Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 9 February 1863

Date: February 9, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00763

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 , The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:72-73. 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 Alyssa Olson

Monday morn'g, Feb. 9th / 1863.

Dearest mother,

I write to enclose you a letter I have just received from George.1 His corps, (Ninth Army,) and perhaps one other, are to move either to Fort Monroe, or somewhere down there—some say Suffolk. I am in hopes that when they get there, George will still have a sight for a furlough—I have written him I should think four letters since the 27th Jan—(and have sent him Han's letter to you in one)—I hope he has got most of them before this—I am afraid the $3. change I sent him is gone—He will write to you as soon as he gets settled wherever they go to—I don't know as it makes any difference in respect to danger, or fighting, from this move—One reason they have to move from the Rappahannock, up there, is that wood is all gone for miles, forage is scarce to get, and I don't know as there is any need of there staying there, for any purpose—In some haste, dearest mother, as I am off to visit for an hour or so, one of my hospitals. Your affectionate son



1. George wrote a letter to Walt Whitman on February 6, 1863 from Falmouth; in summarizing George's letter, Walt characteristically softened his brother's remarks about a furlough. And on February 8, 1863, George wrote to his mother: "If this movement of ours dont knock the thing in the head (and I dont know how it will be) you may expect to see me home for a short time, before many days." On February 25, 1863, however, he notified his mother that "no furloughs would be granted, unless to save life or something of that kind." [back]


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