Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William E. Vandemark to Walt Whitman, 7 April 1864

Date: April 7, 1864

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01010

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 William E. Vandemark, Walt Whitman and the Civil War, ed. Charles I. Glicksberg (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1933), 156n. 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, Sarah Synovec, and Janel Cayer

April 7/64—

father i1 have been here to se yo and yo was not at home i leave my best wishes hoping yo are well i am very well yo must come and see me good by,

W. E. Vandermark to his father Walt Whitman.


1. William E. Vandemark, a private in Company I of the 120th New York Infantry, was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863. Whitman noted that Vandemark was placed in “bed 39—Ward B” at Armory Square Hospital, and Whitman may have written a letter to Vandemark's sister Sarah in Accord, New York (Edward F. Grier, ed., Notes and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1961–1984], 2: 644). Vandemark returned home on furlough and was briefly transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps during the summer of 1864 before returning to his regiment. He was killed on a skirmish line during the charge on Fort Davis at Petersburg, Virginia, on September 28, 1864. [back]


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