Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: George Washington Whitman to Charles W. LeGendre, 27 February 1863

Date: February 27, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: nar.00001

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from George Washington Whitman, Civil War Letters of George Washington Whitman, ed. Jerome M. Loving (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1975), 89. 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, Kathryn Kruger, Gillian Price, and April Lambert

Newport News Va
February 27th 18631

Lieut Colonel Chs LeGendre2 commanding 51st Regt New York Vols Sir

Having been always with the Regiment since the Organization of it at New York which is now over 18 months, and in all the time never have been excuse from any duty whatever and having urgent business at home which demands my immediate attention, I beg leave of asking you hereby the favor of granting me, leave of absence for ten Days

Very respectfully
Your obedient servant
George W. Whitman Capt Co K, 51st N. Y. V.


1. This letter is part of George W. Whitman's official military record. [back]

2. Charles W. LeGendre (1830–1899), born in France and educated at the University of Paris, was a soldier who helped to recruit the Fifty-first New York Volunteer Infantry. LeGendre was severely wounded at New Bern, North Carolina, on March 14, 1862, as George observed in his letter of March 16–18,1862, to his mother, Lousia Van Velsor Whitman (Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Books, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library). LeGendre was appointed lieutenant colonel on September 20, 1862, and later succeeded Edward Ferrero (see Walt Whitman's letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman from December 29, 1862) and Robert B. Potter (see Walt Whitman's letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman from May 26, 1863) as commanding officer of the Fifty-first Regiment. During the second Battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, he lost his left eye and the bridge of his nose, and was honorably discharged on October 4 of the same year. See Whitman's account of LeGendre's hospitalization in his letter to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, May 13, 1864[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.