Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Will W. Wallace to Walt Whitman, 7 May 1863

Date: May 7, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00595

Source: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from Drum Beats: Walt Whitman's Civil War Boy Lovers, ed. Charley Shively (San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1989), 210–211. 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, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Nick Krauter

Dear Walt

I1 received your letter this morning and will not give the plea you have given. I have very little time tis true, yet I endeavor by writing rapidly to have time to keep up my correspondence more particularly with those in Washington. I am better pleased with the city than when I last wrote. I have a Hospital of 350 patients No stewards to assist me, three women to look after and Jones Hotel to run. Have I not my hands full by the way you wish to know what Jones Hotel is. It is a fine house across the way from Hospt No 3, where the Surgn Steward and women stop it has a large white Board in front with the letters contrasting in black "Jones Hotel" I have the clerks from the different Head Quarters board with me so I am well posted in what is going on in different dpts. I would be pleased to see you here. I received a letter from Col Leasur of the 100th Pa and more familiarly Roundhead Regt2 this morning stating that the 9th Army Corps was under marching orders and moving to Murfreesboro via Nashville. I wish you would come and make your headquarters with me. You could find plenty of work in your line. There is a New paper started this week by the correspondant of Forneys Press. It is making business. Here is a field of fourtune for some of them who wish

I am surprised at your frenchy leaving you in such a deplorable state, but you are not alone. I had to dismiss mine to save the reputation of the Hospital and your humble servant.

Nothing new here. I have the famous Miss Chase3 here and she is invaluable in her assistance to me. I send my Photo and shall expect one of the Prince of Bohemia by return

I will write in a few days. Come out here you will find it pleasant.

Your protegee
Will W Wallace


1. Will W. Wallace was a hospital steward at a Union hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Whitman probably met him in Campbell Hospital. [back]

2. Daniel Leasure (1819–1886) was the colonel of the Ninth Army Corps of the Union Army. His 100th Pennsylvania Infantry was nicknamed the "Roundheads," because it was recruited from the southwestern part of the state where English followers of Oliver Cromwell, known as the Roundheads, had settled. [back]

3. Miss Chase was one of the five young nurses on Wallace's hospital staff. [back]


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