Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Alvah H. Small to Walt Whitman, 24 July 1863

Date: July 24, 1863

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00141

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, California: Gay Sunshine Press, 1989), 179-180. 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, Kathryn Kruger, and Nick Krauter

Mr. Whitman Dear Sir

I1 will now improve a few moments to pen you a few lines in accordance to your request.

I left Washington last Monday at 3 oclock in the afternoon and arrived in Baltimore at 5 Oclock and I then reached this Citty and took the cars again at 9 Oclock and arrived here in Williamsport the next morning at 10 oclock.

I had a very pleasant passage and enjoyed the ride very much but yet I found that my wounds were somewhat situated and they have been more sore than usual and so I have not gone about the place a great deal yet, but what I have seen so far I think I like the place very much.

The Business is chiefly lumbering and it is carried on in a more extensive manner than I have ever before seen it and the place is fast building up and will very soon be incorporated into a citty.

I like the place very much what I have seen of it yet I have not been about but a little and I cannot write you so much as I would like to and so I will write you again. I want to hear from Washington and how things are moving and will be much pleased to hear from you and I will try to write you more in my next letter.

I remain yours truly,


1. Alvah H. Small was a private in Company G of the 12th New Hampshire Infantry when he was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. He was apparently sent to Armory Square Hospital before being transferred to the Invalid Corps in July and sent to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where invalid soldiers were being used to enforce the draft. [back]


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