Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: James S. Stillwell to Walt Whitman, 5 July 1864

Date: July 5, 1864

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00449

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), 194. 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, Nicole Gray, Vanessa Steinroetter, Kathryn Kruger, Blake Bronson-Bartlett, and Nick Krauter

Dear Friend

I1 take the present time to write a few lines to you to let you know how I am I am very well at presant my wound is a doing very well now but it is worse than it was when I left armory Square it commence to get worse About the tenth of June it was so fore About three weeks that I didnot go out of the ward but it is A gitting better again now I am now at chestnuthill Hospital philadelphia this hospital is About ten miles from the city of Philadelphia this is A very pleasant place here there is A grove on one side of the hospital and A bowling in the grove and A half A dozen Swings but I dont like it as well here as I did their there is forty seven(47) wards to this hospital each wards has 60 beds in some of the new york boys has been transferred to new york from here but I didnt of happen to be one of them thomas Flood is here he is ward master of this ward he sends his best wishes to you I had a letter from home last friday they was all well then and mother Sends her best respect to you I have not been home yet but I expect to go home in About two weeks on A furlough you musnt think hard of me because I havent write to you before, pleas write Soon So no more at presant from your affectionate Friend

direct your letter to Mower Hospital Chestnut Hill Ward (20)


1. James S. Stilwell, Second New York Cavalry, was confined in Ward C of Armory Square with a gunshot wound in his left leg; see "Notebook: September–October, 1863" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection) and "Hospital Notes" (Henry E. Huntington Library). He recovered slowly from his injury. About the end of May in the following year he was sent to Mower Hospital, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, where he remained until he was granted a furlough in August 1864. He later returned to Mower Hospital and wrote to Whitman on September 27, 1864, that his wound was "most healed up," and that he expected either to be discharged or to be transferred to New York. See also Stilwell's letter to Whitman from September 2, 1864. He was the brother of Julia and John Stilwell. [back]


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