Life & Letters


About this Item

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

Date: May 18, 1864

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00828

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), 1:223–224. 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 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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