Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 30 May 1864

Date: May 30, 1864

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:228–229. 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.00831

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Luke Hollis, and Alyssa Olson




Washington
May 30 1864

Dearest Mother

I have no news at all to write this time—I have not heard any thing of the 51st since I last wrote you, & about the general war news only what you see in the papers—Grant is gradually getting nearer & nearer to Richmond—Many [here] anticipate that should Grant go into Richmond, Lee will make a side movement & march up west, into the north, either to attempt to strike Washington, or to go again into Pennsylvania—I only say if that should happen, I for one shall not be dissatisfied so very much—

Well, mother, how are you getting along home—how do you feel in health these days, dear mother—I hope you are well & in good heart yet—I remain pretty well, my head begins to trouble me a little with a sort of fulness, as it often does in the hot weather—Singular to relate the 1st Mass artillery boy, Charles Cutter, is still living, & may get well—I saw him this morning—I am still around among wounded same, but will not make you feel blue by filling my letter with sad particulars—

I am writing this in Willard's hotel, hurrying to catch this afternoon's mail—Mother, do you get your letters now next morning, as you ought? I got a letter from the Post Master of Brooklyn about it—he said if the letters were neglected again to send him word—I have not heard from home now in some days—I am going to put up a lot of my old things in a box & send them home by express, I will write when I send them—Have you heard any thing from Mary or Han lately—I should like to hear—

Tell Jeff he must write, & you must too, Mother—I have been in one of the worst hospitals all the forenoon, it contains about 1600—I have given the men pipes & tobacco, (I am the only one that gives them tobacco)—O how much good it does some of them—the chaplains & most of the doctors are down upon it—but I give them & let them smoke—to others I have given oranges, fed them, &c—well, dear mother, good bye—love to Matty & sis—


Walt

Fred McReady is coming home very soon on furlough—have any of the soldiers called on you?


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