Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Justus F. Boyd to Walt Whitman, 14 May 1863

Date: May 14, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00139

Source: Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at the New York Public Library. The transcription presented here is derived from Drum Beats: Walt Whitman's Civil War Boy Lovers, ed. Charley Shively (San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1989), 112–113. 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, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Nick Krauter

Mr. Whitman Dear Sir

Here I1 am seated at the desk pen in hand once more writing a few lines to you. I guess I dont write so you can read it or else I direct wrong or else you do. there is something the matter anyway for I have written this makes four letters and I have sent word to you once by Fred Euler  But I havent re'cd a line from you since I got home I am going to send this one and if I dont receive an Ans in about a week I shall write one more & direct to Brooklin N.Y. but I shall look for one this time sure. I am in a store yet I dont know how long I shall stay I havnt made any bargain—yet how long I shall stay. I may not stay more than a week and I may stay all summer

I am not able to work on the farm yet and I dont know as I shall ever be able I am still takeing medison I am getting about sick of living on medison all the time but I suppose I must if I live at all but enough of this I would like to take a walk down Pennsylvania Avenue this pleasant afternoon we would have a good time if there was any such thing and I guess there is I would like to be back in Washington now (I dont mean in the Hospital) though I got all of that I want for much as six months but there is no use wishing I suppos for it wont do me any good to wish I shall have to close for there has some customers just come in  Now please write as soon as you receive this In[stan]t


1. Justus F. Boyd was a soldier in the 6th Michigan Cavalry. Whitman wrote the following entry on Boyd in a notebook that he kept shortly after his appointment to the Christian Commission, January 20, 1863 ("Walt Whitman Soldier's," Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman, The Library of Congress, Notebook #99, sheets 1098–1133): "Corp. Justus F. Boyd bed 22 co. D 6th Michigan cavalry been in five months, four sick, affection of kidneys and pleurisy—wants some paper and envelope and something to read gave him 12 sheets paper, & 12 envelopes & three of them franked by Sumner." [back]


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