Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: George Washington Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 19 September 1862

Date: September 19, 1862

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00327

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. The transcription presented here is derived from George Washington Whitman, Civil War Letters of George Washington Whitman, ed. Jerome M. Loving (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1975), 64-65. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Eric Conrad, Gillian Price, and April Lambert

Near Sharpsburg Md.

Sept 19th/62

Dear Mother1

I am still alive and well  Our Regt was engaged on last Sunday for 3 or 4 hours on the Mountains. but our loss was not very heavy  on Tuesday last we were engaged twice and lost heavy  General Reno was killed on Sunday2  we were in his Division and he thought the world of our Regt  we went into the fight on Sunday afternoon about 5½ O Clock and took the advance and was under a heavy fire until about 9 O Clock when the fireing ceased and we lay down on the field and stayed all night

I cannot write more now as the mail goes  I did not get hit at all

G W Whitman


1. The letterhead of the stationery used in this letter presents a sketch of a Union Soldier standing at attention and holding a rifle over his left shoulder. Beside him stands the Union banner and behind him is a military camp. The words "On Guard" are printed beneath. In the letter Whitman speaks briefly of the battles of South Mountain (September 14, 1862 to September 15, 1862) and Antietam (September 17, 1862). [back]

2. General Reno was killed at Fox's Gap in South Mountain (also called Middletown Heights) on September 14, 1862. See George Washington Whitman's letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman from February 9, 1862[back]


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