Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Anson Ryder, Jr., 16 May 1866

Date: May 16, 1866

Whitman Archive ID: med.00315

Source: Location of original letter manuscript is unknown. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 1:276-277. 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, Brett Barney, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Alyssa Olson

. . . As to me, I lead rather a dull life here. I wish you were nearer, that we might be together frequently.1 I do not associate much with the department clerks, yet many appear to be good fellows enough. The contest between Congress and the President is quite exciting. I go up to the Capitol and listen to the speeches and arguments. Sometimes I feel as if one side had the best of it and then the other. Well, my dear comrade, I believe I have told you all the news—of Eicholtz,2 the German sergeant with the bad compound fracture, of Frazee3 and Dr. Smith.4


1. Apparently Anson Ryder, Jr., left Armory Square Hospital and, accompanied by another injured soldier named Wood (probably Calvin B. Wood; see NUPM 2:673), returned to his family at Cedar Lake, New York. [back]

2. Hugo Eicholtz was listed in the Washington Directory of 1869 and in one of Whitman's address books (The Library of Congress # 109). He evidently lived with his mother, a dressmaker. [back]

3. Sergeant Hiram W. Frazee, Second New York Artillery, was wounded in "one of the last battles near Petersburg" (Richard Maurice Bucke, ed., The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman [New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1902], 6:236). [back]

4. Probably Dr. Thomas C. Smith, a Washington physician. [back]


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