Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 18 May 1864

Date: May 18, 1864

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:223–224. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00828

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Luke Hollis, and Alyssa Olson

May 18 1864

Dearest Mother,

I will only write you a hasty note this time, as I am pretty tired, & my head feels disagreeable, from being in too much—I was up yesterday to Carver hospital & again saw the man of the 51st, Thos McCowell,1 who told me of George, up to latter part of Thursday, 12th inst. I questioned him, & his story was very clear, so I felt perfectly satisfied—he is wounded in hand, will be transferred soon to New York & may call on you—he is a young Irishman, & seems to be a very good fellow indeed—

I have written to George, day before yesterday. Did you send my last letter to Han?—if not send it yet—Mother, I see such awful things—I expect one of these days, if I live, I shall have awful thoughts & dreams—but it is such a great thing to be able to do some real good, assuage these horrible pains & wounds, & save life even—that's the only thing that keeps a fellow up—

Well, dear mother, I make such reckoning of yet coming on & seeing you—how I want to see Jeff too—O it is too bad I have not written to him so long—& Mat too & little California & all—I am going out now a little while—I remain first rate & well as ever—



1. This may be the "Tom" referred to in Walt Whitman's letter from December 29, 1862[back]


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