. I write this not knowing but you may have left the place you were but shall use the envelope which you sent me. I would like much to see you again and have a good visit once more and I pray that we meet sometime.
I received a letter from Wood2 a few days since, he is visiting Tommy3 (No. 6) he was quite well and enjoying himself well, said Tommy had a pleasant home and they were having a good time generally. Now good bye, my good freind and may heaven keep you safe from harm. 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. [back]
2. Probably Calvin B. Wood, "bed 35 Ward H Calvin B Wood co L 1st Maine Cavalry," who had accompanied Ryder home to Cedar Lake (Grier, ed., Notes and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1961–1984], 6:673). [back]
3. Possibly Thomas "Tom" Sawyer, a sergeant in the Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers. [back]