Title: Lewis K. Brown to Walt Whitman, 6 July 1864
Date: July 6, 1864
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman's Working-Class Camerados, ed. Charley Shively (San Francisco, California: Gay Sunshine Press, 1987), 83. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at the New York Public Library
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00165
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Kathryn Kruger, and Nick Krauter
I1 take my pen in hand as a final resort to find out where you are. as it appears to me it has bin six months since I seen you, I would like very much to see you & if I knew where you wer I would come & see you for I can never forget your love and friendship to me while I was in the Armory Square Hosp. It would be ungreatful in me to forget you & all you[r] many kindnesses to me. I have not herd from you for some time the last time I herd from you Jo Harris was telling me that you [weren't] well & that you wer on the Avinue & had a room there. I am still here & will stay untill August I get out now most every day untill six oclock but I never see you I have got my Artificial leg but cant walk very well on it but I think that practice will make me more perfect. I would like very much to see you come in here & spend the evening as you usd to do at the old Armory but alas I never see your [old] familliar in the threshold of my old tent.
The boys feels sadly at a loss not to have some one to come in and set awhile with them for there is no one here to do so, as you usd to at Armory Square. There is a great many wounded in the Hospital here & in this ward there is three very bad cases one of the Gangereene & two of the Erysipelas they wer removed from one of the other wards.
I am not going to write much to you but will come & see you as soon as I find out where you are at.
No more at preasant, but remain you[r] loving Solder,
1. Lewis Kirke Brown (1843–1926) was wounded in the left leg near Rappahannock Station on August 19, 1862, and lay where he fell for four days. Eventually he was transferred to Armory Square Hospital, where Whitman met him, probably in February 1863. In a diary in the Library of Congress, Whitman described Brown on February 19, 1863, as "a most affectionate fellow, very fond of having me come and sit by him." Because the wound did not heal, the leg was amputated on January 5, 1864. Whitman was present and described the operation in a diary (Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman, The Library of Congress, Notebook #103). Brown was mustered out in August 1864, and was employed in the Provost General's office in September; see Whitman's September 11, 1864. The following September he became a clerk in the Treasury Department, and was appointed Chief of the Paymaster's Division in 1880, a post which he held until his retirement in 1915. (This material draws upon a memorandum which was prepared by Brown's family and is now held in the Library of Congress.) [back]