Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 12 May 1864

Date: May 12, 1864

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00826

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 Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:221–222. 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, Vanessa Steinroetter, Luke Hollis, and Alyssa Olson

May 12th | ½ past 5 P M

Dearest Mother

George is all right, unhurt, up to Tuesday morning, 10th inst—the 51st was in a bad battle last Friday, lost 20 killed, between 40 & 50 wounded—I have just seen some of the 51st wounded, just arrived, one of them Fred Saunders, Corp[oral], Co K, George's company—he said when he left the 51st was in rear on guard duty—he left Tuesday mn'g last—the papers have it that Burnside's Corps was in a fight Tuesday, but I think it most probable the 51st was not in it—

Fred McReady is wounded, badly, but not seriously—Sims is safe—you see LeGendre is wounded—he was shot through the bridge of nose1

Mother, you ought to get this Friday forenoon, 13th—I will write again soon—wrote once before to-day2



1. In his "Hospital Book 12" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection), Walt Whitman recorded substantially the same information given here and in his letter from May 13, 1864. Corporal Saunders (or Sanders) was confined in Finley Hospital. Whitman methodically cited the names and locations of the wounded soldiers from the Fifty-first Regiment who had been transferred to hospitals in or near Washington. For McReady, see Whitman's letter from May 13, 1863; for Sims, the letter from May 26, 1863; and for LeGendre, the letter from April 15 1863[back]

2. This letter is not known. [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.